| HBS Case Collection
(Revised from original 1994 version)
Astra/Merck (A/M), originally a joint venture of AB Astra and Merck & Co., is preparing to be an independent company in 1993. Since the company does not engage in basic research and development of drugs, it is essentially a distribution organization. Fundamental to A/M's strategy is a new approach to the marketing of prescription drugs. The case outlines this approach, developments in the pharmaceuticals industry, and issues raised by A/M's attempts to implement a new marketing process in an industry where promotion-oriented "detailing" has dominated distribution practices.
Keywords: Cost vs Benefits;
Research and Development;
Risk and Uncertainty;
Cespedes, Frank V., and Marie Bell. "Astra/Merck Group." Harvard Business School Case 594-045, March 1995. (Revised from original March 1994 version.)