Case | HBS Case Collection | September 2012 (Revised November 2014)

Cialis Lifecycle Management: Lilly's BPH Dilemma

by Elie Ofek and Natalie Kindred


How should Eli Lilly further develop and market a new indication of its highly successful erectile-dysfunction (ED) drug, Cialis, without confusing Cialis's hard-won brand equity with physicians and patients? With the final stages of clinical trials for the new indication, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), soon to be carried out, the team had to make a decision soon. On its face, the market opportunity for a BPH indication, and its synergies with an ED drug, seemed enormous: both ED and BPH were age-related conditions, and data showed that half of men with ED had BPH symptoms. Moreover, the BPH indication would be taken in the same frequency and dosing as the once-a-day version of Cialis. However, market research had revealed significant challenges in introducing the BPH indication under the Cialis name. For example, although ED and BPH often co-existed, men perceived them quite differently. Some physicians also reacted negatively to the BPH indication. Impending competition from low-price ED generics, given that Viagra would soon be going off patent, underscored the importance of the BPH opportunity.

Keywords: Product Positioning; Attitudes; Brands and Branding; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;


Ofek, Elie, and Natalie Kindred. "Cialis Lifecycle Management: Lilly's BPH Dilemma." Harvard Business School Case 513-005, September 2012. (Revised November 2014.)