MSc Pharmaceutical Industrial Advanced Training (PIAT) / Course details

Year of entry: 2020

Course unit details:
Marketing and Commercialisation (PLG 6)

Unit code PHAR71450
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Variable teaching patterns
Offered by Pharmacy
Available as a free choice unit? No


This unit will cover all aspects of national and international commercialisation of products and technologies. Starting with intelligence, other parts of the course unit will address competition, pricing, generics, parallel imports and marketing strategies. 


  • To provide an introduction to the principles of commercialisation in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • To provide an insight into legislation and codes of practice applicable to the marketing of pharmaceutical products.
  • To understand the framework for distribution of pharmaceutical products on an international level.
  • To develop an understanding of the value of market intelligence, analytical techniques for clinical and pharmaceutical data, especially limitations of the quality of the statistics.
  • To provide an appreciation of the marketing practices in Europe, the USA and rest of the world markets.
  • To provide an understanding of the effect on commercialisation of different types of business development deals.

Learning outcomes

  • Undertake a market analysis using different market intelligence sources; to recognise the limitations of data available.
  • Review corporate marketing strategy and tactics identifying the strengths and weaknesses of different pharmaceutical businesses and to communicate the information in an appropriate manner.
  • Demonstrate ability to develop/recommend a commercial strategy for a new product or technology using a number of methodologies.
  • Assess a marketing plan and critically appraise the strengths and weaknesses of an opportunity and understand the inherent risk in deploying different marketing/commercial deal strategies.


Unit 1

Introduction to Sales and Marketing.  This unit provides background on sales and marketing, as a basis for further addressing marketing and commercialisation of pharmaceuticals in the later sections.

Unit 2:

Marketing Strategies  This Section reviews further how marketing is involved in the development of products, their launch into the market and their further progress up to patent expiry.

Unit 3:

Market Intelligence and Competition, reviews how market research techniques are used to obtain market intelligence, and how companies translate that information factor by factor into a forecast. It discusses the importance of researching future as well as current events and activities.

Unit 4:

Marketing Media in Promotion.  This unit explains why pharmaceutical products need to be actively promoted, the range of promotional media employed and how they are deployed.

Unit 5:

Price Regulation, Other Forms of Cost Control and Parallel Trade.  This unit deals with pricing in the global pharmaceutical industry. It explains how in the face of the pressures generated by rising healthcare costs, a wide variety of different types of pricing systems and cost control measures have been introduced over time in different countries throughout the world. It also covers international pharma pricing interrelationships, including parallel trade.

Unit 6

Commercial deals,  reviews the different types of commercial agreements which can be deployed when planning the commercial strategy for a pharmaceutical product or technology.

Unit 7:

Generics. This unit deals with the phenomenon of generics, including the related topic of biosimilars.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Assessed by 1x 6000 word essay

Feedback methods

Provisional marks and feedback for coursework returned within 15 working days.

Exam marks and final marks returned after ratification at exam board. 

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 150

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Matthew Shaw Unit coordinator

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