Zantac (A&B)

The anti-ulcer market is one of the largest categories of prescription drugs in the pharmaceutical industry. Its history dates to 1976, when a US based pharmaceutical company SmithKline launched Tagamet. This Nobel prize-winning breakthrough drug quickly rose to become the largest-selling pharmaceutical product. As the incumbent, Tagamet seemed unshakeable, but with the introduction of its ‘me-too’ product Zantac, UK-based Glaxo managed to break SmithKline’s hold on the market. How did Glaxo manage to surpass the former gold standard and in five years outsell it by a factor of 2 worldwide? More importantly, ask Professors Reinhard Angelmar and Christian Pinson, how should Glaxo react when faced with an upstart looking to do to them what Zantac did to Tagamet?

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