The Case Centre’s top 40 bestselling cases

Twenty-seventh - medi-cult
The case
Case: Medi-Cult: Pricing a Radical Innovation Shouldice Hospital Ltd.
Authors: Nirmalya Kumar and Brian Rogers
Institution: IMD
Ref: IMD-5-0537
Date published: 1999

'The biggest revolution ever to hit artificial reproductive therapy' was how Henrik Krogen, President of Medi-Cult, described In Vitro Maturation (IVM). The procedure, developed by his biotech company, could significantly reduce the time needed to mature an egg from 30 days to just two, and also spared women the physical and psychological effects of the 30-day hormone stimulation method. But now the company faced new challenges: regulatory constraints; larger competitors; introducing a new product into the local and global marketplace; and how much to charge for the new technology. This case also raises the important issue of ethics when pricing pharmaceutical products.

The authors

Nirmalya Kumar works for Tata where he is responsible for strategy at group level. He is also Professor of Marketing and Co-Director of the Aditya Birla India Centre at London Business School. He is one of the world’s leading thinkers on strategy and marketing and has taught at Harvard Business School, IMD, and Kellogg School of Management.

Brian Rogers is Senior Business Development Manager at Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue. He co-authored many cases in his previous role as Research Associate at IMD.

The teacher

Hans muehlbacher Hans Mühlbacher is Professor of Business Administration and former Head of the Department of Strategic Management, Marketing and Tourism at the Innsbruck University School of Management. He has taught this case at least 20 times and explains its appeal.

The Medi-Cult case can be used to demonstrate multiple stakeholder influences on marketing decision-making. I have used it on a variety of courses, including brand building, stakeholder relationship management, and strategic positioning.

Exploring difference issues

On the surface, it is a case on pricing. But if you dig deeper, it is a case on relationship management, building a brand, and influencing a network of multiple interrelated stakeholders. It works well because it is easy to understand, leads students in the wrong direction (in relation to pricing), and creates surprise if it is used to analyse wider issues. I strongly recommend it to teachers who are ready to think beyond the narrow limits of customer orientation.  

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