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Japanese language
Prize winner
Subject category: Marketing
Published by:
Babson College (2011)
June 2014
8 pages
Data source:
Published sources


This is a Japanese version of the case. Novartis' investment in the start-up Proteus Biomedical gave the pharmaceuticals giant access to a technology allowing for the implantation of ingestible sensors in medicinal pills and, with the help of the sensors, the collection and wireless transmission of drug-compliance data to healthcare providers for the review of pre-determined health vitals. One application of the technology was the improvement of drug compliance: if, for some reason, such 'smart pills' were not taken as prescribed, patients could be reminded to comply with the recommended medication regime. The case, which is brief and based on public information, summarizes the nature and magnitude of the drug noncompliance problem, describes some of the competing solutions to address the problem, outlines Proteus’s technology in this context, profiles the Proteus and Novartis enterprises, and concludes by characterizing the challenge in front of Novartis as it decides which pill(s) to make smart and how best to market the smart pill(s). The proposed thrust of the case study is not the decisions themselves but the preparatory marketing research necessary for informatively making these decisions.


Marketing; Pharmaceutics and drug design; Technology and innovation

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