Medmira Marketing Case
Business and Management
Submitted By joanaluzg
1. Environment changes that made it possible to consider the launch of an OTC Aids Test
There was no doubt that HIV/AIDS was a growing concern. The tests took used conventional testing technology, which took a minimum of two to eight hours to produce results, required highly trained laboratory personnel and special equipment to perform and interpret the tests. In 1987, FDA rejected the proposal of at-home HIV tests, arguing that people who tested positive for HIV would panic and possibly even commit suicide in the absence of adequate counseling, However, as the time passed, HIV positive results were not a death sentence, and had become a much more manageable illness. The risk associated with home tests diminished.
In order to respond fast to the growing incidences of infectious diseases, MedMira developed a suite of rapid tests that enabled healthcare providers to deliver accurate diagnosis and effective treatment faster. MedMira’s rapid HIV tests were easy to be used, did not require any precision pipetting or specialized equipment, and the results could be interpreted immediately. With them, the HIV infection rate may decrease, once it was fast, easy, accessible to everyone, and more confidential, so more people prompt to be tested earlier, reducing the instances of transmission. The creation of these specific tests with these precise characteristics aligned with the demystification of the disease, made it possible to consider the launch of an OTC Aids Test.
2. MedMira Aids Test’s SWOT analysis
The SWOT analysis is a concise compilation of the findings of the internal and external audits which focus internally on the critical organizational strengths and weaknesses and externally on the opportunities and threats facing the company.
Internally there are some strengths that enable MedMira to accomplish the mission of launch OTC Aids Test. I believe that the major strength is MiraCare HIV test itself. These tests already gained international recognition, and were widely used by clinical laboratory professionals in Canada, US, and China, being the number-one choice among some hospitals and clinics.
Moreover, MiraCare HIV test has been found to be 99.8% accurate, easy to be used, did not require specialized equipment or precision pipetting, and results can be immediately interpreted, allowing healthcare providers to deliver accurate diagnosis and effective treatment faster. Also, it is giving to consumers a greater empowerment in their healthcare decisions. Additionally, due to the confidentiality offered, more people are prompt to be test, being an ideal solution for the market once it respects the right for privacy.
However, internally there are also some weaknesses that prevent MedMira from achieving its full potential launching MiraCare HIV test. Firstly, it was not certain if MedMira could afford the investment needed to the expansion or the expenses (filing costs, product packaging, distribution and marketing) of the product. Secondly, MedMira did not offer neither a pre or post test counseling nor a web-data base, and it has no previous experience on that. Furthermore, depending on the disease phase the test could be negative, inducing people in error which may lead to the disease transmission.
Externally there were some changes in the environment that arise as opportunities once MedMira could benefit from them and become more profitable. The increasing need for privacy and the concerns regarding confidentiality suggest that OTC Aids Test will face a high demand.
Moreover, the company Home Access Health Corporation, which is specialized in at-home diagnostic testing and has the experience and knowledge in counseling and web-data tool, is a good opportunity for a partnership that would lead to a successful case in launching the OTC HIV test.
Additionally, the environment changing made the market to be more opened to OTC products.
There are also some changes in the external environment that might constrain the launching process of OTC HIV tests. In this case, competitors are seen as threats. Starting with BioLytical Laboratories, they developed a rapid HIV diagnostic test, which is cheaper, gives faster results, and was deemed to be 99.6% accurate. Besides that, it requires more time to be prepared. Concerning another competitor, OraSure, it could be a threat once they created oral fluid tests for both HIV-1 and HIV-2. However, complaints regarding false-positive tests lowered the trust of consumers and made the test more complex by obligated it to be followed by a blood test.
Another strong threat is that the selling of MiraCare directly to consumers could cannibalize the sales of Reveal G2 (another MedMira product) to laboratories and hospitals, affecting companies’ earnings and relationships with its distributors, middlemen and customers. There are also some lab-type associations in the US with powerful lobbying that due to the possibility of losing revenues resisted to OTC testing.
With regard to consumers, they may be uncomfortable buying an HIV test in public, and tests could be used incorrectly or inappropriately. In addition, it may appear some ethical issues, once it could be used without the person’s consent. Furthermore, it will be more difficult for public health officials to report and track the HIV infection rate, and the lack of counseling may eliminate the opportunity to educate the public and made them understand their risky behavior.