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Business Case Study Method

a tried and tested teaching-learning

method adopted in business schools both
with undergraduate and graduate
enhances learning by drawing out of the
class a fresh exchange of experiences,
innovative ideas and practical applications
develops in the students a strong
analytical and decision-making skills
Pharmaceutical Business Case
Defined as a comprehensive and
objective description of actual business
situations in a particular drug company
and/or related businesses
Gives company background; products and
services, sales target and volume,
customer profile and even SWOT.
Provides exhaustive analysis of a work
problem and hints on possible solutions.
Pharmaceutical Business Case
Highlights a specific deviation in the
companys business operations in the area of
ethical and over-the-counter (OTC) products,
branded and unbranded generics, pricing,
promotions, or place or people
It may be focused on the non-attainment of
marketing and business goals, i.e. sales/
revenues, market share, market growth, market
leadership, profitability and survival of on-going
business concern
Pharmaceutical Business Case
A pharmaceutical business case can be
prepared from actual marketing problems
Prepared by researchers or marketing
students. It is NOT designed to illustrate
effective or ineffective handling of
marketing and business problems.
Use is merely as a basis for discussion in
classes, seminars, and workshops
Objectives of a Pharmaceutical
Business Case Method
1. To merge theory and practice to help students
in identifying business and marketing issues
that need to be addressed.

2. To infuse an integrated approach to exercises
in problem solving, decision making, and
problem analysis so that students will be given
valuable practice in formulating and evaluating
marketing plans

3. To provide the students case materials that
will serve as instruments to validate the
applicability of theories in true-to-life business
Objectives of a Pharmaceutical
Business Case Method
4. To guide the students in formulating a thesis
and an approach in putting together a written
pharmaceutical business case and an oral
presentation of the business case.

5. To enhance decision making skills of the
students through open debates and
discussions, sharing of perceptions,
impressions and work-related experiences
among participants.
A Case for Case Analysis
Case Analysis is bridging the gap between
classroom learning and the so-called real world
of marketing management.
Provide an opportunity to develop, sharpen and
test analytical skills at:
Assessing situations
Sorting out and organizing key information
Asking the right questions
Defining opportunities and problems
Identifying and evaluating alternative courses
of action
Interpreting data
A Case for Case Analysis
Provide an opportunity to develop, sharpen and
test analytical skills at:
Evaluating the result of past strategies
Developing and depending new strategies
Interacting with other managers
Making decisions under conditions of
Critically evaluating the work of others
Responding to criticism
The Case Method
The use of business cases was developed
by the faculty of the Harvard Graduate
School of Business Administration in the
Case studies have been widely accepted
as one effective way of exposing students
to the decision making process
Cases generally entail both qualitative and
quantitative data which the student must
analyze to determine appropriate
alternatives and solutions
The Case Method
The primary purpose of the case method
is to introduce a measure of realism into
management education
Rather than emphasizing the teaching of
concepts, the case method focuses on
application of concepts and sound logic to
real world business problems
The students learn to bridge the gap
between abstraction and application and
appreciate the value of both.
Basic Approach to Case Analysis
1. Problem definition
2. Alternative courses of action are formulated
3. The alternatives are analyzed in terms of
their strength and weaknesses
4. An alternative is accepted and a course of
action is recommended
This basic approach is quite useful for
students who are well versed with case
analysis, particularly for shorter cases,
however this framework may be inadequate
or oversimplified .
Expanded Framework for Case
1. Analyze and record the current situation
Phase 1: the environment-economic, social, political
and legal areas. May contain threats and opportunities
for the firm
Phase 2: the industry
Consider- rivalry among existing competitors
-Threat of new entrants
-Threat of substitute products
-Bargaining power of suppliers
-Bargaining power of buyers
Phase 3: the firm
Phase 4: marketing strategy-analysis of current

Expanded Framework for Case
2. Analyze and record problems and their
core elements
3. Formulate, evaluate and record
alternative courses of action
4. Select and record the chosen alternative
and implementation details
Pitfalls to Avoid in Case Analysis
1. Inadequate definition of the problem
2. The search for the answer - There is no one
official or correct answer to a case. Rather
there are usually several reasonable
alternative solutions
3. Not enough information
4. Use of generalities. Be specific
5. A different situation
6. Narrow vision analysis / Change in marketing
element will have effect on the others

Pitfalls to Avoid in Case Analysis
7. Realism
8. The marketing research solution
9. Rehashing the case material
10. Premature conclusions
Operational Approach to Case and
Problem Analysis
1. Read the case quickly to get an overview of the
2. Read the case again thoroughly. Underline relevant
information and take notes on potential areas of
3. Review outside sources of information on the
environment and the industry. Record relevant
information and the source of the information
4. Perform comparative analysis of the firm with the
industry and industry averages
5. Analyze the firm
6. Analyze the marketing program
Operational Approach to Case and
Problem Analysis
7. Record the current situation in terms of
relevant environmental industry, firm and
marketing strategy parameters.
8. Make and record necessary assumptions to
complete the situational framework
9. Determine and record the major issues,
problems and their core elements
10. Record proof that these are the major issues
11. Record potential courses of action
Operational Approach to Case and
Problem Analysis
12. Evaluate each initially to determine
constraints that preclude acceptability
13. Evaluate remaining alternatives in terms of
costs and benefits
14. Record analysis of alternatives
15. Select an alternative
16. Record alternative and defense of its selection
17. Record the who, what, when, where, how and
why of the alternative and its implementation

Case Handling Presentation
Presenting Group
1. The group will prepare a comprehensive group
case report on a scheduled date and time to
the instructor. The group will also provide
copies of the report to the members of the
liquidating group
2. The group will prepare a 30 minute presentation of the
case report. The presentation should include a
Powerpoint show, and if the group decides a role-
playing activity.

Case Handling Presentation
Presenting Group
3. The team leader assign case presenters to
discuss the completed case reports before the
4. The group will prepare the presentation
materials such as posters, mobiles, print ads,
flyers, leaflets, and other promotion and
merchandising materials.
5. If necessary , the group will present product
prototypes, radio jingles, print ads, and
television commercials
Case Handling Presentation
Presenting Group
6. Each member of the group has to fully
understand the business case report. At the end
of the oral presentations, they will have to
answer questions from the liquidating group. It
is the responsibility of each member of the group
to give satisfactory answers that will leave no
lingering doubt about the soundness of the case
report presentation.

Case Handling Presentation
Liquidating group
1. The liquidating group is given 30 minutes to
interrogate the reporting group
2. The liquidating group will prepare questions
based on the written and oral reports of the
presenting group.
3. The liquidating group should aim to discredit
the business and marketing plan of the
reporting group.

Case Handling Presentation
4. The liquidating group usually throws
questions at the person singled out as
the weakest link in the presenting group.
5. The role of the liquidating group is to look
into the soundness of the business case
report,pointing out the weak points, and
beefing up the case analysis, courses of
action and strategies.
Case Handling Presentation
The aim of the exercise is to encourage a healthy
learning-sharing process.
It hopes to get all members of the group to speak out
their minds on matters they feel strongly about.
Each member of the presenting and liquidating group is
given opportunity to ask and answer questions.
The team leader of each group acts as a moderator.
They see to it that the open forum is managed within the
allotted time
After the liquidating group finishes its job, the rest of the
class get the chance to comment on the case report of
the presenting group. This time the teacher facilitates
the discussion
Case Handling Presentation
The teacher facilitator
1. The teacher/ facilitator sets the guidelines for the
written group reports, including date of submission.
He or she also sets the time allotted for the oral
presentation, intermission, liquidating groups rejoinder
and the class critique.
2. The teacher/facilitator evaluates the finished reports of
the presenting and liquidating groups. He or she takes
note of areas that are noteworthy,vague or weak. He
or she gives specific comments and suggestions for
areas that need improvement. The teacher/facilitator
gives the appropriate grades for the finished reports.
Case Handling Presentation
The teacher facilitator
3.The teacher/facilitator recaps the case
discussion. He or she summarizes the
positive and negative aspects of the
whole proceedings, gives pointers for
improvements, congratulates both the
presenting and liquidating group for their
efforts, and declares the winner of the
oral exercise.

Content of the Finished Pharmaceutical
Business Case Report
I. Time Frame
II. Point of view
III. Central problem
IV. Secondary or sub-
V. Objectives
VI. Areas of
VII. Alternative courses
of action
VIII. Decision criteria
IX. Recommendation
X. The Business Plan
XI. The Implementation
XII. Management
XIII. Exhibits and figures
Time Context
Determine the actual time frame, year,
month of the particular deviation or
problem in the case occurred.
Analyze the case problem within the actual
period of the case
Point of View
Higher management point of view-
chairman of the board, president, general
manager, marketing VP or owner of the
Central Problem
Can be a deviation in one of the 4 Ps of the
marketing mix (products, price, promotion, and
A slack in the overall performance of the company
Business goals not met i.e. in terms of
sales/revenues, market share, market growth, target
market leadership or market segments
When the central problem is not properly stated, the
case analysis is weak and indefensible
The central problem can be expressed in general
declarative statements, question form or by using
one or two phrases.

Secondary or Sub-problems
Can be listed down as many as they come
Appear in any of the areas of marketing,
marketing research, production, finance or
human resources.
When sub-problems are well-defined and
correspondingly solved, they become valid
claims that support the solution of the
whole problem
Expectations in solving the central problem and
Basis for making decisions and courses of
Objectives are desired results that must be
achieved after solving the central problem and
Decide on standard of evaluation when setting
case objectives which must be very specific in
order to implement them as soon as possible.
Examples of Statement of
To increase the sales of RiteMED Amoxicillin
capsules (250 mg and 500 mg) to 500 percent
by the end of 2005.
To have RiteMED Philippines capture 50% of
the generic drug market by 2005.
To capture a 100% sales growth for LVP in
The statements of objectives should be SMART
(Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-
Oriented, Time-Bound)
No motherhood statements
Areas of Consideration
Information about the cause and effect of the
situation, policies, programs or standard
operating procedures relative to the problems or
the assumptions
Hard evidence and logical thinking support these
SWOT analysis
strengths and weaknesses of the company
and products relative to competition
Opportunities and threats to the external
Alternative Courses of Action
Possible answers to problems that have
been clearly identified
Independent from each other
Should be able to solve the central
problem or sub-problems
Workable and achievable
Should be very specific and quantifiable
Suggested Statements of
Alternative Courses of Action
PROCARD, a fish oil product that is good for the
heart, will be marketed through the multilevel
marketing channel instead of the traditional
pharmaceutical business and marketing
approach effective January 1996, initially in
Metro Manila and Luzon
LVP , a dextrose product , will be relaunched
primarily in the pharmacy departments of tertiary
hospitals and lying in clinics nationwide in the
fourth quarter of 2004, at a price discount of
10% lower than the market leaders Abbott and
Euromed Dextrose
Decision Criteria
Specific criteria for each alternative course of
action in quantifiable terms to be able to arrive at
a well-balanced choice in the final
Match the criteria with every alternative course
of action using a scale of 1-5, with 5 as the
highest and 1 being the lowest in percentage
Suggested criteria may be a combination of the
following factors: Sales/revenues, market-share,
market-growth and profitability or market

Decision Criteria
The alternative course of action that
garner the highest percentage ratings shall
be adopted in the final recommendation
Criteria ACA-1 ACA-2 ACA-3
Sales/Rev 5 4 3
5 4 3
Mkt Growth 5 4 3
Profit 5 4 3
Total 20 16 12
The best alternative course of action
Will form the basis for a comprehensive
business and marketing plan that will
ensure early realization of company goals.