Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic Case Study Analysis & Solution

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Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic is a Harvard Business (HBR) Case Study on Sales & Marketing , Fern Fort University provides HBR case study assignment help for just $11. Our case solution is based on Case Study Method expertise & our global insights.

Sales & Marketing Case Study | Authors :: Timothy Feddersen, Jochen Gottschalk, Lars Peters

Case Study Description

The spread of bird flu outside of Asia, particularly in Africa and Europe, topped headlines in 2006. The migration of wild birds brought the virus to Europe, where for the first time it spread to productive livestock, bringing it closer to the Western world. Due to today's globalized and highly interconnected world, the consequences of a potential bird flu pandemic are expected to be much more severe than those of the Spanish flu, which killed 50-100 million people between 1918 and 1921. A vaccine for the bird virus is currently not available. As of July 2006, 232 cases of human infection had been documented, mostly through direct contact with poultry. Of those, 134 people died. The best medication available to treat bird flu was Roche's antiviral drug TamifluĀ®. However, Tamiflu was not widely available; current orders of government bodies would not be fulfilled until the end of 2008. Well aware that today's avian flu might become a global pandemic comparable to the Spanish flu, Roche CEO Franz Humer had to decide how Roche should respond. While the pharmaceutical industry continued its research efforts on vaccines and medications, Tamiflu could play an important role by protecting healthcare workers and helping to contain the virus-or at least slow down its spread. Due to patent protection and a complicated production process with scarce raw ingredients, Roche had been the only producer of the drug. Partly in response to U.S. political pressure, in November 2005 Roche allowed Gilead to produce Tamiflu as well. Even so, it would take at least until late 2007 for Roche and Gilead to meet the orders of governments worldwide. The issue was a difficult one for Roche: What were the risks; what were the opportunities? If a pandemic occurred before sufficient stockpiles of Tamiflu had been built up, would Roche be held responsible? What steps, if any, should Roche take with respect to patent protection and production licensing in the shadow of a potential pandemic?

Ethics, International business, Leadership, Strategy

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[10 Steps] Case Study Analysis & Solution

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Step 1 - Reading up Harvard Business Review Fundamentals on the Sales & Marketing

Even before you start reading a business case study just make sure that you have brushed up the Harvard Business Review (HBR) fundamentals on the Sales & Marketing. Brushing up HBR fundamentals will provide a strong base for investigative reading. Often readers scan through the business case study without having a clear map in mind. This leads to unstructured learning process resulting in missed details and at worse wrong conclusions. Reading up the HBR fundamentals helps in sketching out business case study analysis and solution roadmap even before you start reading the case study. It also provides starting ideas as fundamentals often provide insight into some of the aspects that may not be covered in the business case study itself.

Step 2 - Reading the Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic HBR Case Study

To write an emphatic case study analysis and provide pragmatic and actionable solutions, you must have a strong grasps of the facts and the central problem of the HBR case study. Begin slowly - underline the details and sketch out the business case study description map. In some cases you will able to find the central problem in the beginning itself while in others it may be in the end in form of questions. Business case study paragraph by paragraph mapping will help you in organizing the information correctly and provide a clear guide to go back to the case study if you need further information.
My case study strategy involves -

  • Marking out the protagonist and key players in the case study from the very start.
  • Drawing a motivation chart of the key players and their priorities from the case study description.
  • Refine the central problem the protagonist is facing in the case and how it relates to the HBR fundamentals on the topic.
  • Evaluate each detail in the case study in light of the HBR case study analysis core ideas.

Step 3 - Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic Case Study Analysis

Once you are comfortable with the details and objective of the business case study proceed forward to put some details into the analysis template. You can do business case study analysis by following Fern Fort University step by step instructions -

  • Company history is provided in the first half of the case. You can use this history to draw a growth path and illustrate vision, mission and strategic objectives of the organization. Often history is provided in the case not only to provide a background to the problem but also provide the scope of the solution that you can write for the case study.
  • HBR case studies provide anecdotal instances from managers and employees in the organization to give a feel of real situation on the ground. Use these instances and opinions to mark out the organization's culture, its people priorities & inhibitions.
  • Make a time line of the events and issues in the case study. Time line can provide the clue for the next step in organization's journey. Time line also provides an insight into the progressive challenges the company is facing in the case study.

Step 4 - SWOT Analysis of Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic

Once you finished the case analysis, time line of the events and other critical details. Focus on the following -

  • Zero down on the central problem and two to five related problems in the case study.
  • Do the SWOT analysis of the Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic . SWOT analysis is a strategic tool to map out the strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats that a firm is facing.
  • SWOT analysis and SWOT Matrix will help you to clearly mark out - Strengths Weakness Opportunities & Threats that the organization or manager is facing in the Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic
  • SWOT analysis will also provide a priority list of problem to be solved.
  • You can also do a weighted SWOT analysis of Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic HBR case study.

Step 5 - Porter 5 Forces / Strategic Analysis of Industry Analysis Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic

In our live classes we often come across business managers who pinpoint one problem in the case and build a case study analysis and solution around that singular point. Business environments are often complex and require holistic solutions. You should try to understand not only the organization but also the industry which the business operates in. Porter Five Forces is a strategic analysis tool that will help you in understanding the relative powers of the key players in the business case study and what sort of pragmatic and actionable case study solution is viable in the light of given facts.

Step 6 - PESTEL, PEST / STEP Analysis of Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic

Another way of understanding the external environment of the firm in Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic is to do a PESTEL - Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental & Legal analysis of the environment the firm operates in. You should make a list of factors that have significant impact on the organization and factors that drive growth in the industry. You can even identify the source of firm's competitive advantage based on PESTEL analysis and Organization's Core Competencies.

Step 7 - Organizing & Prioritizing the Analysis into Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic Case Study Solution

Once you have developed multipronged approach and work out various suggestions based on the strategic tools. The next step is organizing the solution based on the requirement of the case. You can use the following strategy to organize the findings and suggestions.

  • Build a corporate level strategy - organizing your findings and recommendations in a way to answer the larger strategic objective of the firm. It include using the analysis to answer the company's vision, mission and key objectives , and how your suggestions will take the company to next level in achieving those goals.
  • Business Unit Level Solution - The case study may put you in a position of a marketing manager of a small brand. So instead of providing recommendations for overall company you need to specify the marketing objectives of that particular brand. You have to recommend business unit level recommendations. The scope of the recommendations will be limited to the particular unit but you have to take care of the fact that your recommendations are don't directly contradict the company's overall strategy. For example you can recommend a low cost strategy but the company core competency is design differentiation.
  • Case study solutions can also provide recommendation for the business manager or leader described in the business case study.

Step 8 -Implementation Framework

The goal of the business case study is not only to identify problems and recommend solutions but also to provide a framework to implement those case study solutions. Implementation framework differentiates good case study solutions from great case study solutions. If you able to provide a detailed implementation framework then you have successfully achieved the following objectives -

  • Detailed understanding of the case,
  • Clarity of HBR case study fundamentals,
  • Analyzed case details based on those fundamentals and
  • Developed an ability to prioritize recommendations based on probability of their successful implementation.

Implementation framework helps in weeding out non actionable recommendations, resulting in awesome Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic case study solution.

Step 9 - Take a Break

Once you finished the case study implementation framework. Take a small break, grab a cup of coffee or whatever you like, go for a walk or just shoot some hoops.

Step 10 - Critically Examine Roche and Tamiflu: Doing Business in the Shadow of Pandemic case study solution

After refreshing your mind, read your case study solution critically. When we are writing case study solution we often have details on our screen as well as in our head. This leads to either missing details or poor sentence structures. Once refreshed go through the case solution again - improve sentence structures and grammar, double check the numbers provided in your analysis and question your recommendations. Be very slow with this process as rushing through it leads to missing key details. Once done it is time to hit the attach button.