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Pricing case

case interview preparation pricing
Edited on Nov 22, 2022
5 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Nov 21, 2022

Wondering if you someone could suggest an approach to this case? 

Client Prompt: Your client is a pharmaceutical company ready to launch a new drug. It’s a drug for severe asthma, essentially the same as what is in the market today, though it stronger, faster and can treat extreme cases that are not properly treated with todays medicine. The drug is seen as a breakthrough, the client is planning to launch this drug in Canada. The client has come to you for help on how to price their drug. 

Interviewer answers from CQs - the client has launched previous drugs before and they main reason is to increase profit. Want to launch as soon as possible. 


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Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 22, 2022
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate

Hi there,

It's really important to adapt your framework to the clues in the case.

Right now they're telling us that there are competitors/other drugs…which affects our pricing.

They're telling us the drug is a breakthrough and adds more value than the current one.

Therefore, you need to consider:

  1. Current drug pricing (of current asthma drugs)
  2. Added value of our drug (added WTP from customer)
  3. Our current client's drug portfolio and implications for our pricing
  4. Profit dynamic between our drug price minus cost times volumes expected

Remember the following for Pricing:

Question #1: Are there competitors (or is this a new market)?

Q1A: If yes, can I differentiate my product?

If yes, value-based

If no, competitor pricing/benchmarking is eliminated.

Q1B: If no, can I determine the value-add of my product (i.e. if saves x costs or a survey says people will pay x)?

If yes, value-based

If no, cost-based

Summary: If you can, you always want to do value-based. This is the most effective form of pricing. If you have "something" to go off of, you use it, else you use cost-based because you have no other choice.

Value-based occurs if:

1) You are a monopoly

2) You are the first entrant into a market

3) You can differentiate your product from other (I.e. monopolistic competition)


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Anonymous A on Nov 22, 2022

Helpful thank you!

Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 21, 2022
Limited Availability | BCG Expert | Middle East Expert | 100+ Mocks Delivered | IESE & NYU MBA | Ex-KPMG Dxb Consultant


I would approach any pricing question as narrowing down from certain starting points:

1- Highest price - Customer's willingness to Pay

2- Lowest price - Cost of producing the drug


After having this range in mind, we need to further narrow it down. This can be done by:

3- Internal factors:

a. Price of other products in the company's portfolio - there should be an alignment between the company's existing and future intended pricing policy i.e. selling at value vs selling at high markups

b. How much money does the company want to make from this product


4- External factors

a. Competitor's prices

b. Industry price trends


All the best!



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Content Creator
updated an answer on Nov 21, 2022
10+yrs recruiting & BCG Project leader

Hi there, 


I am pricing expert at BCG and I would not overcomplicate the approach, despite that you have to take into consideration some of the specifics of the industry. 

I would be addressing price from perspective of:

1. Value vs. current options in the market (including competition)

2. Willingness to pay for the drug: here you may need to split your customers B2C (not covered by insurance must be paid from an own pocket  or B2B (e.g. government cover it)

3. Cost to deliver and to produce (there may be 2 phases approaches: higher price as it is new to quickly return the cost and then 2nd phase with slight decline with competition is catching up, client cost is covered, etc.)

4. Substitutes and its pricing

5. Last but not least the life cycle of a customer, you may have one off pricing (higher) and subscription type pricing for repeating customers. 

Considering the note they want to go for profit then in your equitation on driving profit and revenue through volume or price, this indicates they would likely go for higher price rather than high volume. 

Feel free to reach out directly.


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Anonymous A on Nov 21, 2022

Very helpful, thank you! I structured my answer with the following and it seems to incorporate some of the things you mentioned. As profitability is the goal and from the prompt it sounds like a premium product I went with the following: 1. High price relative to competition + introducing premium product. 2. Price in line with other competitor products + introduction premium product. 3. Price in line with other competitor products + basic product - would state this option will not require further analysis as evidently in the case prompt the product they are launching is premium. Within each, look at execution ability from the company side and customer needs. I make the hypothesis/assumption that option 2, although customers would want this, is may not feasible on the company execution side given the high costs associated with producing a premium product - I assume the interviewer could give me some data here around costs/revenues to calculate profits. Is there anything that stands out that I have missed? Thanks for your help.

Lucie on Nov 22, 2022

Hi there, as you saw we can all go in different direction but it doesnt mean is incorrect. You are correctly taking into consideration positioning against competition which is very important. You can still add cost, customers willingness but the case unfold and interviewer can bring you to that. Good luck!

replied on Nov 21, 2022
Prepares you to crack ALL cases | Interviewer with recent cases, 150+ interviews, 6+ years exp (France, MENA)


You will find here a quite exhaustive list of pricing methods for your reference. 

In the specific case of a pharmaceutical drug, you should focus on comparing the potential profits with:

  1. The target return pricing that considers the minimum return that the pharma would go with. This method is better than other cost-oriented pricing because you can factor in the drug development cost.
  2. The going-rate pricing. Asthma is a chronic disease and its treatment is generally covered by health insurance. You need to keep your price more or less in line with other drugs or insurers might not cover it impacting your volumes.
  3. The perceived-value pricing. You will need to convince the Canadian drug authority of the benefit of this drug over other drugs available, that way you could justify a price premium. 
  4. You might need to consider cost-plus as well since in some countries (I don't know about Canada) insurers reimburse based on a cost-plus calculation, any premium will be paid out of pocket.

Feel free to DM me if you have more questions 

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Content Creator
replied on Nov 21, 2022
BCG Project Leader | Former Bain, AlixPartner, and PE | INSEAD MBA | GMAT 780

I've done a case quite similar while at Bain.
Feel free to reach out for a coaching session to discuss how to approach this case.

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Ian gave the best answer


Content Creator
#1 BCG coach | MBB | Tier 2 | Digital, Tech, Platinion | 100% personal success rate (8/8) | 95% candidate success rate
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