Glaxosmithkline's Marketing Strategy for Requip: A Case Study in Product Lifecycle Management"

Glaxosmithkline's Marketing Strategy for Requip: A Case Study in Product Lifecycle Management"

Glaxosmithkline (GSK) is a renowned pharmaceutical company that has successfully managed the product lifecycle of its drug, Requip. In this blog post, we will explore the various marketing strategies employed by GSK for Requip, the challenges faced, and the ethical issues surrounding its marketing campaign.

Section 1: Restless Marketing?

GSK’s marketing strategy for Requip aimed to address a relatively unknown medical condition called Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS). By creating awareness and promoting Requip as a treatment option, GSK aimed to tap into an untapped market opportunity.

Section 2: Background Note

Before diving into GSK’s marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand the background of Requip and the medical condition it targeted. RLS is a neurological disorder characterized by an uncontrollable urge to move one’s legs, often accompanied by discomfort and pain. GSK recognized the potential of Requip as a viable treatment option for RLS.

Section 3: From 'Putting Life Back into Hands' to 'Restless Legs'

GSK’s marketing campaign for Requip underwent a significant shift from the initial slogan of “Putting Life Back into Hands” to the more focused “Restless Legs.” This change in messaging allowed for a more targeted approach towards individuals suffering from RLS and helped create brand recognition.

Section 4: Marketing Blitz follows FDA Approval

Once Requip gained approval from the FDA as a treatment for RLS, GSK launched an extensive marketing blitz. This included direct-to-consumer advertising (DTC advertising), leveraging key opinion leaders in the medical field, and collaborating with Torre Lazur McCann, a prominent marketing agency.

Section 5: Marketing Adartrel in Europe

In addition to marketing Requip in the United States, GSK also focused on marketing its similar drug, Adartrel, in Europe. This move allowed GSK to expand its market reach and cater to a wider audience suffering from RLS.

Section 6: Requip Sales Rides on Restless Legs

GSK’s marketing efforts paid off, as Requip sales soared due to its association with the concept of “restless legs.” The targeted messaging and effective communication of the drug’s benefits led to increased prescriptions and patient awareness.

Section 7: A Marketing Coup

Despite the success of GSK’s marketing strategy for Requip, it faced criticism for “disease mongering” and overemphasizing the severity of RLS. However, GSK defended its approach, highlighting the importance of raising awareness about a legitimate medical condition and providing appropriate treatment options.

Section 8: Criticism of GSK's RLS Marketing

Critics argued that GSK’s marketing tactics blurred the line between informing and influencing, potentially leading to unnecessary prescriptions and medicalization of normal human experiences. This raised concerns about the ethical implications of GSK’s marketing campaign

Section 9: GSK's Views on the Criticism

GSK responded to the criticism by emphasizing its commitment to ethical marketing practices. The company acknowledged the need for responsible promotion and continued to engage in dialogue with healthcare professionals and regulatory bodies to ensure transparency and accountability. 


In conclusion, Glaxosmithkline’s marketing strategy for Requip provides a compelling case study in product lifecycle management. By effectively addressing the challenges of marketing a drug for a relatively unknown medical condition, GSK created a new market, raised awareness, and generated significant sales. However, ethical concerns and criticism also emerged, highlighting the importance of balancing marketing objectives with responsible practices in the pharmaceutical industry. Also got to know about the Maruti Suzuki’s Advertising Strategies: Driving Success in the Indian Passenger Car Industry