How Zantac became the best-selling drug in history

J Health Care Mark. Winter 1996;16(4):24-9.


Glaxo's Zantac began its dominance of the acid/peptic marketplace with a launch strategy, taking advantage of the established Roche sales force to rapidly promote the product. Educational symposia for physicians were instrumental in disseminating both disease and product information to primary care physicians and specialists. This technique not only pleased physicians (more referrals), but also increased public awareness of gastrointestinal disease, further expanding the patient market. Several novel marketing strategies contributed to Zantac's success, including the public-service announcements, celebrity media tours, and consumer-awareness bulletins, which brought the drug to the lay public and encouraged individuals to seek advice from their physicians.

MeSH terms

  • Advertising*
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / economics
  • Anti-Ulcer Agents / supply & distribution*
  • Commerce
  • Drug Industry / economics*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Economic Competition
  • Humans
  • Information Services
  • Marketing of Health Services
  • Planning Techniques
  • Ranitidine / adverse effects
  • Ranitidine / economics
  • Ranitidine / supply & distribution*
  • Stomach Ulcer / drug therapy*
  • United States


  • Anti-Ulcer Agents
  • Ranitidine