Thursday, December 17, 2009

Pharmaceutical Industry – The Promotion Strategy

Pharmaceutical industry is presently at its peak. Initially, considered as a risk sector, pharmaceutical is presently witnessing immense growth, with drug sales at a rapid increase all across the board. The prices of the various important drugs in a very short span of time have increased drastically and most of the increased revenue collections fall under the profit heading. A big chunk of the revenue so collected also gets diverted towards the marketing endeavors of the pharmaceutical firms. Though, there are various independent researchers indicating the amount spent on marketing by the pharmaceutical industry, yet it is believed that at least 1/5th of the collected income is spent on the marketing outlays.

Promotion Through Medical Representatives

Pharmaceutical firms as mentioned above direct ample revenue towards, the marketing and campaigning plans. The key promotion strategy, in addition to exercising influence through magazine and the so-called independent researches, entails reaching out to the medicine professionals, through the appointed Medical Representatives (MRs). Various firms undertake strenuous screening exercises to appoint educated medical representatives who can promote their product in the market. The target segment constitutes the medical professionals and students, who directly are in touch with the final consumers.

These medical practitioners exercise definite control over the consumer’s spending with respect to the prescribed drugs and, therefore, convincing them is all that is required. MRs as mentioned above are usually educated in the field of sciences and, therefore, share a common frequency with the medicine experts.

The Controversy

This promotion strategy—marketing the latest drugs through Medical Representatives—works quite well for the pharmaceutical firms. However, the promotion technique in the last few years has been under a thick controversy cover.

Professionals in the field of medicine sciences, usually owing to their hectic routine, are not able to devote quality time towards research in finding about the various new drugs and treatments available for different ailments. Companies therefore assert that the appointed MRs can help provide the requisite information. The critics, however, argue that the MRs are not really providing the complete set of information. They only supplement restricted knowledge about their specific company’s product, with emphasis on the positives.

The end result is that professionals get hold of mostly half knowledge, which in essence is not what is required for perfect and economical treatment of the patients. Additionally, the critics argue that the rich pharmaceutical giants exercise their influence at all levels to curb any resistance.

Well, whatever be the controversy, the evident growth of the pharmaceutical sector certainly proves the suitability of the selected marketing strategy.

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