Thursday, April 24, 2008

Pharma Companies and Marketing

Pharma companies and Marketing

Pharma companies and marketing are a tricky combination. I came across a discussion on this in two separate instances last week. One at a work-related event and the other in discussion in class with Prof.Naik. Some interesting observations:
-Pharma companies seem notoriously out of touch with consumer perceptions. You only need to look at their ads on TV to realize that ‘differentiation’ is a tough sea for them to navigate [some ED ads notwithstandingJ].
-Pharma companies need to analyze the chain of events from the time a doctor prescribes a medication to the actual purchase of the medication—what are the gaps? You might have noticed this at your own doc’s office. Samples that I receive or prescriptions are not always filled, and heck the Walgreens pharmacist oftentimes recommends an alternate brand [Consumer figures, pharmacist probably knows better. Docs are wooed by sales folk all the time anyway right?].
-As Prof. Naik says, Pharma brands are only recently new to the concept of advertising [and heck, do they have some serious legal issues to overcome before each ad they put out]. Companies deep in research and science and studies are only recently opening up to ‘marketing’ and ‘advertising’. So predictably takes a while. But if I were to suffer from restless legs syndrome, I doubt this ad would convince me to consider medical help [and hey, couldn’t they just send folks to a website for disclaimers?]

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