For ease of understanding, it can be divided in two sections:
* Traditional pharmaceutical marketing and promotion: techniques and tools
* Pharmaceutical marketing in 21st century: latest techniques and tools in global village.
184.108.40.206. Traditional ways of pharmaceutical marketing
220.127.116.11.1. Advertisement: Advertisement of drugs is done mainly by 2 ways.
18.104.22.168.1.1. Directed to consumers Advertisement (DTCA)
§ Advertisement in mass media (legally allowed only in two countries USA and New Zealand )
22.214.171.124.1.2. Directed to prescribers Advertisement
§ Through advertisement in professional publications, books, journals, conferences electronic media and cyber space.
§ Continuous Medical Education (CME). These days this tool of pharmaceutical promotion is very popular by which pharmaceutical companies use educational events for their marketing purpose by investing on physicians or opinion leaders paid as speakers, education events, lectures excursions i.e. national excursions for participation in conference/seminars and symposia, foreign excursions for participation in conference/seminars and symposia. Industry gets double benefit from CME programs. At one end they oblige their customers (prescribers) and as return get increased prescription. On the other end they promote their image as a responsible organization of the society to use corporate social responsibility (CSR) concept.
companies also try to make direct payments to the doctors by various indirect ways i.e. for clinical trails (entering patients in clinical trials against payment), national and international conferences and symposia sponsorships, free medical camps, and opinion leaders (to deliver lectures) for health care professionals (10).
126.96.36.199.3. Personal selling:
Personal selling is most important way of drug promotion. It adopts detailing in combination with many other tools. Detailing is most commonly used technique world wide and by definition detailing is “the personal sampling and other promotional work among doctors, dentists, and other professional persons done for pharmaceutical concerns; in order to secure goodwill and possible distribution or prescription of the product”. Sales representatives are the focal resource for applying most of the techniques of pharmaceutical marketing means relationship between prescribers and medical representatives is supported by various gifts and materials (24). The adopted tools of promotion for this technique are drug information brochures, literatures, drug samples, giveaways, personalized gifts, sweepstakes in conferences and workshops and many other tools (10, 24).
188.8.131.52. Latest and immerging pharmaceutical marketing techniques in 21st century.
Pharmaceutical marketing have also adopted modern techniques according to developments in technology. Few of them are adopted independently and some are being used in combination or to support traditional techniques.
184.108.40.206.1. Internet based drug promotion:
Using corporate blogs, social network webs and many other online methods
Pharmaceutical industry is focusing on the advantages of the internet and the development of new media application to promote their products. Electronic detailing, interactive websites, email prompts and viral marketing campaigns using social networking sites such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace are among the tools being used (25).
220.127.116.11.2. Electronic detailing
With the technological development, many existing methods and practices has been either replaced or modified in combination with technologically developed methods.
Electronic detailing (e-detailing) is one of the methods of drug promotion introduced few years back as technologically develop tool. In pharmaceutical industry it has been introduced as a new communication channel for the promotion of drugs among the physicians. For e-detailing digital technologies like internet, video conferencing, and interactive voice response are adopted to interact with physicians (26).
18.104.22.168.3. Direct to consumer advertisement of prescription drugs.
The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most advertising-intensive industries. Promotional expenditures often amount to 20-30 percent of sales, sometimes well exceeding expenditures on research and development (R&D) (27).
Direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs (DTCA) is legal in 2 industrialized countries, the United States and New Zealand. No new legislation was introduced to allow this form of advertising; both countries' laws were silent with respect to the target audience for prescription drug advertising. However, since the early 1990s when the US pharmaceutical industry spent less than $100 million per year advertising prescription drugs to the public, DTCA has grown enormously, with spending reaching $3.2 billion in 2003 and the proportion of advertising revenues devoted to DTCA growing from 9% in 1996 to 13% in 2003 (28).
Under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the Food and Drug Administration is responsible to ensure that the prescription drugs labeling and advertising is truthful and not misleading. Section 502 (n) of the act (21 U.S.C. 352 (n)) prohibits the advertising of drugs that is false or misleading or that fails to provide required information about product's risks. Although in beginning, advertising of prescription drugs was primarily addressed to health professionals, but over the period of time, consumers have became a primary target audience. After the change target audience of advertisement, direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) has become the favorite channel of the pharmaceutical companies for marketing their products. Spending on DTCA for prescription drugs reached $3.27 billion in 2003, almost 5 times the $695 million level seen in 1996, and over 25 times the $130 million level seen in 1993. Part of this growth resulted from the Food and Drug Administration's August 1997 Draft Guidance for Broadcast Advertising of Prescription Medicines, which effectively opened the door for pharmaceutical companies to advertise prescription drug products on television and radio (29).