Marketing of Pharmaceuticals or fine chemicals and raw materials related to the production of medicines is known as pharmaceutical marketing. It is the sum total of all the business activities that are related to the flow of pharmaceutical goods and services from the pharmaceutical manufactures to the ultimate consumes, the patients. Pharmaceutical Marketing sometimes called medico-marketing, is the business of advertising or otherwise promoting the sale of pharmaceutical or drugs. There is some evidence that marketing practices can negatively affect both patients and the health care profession. Many countries have measures in place to limit advertising by pharmaceutical marketing.
OBJECTIVE AND IMPORTANCE OF MARKETING:-
- To study the problems associated with the marketing of drugs & pharmaceuticals & to suggest solutions
- To enable successful distributions of drugs, pharmaceuticals & medicinal products.
- To analyze the shortcomings in existing pattern of PM
- To provide guiding policies for the drugs & pharmaceuticals
THE IMP OF PHARMA. MARKETING ARE AS FOLLOWS:-
Drugs & medicines are required by all the human beings at any level of lifestyle. Hence drugs should be available at a cheaper rate and accessible to everyone. Simply producing quality medicines is not significant. Their distribution and making them available when required is also important. Hence the PM is a potential force that command high significance as a whole.
THE IMP OF PM IS REVEALED BY THE FOLLOWING POINTS:-
Drugs & pharmaceuticals are releted to national health polcy. An increase in the efficiency of the PM results in lower cost of distributions. Lower prices to patients means real increase in national income.
- PM enables to make available the life saving drugs & medicines which enhance the life span of people.
- India remains the among the top drug manufactures in the international market. Its providing job opportunities to many pharma professionals.
Pharmaceutical marketing companies take four main forms: gifting, detailing, drug samples, and sponsoring continuing medical education(CME). Pharmaceutical company spending on marketing far exceeds that spent on research. In Canada, $1.7 billion was spent in 2004 to market drugs to physicians; in the United States, $21 billion was spent in 2002. In 2005 money spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the US was estimated at $29.9 billion with one estimate as high as $57 billion.
Why Free samples/Promotional Gifts are used?
Free samples have been shown to affect physician prescribing deportment. Physicians with access to free samples are more likely to prescribe brand name medication over equivalent generic medications. Other studies found that free samples decreased the likelihood that physicians would follow standard of care practices.
It is argued that a benefit to free samples is the “try it before you buy it” approach. Free Samples give immediate access to the medication and the patient can begin treatment right away. Also, it saves time from going to a pharmacy to get it filled before treatment begins. Since not all medications work for everyone, and many do not work the same way for each person, free samples allows you to find which dose and brand of medication works best before having to spend money on a filled prescription at a pharmacy.
Physicians, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners are perhaps the most important players in pharmaceutical sales because they write the prescriptions that determine which drugs will be used by the patient. Influencing the physician is often seen as the key to prescription pharmaceutical sales.
Because of the large size of the pharmaceutical sales force, the organization, management, and measurement of effectiveness of the sales force are significant business challenges. Management tasks are usually broken down into the areas of physician targeting, sales force size and structure, sales force optimization, call planning, and sales forces effectiveness. A few pharmaceutical companies have realized that training sales representatives on high science alone is not enough, especially when most products are similar in quality. Thus, training sales representatives on relationship selling techniques in addition to medical science and product knowledge, can make a difference in sales force effectiveness. Specialist physicians are relying more and more on specialty sales reps for product information, because they are more knowledgeable than primary care reps.
Marketers must decide on the appropriate size of a sales force needed to sell a particular portfolio of drugs to the target market. Factors influencing this decision are the optimal reach (how many physicians to see) and frequency (how often to see them) for each individual physician, how many patients suffer from that disease state, how many sales representatives to devote to office and group practice and how many to devote to hospital accounts if needed. To aid this decision, customers are broken down into different classes according to their prescription behavior, patient population, and of course, their business potential.
Marketers attempt to identify the set of physicians most likely to prescribe a given drug. Historically, this was done by measuring the number of total prescriptions (TRx) and new prescriptions (NRx) per week that each physician writes. This information is collected by chemists. The physicians are then “marked” into ten groups based on their writing patterns. Higher deciles are more aggressively targeted. Some pharmaceutical companies use additional information such as:
- profitability of a prescription (script),
- Patient Load
- accessibility of the physician,
- inclination of the physician to use the pharmaceutical company’s drugs,
- the tendency of physician to adopt new drugs in place of older drugs.
- the disposition of the physician to use a wide palette of drugs
Data for drugs prescribed in a hospital are not usually available at the physician level. Physicians are perhaps the most important component in sales. They write the prescriptions that determine which drugs will be used by people. Influencing the physician is the key to pharmaceutical sales. Historically, this was done by a large pharmaceutical sales company. A medium-sized pharmaceutical company might have a sale team of 1000 representatives. Sales representatives called upon physicians regularly, providing advertising and free drug samples, visual aids,