Pharma marketers have a big job on their hands. You might think that with demand for medicine within health services being so high, marketing to physicians should be easy. However, this could not be further from the truth. Due to the fact that there is so much at stake when it comes to marketing drugs in the healthcare industry, it can be difficult to establish successful marketing strategies. Nevertheless, this does not make them any less essential. In this article, we explore how pharma marketing is evolving and take a look at recent developments in the pharmaceutical industry.
What is pharmaceutical marketing?
Pharmaceutical marketing refers to the promotion of prescription medications and medical products to doctors, healthcare providers, and the general public. According to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), pharmaceutical marketers spend about US$2 billion annually on marketing activities.
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Does the pharmaceutical industry spend more on marketing than R&D?
Pharmaceutical marketing costs are high, with companies spending an increasing amount of money on advertising and promotion instead of R&D. In the past, pharmaceutical companies used to focus more on R&D because it was the best way to ensure that new drugs were developed.
However, the cost of developing a single drug can range between $1 billion and $2 billion worldwide. Because of this high price tag, pharmaceutical companies have begun to shift their focus towards spending more money on marketing to make up for the high cost it takes to develop the medication.
The money put into research and development has gradually increased year by year but the increase in marketing expenditure has occurred at a much quicker rate, proving that the pharma industry now spends more money on marketing than R&D.
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What are the different types of pharmaceutical marketing?
There are three main types of pharmaceutical marketing. Most distributors will choose one or more of these strategies to sell their products. Below is a brief explanation of how each type of pharma marketing works.
In brand marketing, you promote your own pharmaceutical products under their brand names in the marketplace. You can also ask physicians to recommend those products to their patients. This is a direct selling strategy because you’re approaching health care professionals. This is a good approach if you’re looking to strengthen your brand in order to sell products.
Pharmaceutical products have a brand name and a generic name. Generic marketing involves promoting your products under the latter. Such an approach involves targeting pharmacies through messaging and pricing. These can, in turn, offer your drugs at lower prices than your competitors, which could end up achieving more sales for you.
In pharmaceutical franchise marketing, you tap into territory based pharmacists, who sell your products in their allotted area. With this approach, you don’t require marketing and sales staff. Rather, you can market your drugs with the help of pharmaceutical franchise partners. Pharma franchising denies you control over sales personnel, because they operate beneath individual pharmaceutical franchisees. Such an approach can help you save money on staffing.
Are there specific rules and regulations governing pharmaceutical marketing?
There are countless regulations, guidelines, processes, and laws surrounding drug promotions and messaging. These are constantly being updated and modified.
In the US, pharmaceutical marketing is regulated by the Office of Prescription Drug Promotion (OPDP), a branch of the US Food and Drug Administration (USFDA), while in Canada, the drug marketing regulatory body is known as the Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board (PAAB). Both organizations exist to ensure that pharmaceutical promotional material in their respective countries is accurate and conforms to local marketing standards, in terms of ethics and clarity.
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What are the recent developments in the pharma industry?
Use of artificial intelligence (AI)
In recent years, AI has started to play an important role in various aspects of our daily lives. From self-driving cars to chatbots, we’re seeing more and more use of artificial intelligence in almost every field. Pharmaceutical companies are no exception. They have taken to using AI to generate insights about drugs through data collected from patient experience. This has enabled many of them to create new treatments faster and cheaper.
Fraud detection is another area where AI can help save money and improve patient safety. For example, a primary care physician might prescribe a drug that the patient may or may not need. An AI system could flag such suspicious activity and alert the appropriate personnel.
Personalized medicine is an approach to healthcare where medications are customized to match each individual patient’s unique needs. The goal is to provide drugs that target only those areas that require attention, without causing side effects. Precision medicine also provides better results because healthcare professionals can adjust doses to fit patients’ conditions, rather than simply prescribe a single dose for everyone. This allows physicians to customize treatments so that they’re effective and safe for each patient.
Cloud technology integration
Cloud computing has been enthusiastically embraced by the pharmaceutical industry, a development that is likely to continue. It allows pharmaceutical companies to partner with various stakeholders with greater efficiency. Implementing a strong IT infrastructure using cloud technology also provides an opportunity to enhance data integrity. In addition, there is also increased compliance with GxP practices within the industry because of the applications used in the cloud.
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Reaching content marketing goals within the pharmaceutical industry can be difficult, because there are so many hoops you have to jump through, and regulations you have to abide by. This is where Leadsier comes in. We are here to help you with the future development of your company by executing successful marketing campaigns.
Thanks to our wide range of marketing services such as scientific SEO, content marketing, lead generation and pay-per-click strategies, we can help you develop a comprehensive pharmaceutical digital marketing strategy aimed at maximizing your return on investment.