Marketing pharmaceuticals

Hugh Wilson and Javier Marcos
Cranfield School of Management

This month, Professor Hugh Wilson and Dr Javier Marcos of Cranfield School of Management describe how pharmaceutical companies can rethink their customer relationships and renew their promotion efforts.

The biopharmaceutical industry spends almost twice as much on promotion as on research and development - more than $ 12 billion a year in the US alone. How can these vast budgets be spent for maximum effect? You would hope for some pretty good evidence on this question, given the money at stake, not to mention the well-being of all of us. Yet the industry is pretty poor at evaluating promotional effectiveness. There is, however, a modicum of decent, peer-reviewed evidence on the efficacy of different promotional instruments in this sector, which we summarise here.