How Big is the Pharmaceutical Industry?
The pharmaceutical industry has emerged rapidly and has experienced significant growth over the past years especially with the Covid-19 pandemic and it is one of the most in-demand and profitable industries in the world. The pharmaceutical industry consists of organizations that are responsible for researching, developing, producing and distributing medications with the aim of preventing and alleviating diseases in order to maintain health.
Marketing’s Role In Pharma
Pharma marketing refers to the promotional activities of medications and medical devices carried out by pharmaceutical organizations to HCPs (Healthcare Professions) and HCCs (Healthcare Consumers). Over the years, the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry has seen plenty of ebb-and-flows. With the advent of the pandemic, the pharmaceutical industry has accelerated its digital transformation with more and more consumers looking for reliable medical information, medical support, product reviews, and making purchase decisions online. Wonder if this is true? Let the numbers speak for itself.
Understanding The ‘Pharma’ Consumer
Search is an indication of intent. Analysing search queries identifies what our target audience or consumers are looking for in this space or what their behaviors are. A keyword analysis conducted between January-July 2021 and the year of 2020 highlights the below points.
The above keyword analysis indicates that consumer behavior is changing and consumers rely on Google and other online platforms to seek reliable information, from symptoms to treatment to finding the nearest hospital or consulting doctors online to buying medicines online. While this information provides insights into consumer behavior and helps predict future demands, it indicates that pharma marketers have the opportunity to approach their consumers in a consumer-focused method.
Hence, having an effective marketing strategy is vital to be noticeable among prospective customers, inculcate trust in the brand to influence considerations and once converted, engage with them to retain them and to promote advocacy.
Challenges For Pharma Marketers
Since healthcare and pharmaceutical companies are in one of the most highly regulated industries, there are many challenges to face when promoting and marketing medications to avoid regulatory Infringement, which varies from country to country.
For example, the Malaysian government has strict rules and regulations when it comes to promoting medications and medical devices to the consumer. In general, they prohibit direct marketing of certain pharmaceutical products, any direct or indirect claims about the prevention, treatment, alleviation, cure or diagnosis for diseases such Diabetes, Cancer, Asthma, and encouragement of contraception among human beings3. In Singapore, before advertising and promoting therapeutic products to its consumers, all organizations are responsible for ensuring compliance with legislation. It is prohibited to make any false or misleading claims or representations, target advertising material at children under 14 years old, offer refunds, in full or partial amounts, to users of the product when it comes to the promotion of any pharmaceutical products4.
Hence it is important for pharma marketers to be fully aware and have a thorough understanding of the promotional regulations for pharmaceutical products and other challenges to be more cautious ensuring full compliance when creating promotional plans.
Written by: Shahrana Fazal, Lead – Account Management (APAC), Enfection