Concept

Pharmaceutical marketing

Résumé
Many countries have measures in place to limit advertising by pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical company spending on marketing generally exceeds that of its research budget. In Canada, 1.7billionwasspentin2004tomarketdrugstophysicians;intheUnitedStates,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 United States was estimated at 29.9billionwithoneestimateashighas29.9 billion with one estimate as high as 57 billion. When the U.S. numbers are broken down, 56% was free samples, 25% was pharmaceutical sales representative "detailing" (promoting drugs directly to) physicians, 12.5% was direct to user advertising, 4% on detailing to hospitals, and 2% on journal ads. There is some evidence that marketing practices can negatively affect both patients and the health care profession. Marketing to health-care providers takes three main forms: activity by pharmaceutical sales representatives, provision of drug samples, and sponsoring continuing medical education (CME). The use of gifts, including pens and coffee mugs embossed with pharmaceutical product names, has been prohibited by PHRMA ethics guidelines since 2008. Of the 237,000 medical sites representing 680,000 physicians surveyed in SK&A's 2010 Physician Access survey, half said they prefer or require an appointment to see a rep (up from 38.5% preferring or requiring an appointment in 2008), while 23% won't see reps at all, according to the survey data. Practices owned by hospitals or health systems are tougher to get into than private practices, since appointments have to go through headquarters, the survey found. 13.3% of offices with just one or two doctors won't see representatives, compared with a no-see rate of 42% at offices with 10 or more doctors. The most accessible physicians for promotional purposes are allergists/immunologists – only 4.2% won't see reps at all – followed by orthopedic specialists (5.1%) and diabetes specialists (7.6%). Diagnostic radiologists are the most rigid about allowing details – 92.
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