Category Archives: Marketing

Promotional mix for Pharma medcom


One role of pharmaceutical research companies is to provide information about their medicines to health care professionals. This interaction between pharmaceutical representatives and health care professionals is often referred to as “marketing and promotion.”A number of tools and media are available for marketing communications in pharmaceuticals. Many avenues like detailing and samples have been overused and scant attention paid to other equally, if not more effective avenues.

Detail aids and materials – Traditionally, detailing via sales representatives has been the most often used avenue for medical communication. Nowadays, with increasing difficulty in arranging a face-to-face meetings with doctors, many companies are looking at using e-detailing in place of live detailing through sales rep. This is because a shift to e-detailing erases all logistics problems associated with physical presence of a sales rep at the doctor’s clinic, fully armed with a large number of visual aids.

Samples – This is a very important and often frowned upon tool. Samples are effective ways of demonstrating a drugs’ effectiveness and its importance cannot be underestimated.

Speaker programs – Though such speaker programs can be arranged through a live speaker program or technologically enabled via web casts, studies have shown more effectiveness for live speaker programs.

Journal advertising and Medical publications – An ethical dilemma to many. I shall comment more on this in one of my later posts.

Medical education and Patient education programs

DTC advertisingWith about 18 to 20 % of Indian drug market consisting of OTC (Over-the-counter) drugs, its a mystery what is being done in this arena. A few new advertisements on television do bring about a whiff of change, though.
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Posted by on April 26, 2010 in Marketing, media


Youtube for pharma marketing.- Best practices

YouTube, LLC
Recently read this post from Rohit Bhargava  titled “10 Rules Of Using YouTube For Pharma & Healthcare Marketing“. Though I don’t back all his logic, i found many of his views very important and worth repeating in another post. I have taken the liberty to add a few extra notes, while editing  many of his.
Youtube is a great channel for marketing and many Pharmaceutical companies are already actively involved.Check the playlist below for a few examples. 


1) DO create a video as short as possible.
Short is sweet , simple and sexy. Ideally keep it between 2 and 4 minutes.
2) DO use descriptive language in the title.
The title is what will get you in the search listings , and ignite your viewers interest.Be sure to write the most interesting and compelling description you can
3) DO choose your thumbnail wisely.
This is the first Visual the viewers would focus on.Get the most visually interesting image you can to use as the thumbnail..
4) DO allow embedding and ratings on your video.   
That will let your video go viral , and prove its popularity.
5) DON’T allow comments on YouTube videos. 
Youtube comments are generally lowbrow.If you want to create dialogue, bring the video onto your own site and invite comments there instead.
6) DO integrate your video(s) with other online efforts
Make your video channel a part of your complete online marketing strategy.
7) DON’T expect people to just find your video through search.
Have an active promotional strategy.
8) DON’T forget to follow all the Regulatory guidelines.
Take care to comply with all the required legal and regulatory language. FDA is getting tougher on such “abuse” of online marketing efforts.
Original post here- 

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Posted by on October 29, 2009 in Marketing, video, YouTube


P&G as models for Public Health and Social Marketers

What Public Health and Social Marketers Can Learn From P&G: “
P&G brands
While many people in social marketing and public health often look to companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike as models for successful consumer marketing to aspire to, P&G stands out among the best and most innovative. What is most attractive to me about P&G is that they have 10 different business areas, ranging from baby care to home care, with 43 brands of over a half billion USD each. If you are in the public health business – not just the obesity, physical activity, breast cancer, HIV prevention or tobacco control business – then the way P&G creates and manages a portfolio of brands, not a unitary one, is where you should go to school.
Here are a few nuggets quoted from their annual report – the core strengths to win:
1. No company in the world has invested more in consumer and market research than P&G. We interact with more than five million consumers each year in nearly 60 countries around the world. We conduct over 15,000 research studies every year. We invest more than $350 million a year in consumer understanding. This results in insights that tell us where the innovation opportunities are and how to serve and communicate with consumers.
2. P&G is the innovation leader in our industry. Virtually all the organic sales growth we’ve delivered in the past nine years has come from new brands and new or improved product innovation. We continually strengthen our innovation capability and pipeline by investing two times more, on average, than our major competitors. In addition, we multiply our internal innovation capability with a global network of innovation partners outside
P&G. More than half of all product innovation coming from P&G today includes at least one major component from an external partner.
3. P&G is the brand-building leader of our industry. We’ve built the strongest portfolio of brands in the industry with 23 billion-dollar brands and 20 half-billion-dollar brands. These 43 brands account for 85% of
sales and more than 90% of profit. Twelve of the billion-dollar brands are the #1 global market share leaders of their categories. The majority of the balance are #2.
4. We’ve established industry-leading go-to-market capabilities. P&G is consistently ranked by leading retailers in industry surveys as a preferred supplier and as the industry leader in a wide range of capabilities including clearest company strategy, brands most important to retailers, strong business fundamentals and innovative marketing programs.
5. Over the decades, we have also established significant scale advantages as a total company and in individual categories, countries and retail channels. P&G’s scale advantage is driven as much by knowledge sharing, common systems and processes, and best practices as it is by size and scope.
6. P&G has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best companies for leaders. We work hard at leadership development because, as a build-from-within company, our future success is entirely dependent on the ongoing strength of our talent pipeline.
Put another way:
Public health agencies should invest significant proportions of their resources in 
(1) talking with and understanding their audiences (rather than a few focus groups here and there), 
(2) innovating in public health programs (rather than recreating wheels or sitting still waiting for
evidence bases to develop), 
(3) creating and sustaining strong public health program brands (not their corporate image), 
(4) being the go-to partner for public health retailers or intermediaries (not someone to avoid because of bureaucracy and painful ‘processes’), 
(5) having in place common systems for getting things done across disease and behavioral risk areas 
(6) developing leaders ratherthan rewarding the status quo.
To sum it all up, as the new CEO Bob McDonald phrases it:

I believe it comes down to one simple and remarkably constant
factor: the clarity and constancy of P&G’s Purpose. Since the Company was
founded, we’ve been in the business of providing daily essentials that improve
the quality of people’s lives. We help people care for their babies, pets and
homes. We make everyday chores easier to do. We help people look and feel
better. We’ve stayed true to the inspiring Purpose of touching and improving
people’s lives in meaningful ways.

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Posted by on September 16, 2009 in Business, Marketing, Public health


Marketing prescription drugs in India- Guidelines


The guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing are typically debated all over the world, more so in India. Many issues are not clear and the drug industry interprets the rules the best it can . Cases of unethical promotion of drugs to the health care industry come up with regularity in the western world. Fortunately, no major case has been reported in the Indian media at present. But thats because many such unethical promotional activities havent come to light. There is an urgent need to inform all the concerned parties of the regulatory Dos and Donts of pharmaceutical marketing in India.

Promotion of drugs in India is governed by three major documents. THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT, 1940 is defined as An Act to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It has last been amended in 1995 and new amendments are overdue. The Rules 96 and 97 of THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES, 1945 describe the essential information to be provided regarding labeling of drugs. The product monograph should comprise the full prescribing information necessary to enable a physician to use the drug properly. It should include description, actions, indications, dosage precaution, drug interactions, warnings and adverse reactions.

The OPPI code of conduct ( effective since 1st January 2007) sets out the guidelines to be followed for promotion of prescription drugs to the health care industry. It is based on the IFPMA code and incorporates local region ( India) specific guidelines. it sets out certain principles basic to the ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in the country. Though it is widely followed, it is not legally binding and the final responsibility for implementation lies with the pharmaceutical marketing organizations themselves.

Below is a short presentation document outlining the Major points in marketing pharmacutical products to the health care industry.–

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Posted by on June 27, 2009 in Business, Guidelines, India, Marketing


Glogging in Medical communication

Mobility and the Future of Marketing and Adver...
I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a slightly tidier glog for myself which could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.


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Posted by on April 22, 2009 in Business, Marketing


Medical Animation- How is it Used ?


A short gif animationImage via Wikipedia
Medicine is a very visual science requiring a lot of imagination of processes taking place at cellular and sub cellular levels. Almost none of the disease processes currently understood can be seen. Even something as simple as a Flu infection(influenza virus) has to be imagined to be understood, forget opaque diseases like Danubian endemic familial nephropathy. Animation helps in simplifying the process for a large number of visual learners.

A few other uses of Medical animations ( besides medical education) include-
  • Medical field related Web sites,
  • Sales Training,
  • Patient Education,
  • Slide Kits and Presentations,
  • Multimedia Posters/Abstracts,
  • Health promotion,
  • Advertising and traditional marketing,
  • Trade shows and Symposium,
  • Multimedia journals,
  • Online social marketing, etc.
I use Medical animations frequently and am always on the lookout for interesting and original Medical animation sites. There are many animation sites out there but very few achieve the required levels of professionalism and accuracy. I have prepared this slide-kit to showcase a few of such sites. This list is by no way exhaustive but only a limited view of this field. To keep the list short and interesting, i had to fore go a few websites. Kindly pardon me if i missed yours.

You could add other such interesting sites as comments at the end of this post.

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