EFFECTIVE PROMOTIONAL STRATEGIES ADOPTED BY DEVELOPERS TO INCREASE THEIR VISIBILITY IN PATIENT POPU

Drug developers heavily rely on a number of broadcasting channels, which include direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertisements, product websites and conferences, to promote the use of their proprietary drugs. The importance of such promotions is evident from the fact that the US pharmaceutical industry spent over USD 4.5 billion in DTC advertisements in the first three quarters of 2019. [1]

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Interestingly, a major part of the amount spent by the US pharmaceutical industry on DTC was attributed to the expensive biologics, especially cancer immunotherapies.[2] The target of such promotional content / campaigns are the consumers (patients), caretakers / caregivers and healthcare professionals (physicians). It is important to highlight that DTC advertising of prescription drugs is permitted only in a few countries, such as the US, New Zealand, Bangladesh, South Korea and others. In other geographies, including Europe, such promotional campaigns are not allowed, owing to the belief that advertisements may put physicians in a situation where they are likely to be coerced into prescribing advertised drugs based on patients’ demands, even if they are not the better alternatives.[3], [4] Moreover, the increase in healthcare costs related to promotional activities is another concern, as healthcare expenses are completely reimbursed by the government in some countries.[5]

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