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Role Of Social Media In Pharmaceutical Marketing

1514 words - 6 pages

Pharmaceutical marketing is the growing trend used by pharmaceutical companies to sell medications. Although pharmaceutical companies spent millions of money in research, they spend same amount of money advertising their product. Recent data provided by IMS and CAM shows that pharmaceutical companies spent more than twice amount of money on marketing than they spent on research and development.
These companies to increase their sales do various marketing strategies in the form of advertisements. Pharmaceutical companies use advertisements like product claim advertisements, reminder advertisements and help-seeking advertisements. However, these all are types of direct to consumer advertising which is broadcasted in TV, radio, telephone but the role of social technologies like web 2.0 tools in pharmaceutical marketing has increased recently.

Web 2.0 tools are used highly today and consist of applications like wikis, blogs, podcasts and social networking applications such as Facebook, twitter, my space and YouTube. Previously used web 1.0 tools are the conceptual evolution of World Wide Web (WWW). It uses applications like websites, e-mail and newsletters. Web 1.0 is more static and it was a major hit in healthcare sector when physicians access the static contents in trusted websites containing medical journals. The contents provided through web 1.0 tool cannot be edited and provider can review, delete and correct their contents anytime. Evolution of web 2.0 tools created an interactive approach from the static and provider centered approach. Its interactive approach is a two-way communication between provider and user. As a result, it is a powerful tool to reach prescribers and patients in field of pharmaceuticals.

“Only 4% is spent of more than 4 billion money spent on Internet marketing”, which means only few percent is covered by social technology. This statement further concludes the huge abundant role that can be taken by social technology in growth of pharmaceutical marketing. Facebook is estimated to have more than 500 million active users engaging about more than 700 billion minutes per month and interacting with more than 30 billion of content shared each month. Most of Pharmaceutical companies use Facebook as a platform to interact with its patient directly. Moreover, they provide information related to uses, interaction as well as side effects of drugs and thus promoting their drug sales.

In 2010, FDA warned Novartis for its Facebook advertising. Tasigna, a leukemia drug produced by Novartis was advertised in Facebook based on its efficacy. FDA banned its Facebook advertising since Novartis act indifferent to tasigna’s risk: sudden death. FDA further asked the pharmaceutical companies to provide consumer with benefits and risks. In 2011, Facebook released wall to general consumer to comment on products of these companies. Despite the fact that companies will have more interaction with consumers, many companies became frightened of...

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