Unlike other industries, drug companies cannot decide alone to place their products on the market. A national agency makes the final decision, and must also approve the selling price. This price does not only reflect the perceived value for the end user, but also the general usefulness of the produce on a wider scale.

Another unique characteristic of this industry is the widespread asymmetry of information: Patients don’t their own medication; it’s the physician who decides on their behalf. This separation between the decision-maker and the consumer should not be underestimated by pharmaceutical companies to avoid any misdirection in their marketing and communication strategies.

Just a few years ago, the patient was content to blindly follow orders. But with the rapid development of the Internet, it only takes a few clicks to gather information. Patients are increasingly performing their own research to learn about symptoms and possible treatments. The marketing campaigns of pharma companies must take into account this change in behavior to remain in line with customers’ expressed needs.

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