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

Another unique industry characteristic is the widespread asymmetry of information: Patients don’t have their medication; the physician decides on their behalf. Pharmaceutical companies should not underestimate this separation between the decision-maker and the consumer to avoid misdirection in their marketing and communication strategies.

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