Marketing Drugs

Posted on May 17, 2008  Comments (1)

Melody Petersen, author of Our Daily Meds: How the Pharmaceutical Companies Transformed Themselves into Slick Marketing Machines on Bill Moyer’s Journal:

I actually thought that they were a lot about science. That’s what they tell the public. They are all about science and discovering new drugs. But as I started to follow their daily activities and talk to executives, I learned that really it was marketing that drove them.

According to Petersen, the rewards have been large. America has become the top consumer of prescription drugs in the world, with nearly 65% of the population on physician-prescribed medication. In 2005, Americans spent $250 billion dollars on such drugs. This consumption made pharmaceuticals the most profitable business sector in America from 1995-2002.

We’ve come to a time when decisions on how to treat a disease have as great a chance of being hatched in a corporate marketing department as by a group of independent doctors working to improve the public’s health.

Unfortunately patients are driven more by marketing than medicine. Much worse though, doctors seem to bend to these patients marketing driven desires. Plus the corrupting influence of money on research and marketing to doctors seems likely a significant reason for the poor performance and high cost of USA health care.

Related: Lifestyle Drugs and RiskOverrelience on Prescription Drugs to Aid Children’s Sleep?Drug Price CrisisLack of Medical Study Integrity

One Response to “Marketing Drugs”

  1. Samuel Barns
    July 30th, 2008 @ 3:39 pm

    As one who does online marketing for the largest generic drug company in the USA, I can tell you that you are right on about the big money involved with marketing. Many of the big pharmaceutical companies are throwing huge amounts of money into marketing. Their advertising budgets are staggering, and as a marketer, we are paid to use that budget.

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