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Pharma investment in marketing flat in 2013

And top 10 companies reduced yearly spend on sales force and marketing channels
healthcare spending

In a sign of pharma's changing business models, new data has demonstrated that the industry's investment in sales force and marketing channels was flat at just under €85bn for 2013.

The findings, published by market research firm Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD), even showed that the top 10 multinational companies – in terms of promotional expenditure – all reduced investment during the 12 months to December 2013.

This consolidation in marketing activity was down to a combination of factors, according to Christopher Wooden, VP for CSD global promotion audits.

"The impact of the so called patent cliff is still being felt as the industry seeks to maintain margins,” he said. “Meanwhile, regulatory scrutiny and clearer compliance guidelines are putting pressure on the use of traditional, personal promotional channels.

“In addition, broad coverage primary care sales forces are being transformed to promote highly specialized portfolios. Consequently, fewer reps are needed,” added Wooden.

It was the traditional markets that saw the most marked decline. In the US, expenditure fell by 4 per cent. It also dropped across Europe, falling by 13 per cent in the UK.

The UK fall was due to several factors, CSD told PMLiVE, including patent loss for major promoted brands, fewer new drug launches and it becoming increasingly difficult to access healthcare providers though traditional channels.

This reduced marketing was not universal, however. Expenditure was up in major emerging countries such as China (+9 per cent), Brazil (+11 per cent), Mexico (+9 per cent), South Korea (+4 per cent) and Russia (+16 per cent).

New ways of marketing also saw growth, with spend on digital channels such as emailing, e-detailing and e-meetings continued to grow, up by 14 per cent, year-on-year, to $1.9bn.

In the last six months of 2013, all digital channels tracked by CSD, including pharma company websites, social media, web banner advertising in professional online journals and mobile apps, came to nearly $2.5bn – approximately 6 per cent of audited marketing expenditure.

"In absolute terms, digital marketing investment is still a relatively small portion of the mix," admitted Wooden.

"However, we expect the use of these channels will only continue to advance as marketers seek to maintain reach through ease of access while delivering a high level of information quality to health care practitioners.”

12th June 2014

From: Sales, Marketing

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