Direct-Consumer Communication Issues in Pharmaceutical Organizations

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Abstract
This research paper presents an overview of the direct-consumer communication issues by pharmaceutical organizations. In addition, this paper examines some of the sectors that are rampant to litigation within this pharmaceutical industry. It illustrates why effective communication is essential for pharmaceutical organizations, because it greatly affects various levels of productions, reputations, revenues, public awareness, services, products and trademarks. It also includes a comprehensive synopsis regarding the development issues related to applying communications as part of corporate ethics, marketing, publicizing and sales strategy. The example illustrated in this paper is in relation to one of the largest lucrative industry sectors, but applies to all industry sectors and organizations offering both products as well as services. Furthermore, this paper validates an overview of how Johnson and Johnson, one of the world’s philanthropic and ethical leader in the pharmaceutical industry, continues to develop complex organizational issues, such as communications regarding their pharmaceutical marketing practices.

Direct-to-consumer communication by pharmaceutical organizations Running head: COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE PHARMACUETICAL INDUSTRY Communication is defined as “the process by which information is transmitted and understood between two or more people”(McShane & Glinow, 2010, p. 270) Effective communication is currently a prominent topic of discussion that has become very emotional and has thus made it on most people’s agendas, especially within the pharmaceutical industry, where the health of consumers is crucial. “Pharmaceutical companies cannot legally promote a drug before it has been approved by a regulatory authority, nor can they legally promote a marketed drug for off-label use (i.e., for indications other than those approved). However, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA does not consider articles in the medical literature as promotional. As one industry article states, “Peer-reviewed publications offer pharmacy companies shelter from often-stormy regulatory waters. FDA views published articles as protected commercial speech so doesn’t regulate their content.” (Berman & Dodgson, 2008, ¶ 3) Communication between the consumers and the pharmaceutical organizations is an urgent development issue, because it is imperative for the general public, such as consumers to be sufficiently informed on medicinal products and services that are subject to medical prescriptions. One of the characteristics of a successful pharmaceutical organization is its capability to establish a genuine and trusted communication that overcomes the most common communication barriers. Communication barriers include existing bona fide reliable source that often publish biased information due to the apparent and inevitable interest that is vested by some of the antagonistic pharmaceutical organizations. Communication barriers often lead to conspiracy, disagreements, misunderstanding and critiques that could potentially jeopardize the organization’s corporate image. This could ultimately lead to failure and corporate liquidation. Effective communication is therefore required within the various industry sectors across the world. Today’s world is driven by consumption and consumers demand sufficient product and service information from all of the pharmaceutical organizations involved, such as the pharmacies, distributing organizations, the manufacturers, etc. As a result hereto, the process of direct-to-consumer communication continues to develop gradually as more pharmaceutical organizations and providers emerge in today’s consumer-driven business environment. This is a common development issue which advances and becomes more proficient as the more organizations and consumers get involved and exchange greater knowledge regarding the subject matter. This communication process is an essential vehicle through which the...
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