The U.S. has the dominant share in the global diabetes market, with 40-50% of the world’s total sales. Insulin is sold without prescription in the U.S.; on the other hand it is generally considered a prescription drug in Europe. As such, marketing to end-users and pharmaceutical distributors is an important marketing strategy in the U.S.
The major forces behind a patient’s choice of insulin brand also differ. For instance, around 18,000 specialists and physicians account for majority of insulin sales in the U.S. This contrasts with Europe, where the source of insulin prescriptions is a small group of approximately 300 doctors.
Government regulations and price restrictions also affect the insulin company's market strategy. For example, in U.K., the government is known to mandate low pharmaceutical prices; while in the U.S., West Germany, and Switzerland, the government has lower restrictions. U.S. and Japan are known to have the strictest regulations. Government policies mandating that the pharmaceutical firm should produce locally also figure in a firm's position in a particular market.
Prevailing attitudes within nations also account for the nation-by-nation competition within insulin producers. While it is the norm to inject oneself with insulin in Western countries, it is a common practice to get their shots from doctors or medical practitioners in Japan. This practice gives medical practitioners plenty...