THE ROLE OF PROMOTION ON THE EFFECTIVE MARKETING OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS IN NIGERIA
A RESEARCH SEMINAR PAPER
THE FACULTY OF MANAGEMENT SCIENCE
LADOKE AKINTOLA UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, OGBOMOSO
FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENT FOR THE AWARD OF MASTER IN BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (MBA).
Promotion is an adjunct or a function of imperfect competition. In one study of almost five hundred successful products, promotion was perceived by management as being the most important facet of marketing strategy leading to this success. Several factors point up the need for promotion today. In the first place, as the physical distance between producers and consumers increases, and as the number of potential customers grows, the problem of market communication becomes a significant one. Furthermore, improvements in physical distribution facilities are expanding these geographic limits of markets. The intensification of competition between different industries as well as between individual firms within given industries has placed tremendous pressures on the promotional programmes of individual firms. In the development of our economy of abundance, want satisfaction has replaced, to great extent, the mere necessity of fulfilling basic physiological requirements. As consumers engage in the satisfaction of wants rather than needs, they become more selective in their choices of alternative expenditures. Promotional effort looms important in the overall marketing of pharmaceutical products in Nigeria. Although everyone whether friend or foe of the pharmaceutical industry, recognizes the contribution of the industry to the health and welfare of the public, it was important to realize that all the developments in the pharmaceutical field and the availability of pharmaceutical care and to the general public had not merely occurred by chance. Although most of the praise was accorded to those in the pharmaceutical industry concerned with research and development, few appreciated the contributions made by the pharmaceutical marketing system, especially, the promotional system used, in making the public to be aware of the new products in the market, at the right time, at the right place, in the right quantity, at a reasonable price, with the right information. Although, drugs alone cannot be considered to be the sole reason for the progress in medicine achieved in Nigeria, a glance back to at least, as 40 years ago indicates that according to Siskind, D-A. (1978) “At that time, there were no antibiotics, tranquilizers, few vitamins, no oral contraceptive drugs, no effective oral diabetic drugs, and no vaccines against polio, measles or mumps” But many experts agreed that by the end of this century, pharmaceuticals may be of even greater important in our lives because of anticipated major break-through in the field of Immunology, molecular biology, cellular differentiation, cell membrane studies and Genetics. Pharmaceutical marketing, as a sub-specialty of marketing, can be defined as a process by which market for pharmaceutical care is actualized. It encompasses all the activities carried out by various individuals or organizations to actualize markets for pharmaceutical care. The emphasis in pharmaceutical marketing is on pharmaceutical care, and not just on drugs. As stated by Mickey Smith (1983), P.5 “Pharmaceutical marketing is not synonymous with, but is significantly broader than the marketing of pharmaceuticals. Any party interested in the exchange of pharmaceutical marketing activities; Hospital pharmacies, community pharmacies, 3rd party Insurance Companies, Consulting pharmacies and many other organizations and individuals in addition to manufactures and drug wholesalers are involved in pharmaceutical marketing”. In a broad sense pharmaceutical companies produce and market two types of products; prescription or...
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