As human being we have the fundamental right to have access to health services. While viewing the health related issues we hardly can be oblivious about any medicine or drug. Now a days around the world mass people collect medicines with or without the prescription of the physicians. There are some medicines that may be sold without a prescription, in contrast to prescription drugs—these drugs are termed as Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs are non-prescription drugs sold in convenience stores, grocery stores and health shops. They range from pain relievers, cough and cold remedies to sleeping aids, weight reducing aids, and vitamin supplements. The OTC drugs are characterized as less risk taking, less dynamic, non-maintenance therapeutic pharmaceutical drugs. The efficacy and potency of these drugs have been well established. OTC drugs play an increasingly vital role in health care system. Some medicines considered safe in general terms may be available in general stores, drug stores, supermarkets etc. The rules for collecting those OTC drugs vary considerably from country to country. For example, in the United States, the manufacture and sale of OTC substances is regulated by the FDA. Generally FDA controls the operational and marketing activity of the manufacturers so that the customers ultimately get the safe and secured medicines. As a general rule, over-the-counter drugs have to be primarily used to treat a condition that does not require the direct supervision of a doctor and must be proven to be reasonably safe and well-tolerated. OTC drugs are usually also required to have little or no abuse potential, although in some areas drugs such as codeine are available OTC (usually in strictly limited formulations or requiring paperwork or identification to be submitted during purchase). Over time, drugs that prove themselves safe and appropriate for self-medication may be switched from prescription to OTC. An example of this is Diphenhydramine (Benadryl®) which once required a prescription but now is available OTC nearly everywhere in the USA. Diphenhydramine is a deliriant; nevertheless, most recreational drug users find its effects uncomfortable rather than exciting. In our country, according to the physicians and pharmacists only a few drugs like paracetamol, ranitidine, metronidazole, omeprazole ORS saline, diaclofenac sodium, and aspirin are supposed to be sold as the OTC drugs. But the unscrupulous drug sellers sell almost 90% of the stocked drugs without prescription. Even the sedatives are also being traded like fast food in Bangladesh. According to the 1982 Drug Ordinance, The pharmaceutical industry is monitored and guided by the government under the ministry of health. Under the ministry of health the director of Drugs Administration supervises various key tasks ranging from the manufacture to the marketing of the drugs. The present study is an attempt to explore the issues related to OTC drugs with strong focus on the identification of the factors that affect the choice and selection of OTC Pharmaceutical products.
What positioning strategy and promotion tactics for consumers ? Pharmaceutical markets are different than more typical consumer markets, and as a result the marketing of pharmaceutical brands cannot follow the established rules of consumer brands. However, by examining what has actually occurred in pharmaceutical markets and valuating the relevant forces and relationships, pharmaceutical product managers can become more effective, efficient marketers. In the future, as this marketplace becomes tougher, evidence-based marketing will become a requirement for success.
Pharmaceutical branding describes the process whereby companies attempt to transform an active chemical compound into a recognisable package of associated brand values. These values, such as effectiveness, safety, trust and other more emotional associations, have become increasingly important levers through which pharmaceutical marketers can look to achieve greater market share and loyalty. In evermore competitive market space. Pharmaceutical branding efforts impact on a range of related strategies, including brand name development, Rx-to-OTC switching, DTC marketing, PR and Corporate communications.
Rather than present a generalised summary of current perspectives in pharmaceutical branding strategies, this report brings together the different views found from across the industry, presented directly from the experiences of leading experts in the field. The report contains the views of ten experts drawn from across different sectors of the branding arena, including industry product and marketing managers, advertising agency executives and management consultants. In an attempt to shed light on the fu ture direction of this dynamic topic,Pharmaceutical Branding Strategies provides a unique window into the perspectives and experiences of those l eaders at the forefront of shaping that future.
There are a number of reasons why pharmaceutical brands have become more important. First of all you have got to create more value from your molecule above and beyond the obvious benefit. Secondly you want to create an entity that is differentiable from your competitors. In addition to that, you have the potential to create a sustainable entity through which to leverage the value of your brand. ‰
Pharmaceutical companies need to clearly define the value that their brands have in the marketplace above-and-beyond that of the competition. Only by clearly defining and managing that value can they begin to build and leverage brand equity moving forward. What kind of trade promotion is recommended (directed at pharmacies)?
OTC manufacturers use two basic promotional approaches: the so-called “push” and “pull” strategies. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to appropriately adjust a strategy to a specific product.
The “push” strategy makes use of the company’s sales force and trade promotions to create consumer demand for a product. In this strategy, the producer promotes the product to wholesalers, the wholesalers promote it to retailers, and, finally, retailers promote the drug to patients. In practice, companies may promote their products to pre-wholesalers, wholesalers or pharmacies together or focus on one of them. A few years ago, the role of pharmacist in OTC drug promotion was noticed. This has been a good idea as a pharmacist can influence patients’ choices of OTC drugs, which are frequently purchased impulsively. However, as a result, the number of medical representative visits per pharmacy has recently increased enormously In effect, cooperation with pharmacists might deteriorate, especially when there are too many uncoordinated visits from reps who work for the same company. Another type of “push” strategy is promotion of OTC drugs directed at doctors, who also recommend OTC drugs to patients. This strategy is widely used for example by Berlin-Chemie Menarini. The main costs of the “push” strategy involve discounts or preferable trade conditions for wholesalers and retailers. This should be thoroughly analysed by managers as the discount is not always profitable, Mr Baralkiewicz said. The “push” strategy is appropriate in cases where there is low brand awareness, such as in the cases of hydrogen peroxide, patches, vitamin C etc.
Usually, the pharmacist then proposes an equivalent, most frequently the main competitor of the drug. When a company launches public promotion of a drug, it should remember to educate pharmacists first. They should know the drug before patients ask about it. According to Mr Baralkiewicz, the 20 drugs with the highest advertising expenditure are available in approx. 90% pharmacies and other sales points in Poland. There are of course exceptions. Some intensively advertised brands are available only in larger cities, in shopping centres, or in pharmacies situated near exclusive boutiques. However, this may apply only to exclusive, expensive brands such as Solgar’s products or Inneov, a dietary supplement manufactured by Vichy. Moreover, products for a particular population group might be distributed in this way, e.g. paediatric drugs in pharmacies situated in the vicinity of children’s health clinics, etc., or dental preparations near relevant dental clinics. Vichy’s sales strategy is an example of very selective distribution. Its products are present in only 1,500 pharmacies in Poland. Usually, the company organises training for pharmacists in order to support sales by recommendation. Generally, Vichy uses direct distribution (without wholesalers), and only key products are distributed by wholesalers to other pharmacies.