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Contrary to what many scholars think, the marketing of the life sciences is an activity fraught with challenges unlike selling anything else. For example, in many countries, direct advertising of drugs to consumers is banned. With such an important conduit closed to them, pharmaceutical companies must come up with other ways to promote their products. At the same time, they must tread carefully so as not to seem money-grubbing. A few years ago, European drug makers were accused of using unscrupulous methods to get doctors to prescribe their products. A report criticized companies such as Pfizer for methods including sponsoring patient lobby groups and using hospitality packages for medical experts.
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