By Ryan Willoughby, Director of Content & Education at Australian Doctor Group
Gone are the days of lavish pharmaceutical product launches in 5-star hotels, cash prizes for remembering key product features and, one of the most prolific pharma marketing tools, branded pens.
Tried and tested, these were the go-to marketing strategies for the pharma industry. They worked.
However, Medicines Australia (MA) put a stop to those tactics in their drive to promote ethical marketing of prescription pharmaceuticals and the quality use of medicines.
No one would argue against regulating the marketing of prescription medications.
Unlike industries, which are in the business of selling luxury goods, fashion or snack foods, we are dealing with complex, life-changing therapies – and on a larger scale population health – so regulation around how we market and educate the community about our treatments (and especially prescribers) is reasonable.
Many pharma marketers argue that changes to the code have stymied our ability to have any real impact and stripped us of an opportunity to be creative.
But in reality, there are new – and far more creative and effective – ways to engage with healthcare professionals beyond post-it notes and lobster lunches.
It can be summed up in two words: digital marketing.