Disease Awareness advertising is a strategy opted by a lot of pharmaceutical companies for expanding their market. There is a ton of research studying the drug manufacturers and consumers regarding the impacts of Disease Awareness Advertising.
Considering Pharma companies, physicians and consumers to be the three main stakeholders of pharma industry, the pharma marketing researches should be more focused on the pharmaceutical professionals and physicians who are vital in Marketing of Products because of their wide access and connectivity with the consumers and pharma companies.
Keeping that in mind, the current study will present and analyze the views of consumers and Healthcare professionals about the importance of DAA In Pharma Marketing.
Importance of raising awareness, educating and developing an understanding with the Healthcare professionals is very essential in marketing pharmaceutical products. Disease Awareness Advertising offers a more responsible, transparent and informed approach for the pharmaceutical companies to market their products rather than resorting to the Direct-To-consumer Marketing Strategy that’s very hard to deal with, especially with the firm restrictions and regulatory measures on it across different countries. Moreover, having Healthcare professionals and consumers on board, the industry has the opportunity to involve with the market on a deeper level and clear the misconceptions about the pharma industry and help present its positive image.
DAA marketing strategy is being increasingly used by a lot of pharma companies. Overall the DAA effectiveness is not widely researched in the pharma marketing industry as earliest studies are seen to be done in US by Hammond, 1987. However, from the researches one can realize that it focuses more on the consumers and the manufacturers overlooking healthcare professionals. It is observed that the healthcare professionals are the most important part of this whole marketing process as they have first-hand experience with the patients illnesses and are also involved with the pharma companies for an occupational relationship for the provision of suitable medications. Thus, healthcare professionals are more important when a pharmaceutical company aims to increase the market of their product.
This study was conducted on the emerging economies like India but the results could be generalized across the multicultural countries that are diverse in their population like European countries that have 1.25 billion population that has a vast diversity in their socioeconomical status and eractices.
The study could also be helpful guiding pharma companies to adopt and effectively use DAA in their marketing strategy by closely incorporating the views of health professionals and consumers.
Sample – Disease awareness
The study was conducted on 201 Pharma Professionals and consumers who agreed to participate. Since the people were chosen over their accessibility, the convenience sampling strategy was used. Consumers group had 20% females and 80% males while the pharmaceutical group had 94% male professionals. Nearly 64% of the consumers belonged to the age group 20 to 40 years of age while the Pharmaceutical group had 96% in the age bracket of 20 to 39 years of age.
Results – Disease awareness
A unique trend of the views was observed as the comparative analysis done found some differences as well as some similarities in views regarding DAA in both groups of pharmaceuticals professionals and consumers.
Upon similarities, a general agreement was seen across the both groups over the importance of the Disease Awareness Advertising. More than 70% people from both groups agreed that DAA should be sponsored by the Pharma companies in their marketing strategy as it generally increased health education among all the stakeholders of the Industry. Further, it was also observed that more than 60% from Pharmaceutical professionals and consumers both reported that DAA encourages the patients to be more involved in the medical process by looking for further information about their disease. This also fosters a positive relationship between the Healthcare professionals and the patients.
Healthcare professionals had the view that it enhances the knowledge about a disease while the consumers also believed that the advertised disease increased the knowledge of the patient about their illness to help them make informed decisions.
On the practicality of the DAA, the Consumer and Physicians both regarded DAA to enable consumer to recognize their illness efficiently. Among Both groups 41% of them reported the Disease Awareness advertisement strategy causes the unnecessary fear of that disease among the Patients.
The consumers are more likely to have an idea that Disease Awareness programme would not be effective if sponsored by the Pharma industry alone. They had views that It should be sponsored or cosponsored by the non-profit organisations to increase its effectiveness, which is highly agreed in Pharma professionals too. Both groups also believed that he credibility of the strategy will increase if a reputable celebrity endorses the project and hence could also serve a major take away for devising the effective Marketing strategy for professionals.
Upon their attitude towards DAA Strategy, it was observed that the consumers and Health care professionals both were more likely to find DAA believable, trustworthy and rational. However consumers found DAA to be more informative and logical than Pharma professionals. The results also indicated that the dependability of the Strategy was less common among the consumers as compared to the Healthcare professionals. The differences across the emotional connectivity of Disease awareness strategy was also seen as both groups believed that DAA connected less on an emotional level, which again serves as the guiding tool for the Pharma marketing strategists to foster more connection through DAA
The study provides a deep insight in the comparison and analysis of the views of two major groups of pharmaceutical industry about the Disease awareness strategy. However, the results should be generalized after taking into consideration that the population of the study was Indian consumers and Pharma professionals and was chosen with nonprobability sample selection method.
This also provides a guideline for further studies to incorporate more scientific methods by working on a larger sample size and in order to make it more general it should sample from different cultures increasing the generalizability of the results.
Disease awareness advertising (DAA) in emerging economy: A comparison between views of consumers and pharmaceutical professionals by Saikat Banerjee and Sampada Kumar Dash