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Reaching and influencing consumers in the prescription medicine market

Peters, Julia, Nel, Deon and Adam, Stewart 2009, Reaching and influencing consumers in the prescription medicine market, Marketing intelligence and planning, vol. 27, no. 7, pp. 909-925.

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Title Reaching and influencing consumers in the prescription medicine market
Author(s) Peters, Julia
Nel, Deon
Adam, Stewart
Journal name Marketing intelligence and planning
Volume number 27
Issue number 7
Start page 909
End page 925
Total pages 17
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Place of publication Bingley, England
Publication date 2009
ISSN 0263-4503
1758-8049
Keyword(s) drugs
marketing communications
marketing strategy
medical prescriptions
pharmaceuticals industry
Summary Purpose – Celebrex became the first of a new class of drugs known as COX-2 selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It improves treatment for arthritis sufferers without compromising the protective lining of the stomach. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate how direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) of prescription medicines can be used to rebuild faith in the cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) product category.

Design/methodology/approach – The case is developed using published sources and no input is required from company representatives. The presentation style follows the classic comprehensive case format used in postgraduate teaching programmes.

Findings –
Business executives and strategic marketing students would benefit from a discussion on how external environmental factors can suddenly impose a review of marketing strategy. The reader learns how management addresses the business dilemma using DTCA.

Research limitations/implications –
A blockbuster rival drug Vioxx is withdrawn due to cardiovascular (CV) health safety concerns. A resulting dominant market situation soon becomes a business dilemma. The Federal Drug Administration calls for a “black box” warning label on Celebrex, the most serious type of warning.

Practical implications –
The implications are that having a product in a class of its own is not enough. It highlights the need to communicate to different audiences, to both the medical profession and the end-user. Getting doctors to recommend the medicine and pulling the product through the channel by stimulating patient demand after a health scare are paramount.

Originality/value –
This is the first pharmaceutical business case where the withdrawal of a rival product leaves the dominant competitor in a monopoly situation. Contrary to expectation, market share plummets despite the absence of competition.
Notes Reproduced with the specific permission of the copyright owner.
Language eng
Field of Research 150501 Consumer-Oriented Product or Service Development
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30021125

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.