Regulation urged for informal promos

Share this article:
A commentary in the May American Journal of Public Health calls for adding the “informal and non-advertising forms of drug promotion to a strengthened regulatory portfolio.”

The article's authors assert that despite the attention focused on DTC of prescription drugs, which has ballooned up to $4.2 billion as of 2005, non-advertising forms of promotion are also extensive, with consumers constantly being exposed to, “celebrity endorsements, ‘astro-turfing' (planned and industry-funded‘grassroots' disease awareness programs), friendly (or for-hire) science writers, and the like.”

And the situation has been similar for decades, say Jeremy Greene of the Harvard department of the history of science and David Herzberg of the University of Buffalo.

For example, in the 1920s some pharmas ran ad campaigns in popular magazines lauding the quality of pharmaceuticals without mentioning a product. In the 1950s, note the authors, Roche put ads in copies of Time that were mailed to doctors. In the 1950s and 1960s there was “an energetic exploration of non-advertising marketing through newsreels, article placements, event planning, and other domains of public relations,” they state.
Share this article:
You must be a registered member of MMM to post a comment.

Email Newsletters


Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.

More in Features

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Read the complete September 2014 Digital Edition

Click the above link to access the complete Digital Edition of the August 2014 issue of MM&M, with all text, charts and pictures.

Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men

Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men

Agencies must generate emotional resonance with the target audience, not unlike Apple, Pepsi or Nike

Are discounts cutting out co-pays?

GSK's decision to cut Advair's price spurred some PBMs to put it back on formulary. Will drugmaker discounts diminish the need for loyalty programs? How can these programs stay relevant beyond giving co-pay assistance?