Pharmaceutical Marketing

Pharmaceutical marketing is big business and many pharmaceutical companies spend billions marketing their products to healthcare professionals every year. Moreover, the marketing spend in the pharmaceutical sector continues to grow at a rapid rate. At present, the pharmaceutical industry is dominated by the US, with about 45% of the global market share. However, with the increasingly outsourcing R&D of global pharmaceutical giants, the markets in emerging economies are expected to show double-digit growth. In the United States, pharmaceutical marketing and distribution are regulated by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the Prescription Drug Marketing Act, which require all prescription drug promotion to be truthful and not misleading. The purpose of pharmaceutical marketing is to provide physicians and users with information about the availability, safety, efficacy, hazards, and techniques of using medicines.

Pharmaceutical Marketing

The role of pharmaceutical marketing

The essence of pharmaceutical marketing is communicating the drug information to providers and consumers, such as how chemical compounds work in the body. As the last element of an information continuum, transmitting information to end users through marketing is a crucial element of pharmaceutical innovation. Pharmaceutical marketing helps physicians in match drug treatments to individual patient needs by providing an informed choice of carefully identified drugs. It is important to note that pharmaceutical marketing should adopt going forward to focus on the patient and the physician, not the drugs. The cost of marketing medicines is enormous, but it is typical of the high-tech industry that important and complex messages must be conveyed to sophisticated users.

The evolution of pharmaceutical marketing

Traditional pharmaceutical marketing strategies is have revolved around vigorous products that will make money, and the needs and expectations of patients, providers haven’t typically been the top goal. The current fast-changing market requires pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide more value for users. In recent years, with the emergence of new media and technologies, both doctors and users are increasingly relying on the Internet as a source of health and medical information. Internet healthcare is quickly changing the pharmaceutical marketing landscape in the United States. As an alternative way to reach users, online marketing includes product websites, online display advertising, search engine marketing, social media campaigns that are more focused on by pharmaceutical companies. The FDA has also stepped up its oversight of digital marketing.

The global pharmaceutical market size

In recent years, the global pharmaceutical market has experienced significant growth that the total global pharmaceutical market was valued at about 1.27 trillion U.S. dollars by the end of 2020. Currently, the top pharmaceutical product sold globally is antitumor drugs, followed by antidiabetics. In addition, the sales of drugs for autoimmune diseases have experienced some of the largest growth in spending in recent years.

Revenue of the worldwide pharmaceutical market from 2001 to 2020 Fig.1 Revenue of the worldwide pharmaceutical market from 2001 to 2020 (Matej, 2021)


  1. Matej Mikulic, Pharmaceutical market: worldwide revenue 2001-2020, May 4, 2021.
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