Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing

How much does the pharmaceutical industry spend to market its drugs?

Pharmaceutical Industry Marketing

Reports of pharmaceutical and medical device industry marketing expenditures vary.

The following are some recent estimates:

• $20.4 billion in 2007 (Verispan)
• $29.8 billion in 2005 (IMS)
• $57.5 billion in 2004 (Gagnon 2008 - CAM and IMS data combined)
• $54 billion in 2001 (Angell 2004 - Extrapolation from Novartis annual reports)

What do these totals include?

Estimates of pharmaceutical marketing normally include detailing, journal advertising, pharmaceutical samples and direct-to-consumer advertising. Detailing is the largest industry marketing segment after expenditures on pharmaceutical samples. It is the industry term for face-to-face sales and promotional activities directed toward office- and hospital-based physicians and directors of pharmacies. It includes pay for sales representatives and the meals and gifts they provide. IMS data includes expenditures to “field the rep” but not the cost of managers and training.

What can be done to protect patients, control health care costs, and bolster professionalism among physicians?

The Prescription Project promotes a range of solutions for consumers, physicians, state and federal policy makers, and public and private payers. For more, visit our website.

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