Understanding the dynamics of the pharmaceutical market using a social marketing framework

David Holdford (Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Richmond, Virginia, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 1 December 2005



The objectives of this paper are to describe the “affordable drugs movement” and present a social marketing framework to place major developments within a meaningful theoretical context.


Specific examples are used to illustrate the framework and its utility in understanding the complexities of the pharmaceutical market. Methods to research the dynamics of the market are also presented.


Provides referenced descriptions and examples of forces causing change within the pharmaceutical market. Classifies forces into six conditions influencing successful social movements: structural conduciveness, structural strains, growth of generalized beliefs, precipitating events, mobilization for action, and utilization of social control by opponents. Suggests social research methodologies to study the conditions in greater depth.

Research limitations/implications

This is a descriptive framework that has not been validated for its use in the pharmaceutical market.

Practical implications

Offers a useful framework for academics, managers, students, and individuals to classify and study developments in the pharmaceutical industry.


This paper provides an overview of major forces within the pharmaceutical market and offers direction for those who wish to explore it in greater detail.



Holdford, D. (2005), "Understanding the dynamics of the pharmaceutical market using a social marketing framework", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 22 No. 7, pp. 388-396. https://doi.org/10.1108/07363760510631129

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Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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