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Pharmaceutical industry in export marketing: a closer look at competitiveness

Mehdi Mohammadzadeh (Department of Pharmacoeconomy and Administrative Pharmacy, School of Pharmacy, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran and Pharmacoeconomy and Medical-Pharma Management Research Center, Tehran, Iran)
Nima Bakhtiari (School of Pharmacy, Shaheed Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Reza Safarey (Faculty of Management and Economics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Tayebeh Ghari (Department of Pharmaceutics, School of Pharmacy, Alborze University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran and Pharmacoeconomy and Medical-Pharma Management Research Center, Tehran, Iran)

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 19 June 2019

Issue publication date: 12 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Competition is tremendously increasing in all business areas, among which the pharmaceutical sector is one of the most profitable fields. Accordingly, an important research effort is to examine whether competitiveness in pharmaceutical markets follows the same rules. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate competitive strategies in this industry and present a proper framework.

Design/methodology/approach

To this end, a conceptual model of competitive strategies including cost leadership, quality and differentiation was designed based on previously proposed models in the literature. More precisely, the framework was established with the consideration of the pharmaceutical’s specific requirements. For testing the practicality the model, a questionnaire was designed and 80 generic pharmaceutical companies in Iran were selected as the statistical sample and effects of each strategy on export performance was evaluated. The questionnaires were distributed to senior managers and filled through in-person interviews. The collected data were analyzed using binomial, partial least square, confirmatory factor analysis and Friedman tests.

Findings

Among the strategies under investigation, cost leadership strategy had the strongest effects, while quality ranked second. The proposed framework can also be used for the evaluation of pharmaceutical companies’ export readiness. The results demonstrated that export readiness of the pharmaceutical companies was not desirable.

Originality/value

The ideas in this paper, which have untold value for pharmaceutical industries, are unique to competitive strategies in export marketing.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank all managers’ of sample companies who responded questions carefully in spite of all of job difficulties. In fact, these companies are the largest and the most important generic companies in the Iranian market which provide more than 60 per cent of internal market’s demands. With apologize to all respondents, the authors would like to especially thank to Dr Seyed Hamid Mostafavi, CEO of Sobhan Oncology Pharmaceutical Co, who has also helped to design the research model.

Citation

Mohammadzadeh, M., Bakhtiari, N., Safarey, R. and Ghari, T. (2019), "Pharmaceutical industry in export marketing: a closer look at competitiveness", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 331-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-02-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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