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