Some theoretical, empirical, and policy insights

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 27 June 2008


Mukherjee, A. (2008), "Some theoretical, empirical, and policy insights", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 2 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Some theoretical, empirical, and policy insights

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Volume 2, Issue 2

Welcome to Volume 2, No. 2 of the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing. In line with the Emerald tradition, we were invited to select the most outstanding paper and the highly commended papers published in IJPHM in 2007. I decided to adopt a structured process to arrive at this decision. First, a three-member sub-committee of the Editorial Board, chaired by Dr John McGinnis, evaluated each article published in IJPHM 2007 and arrived at a shortlist of five leading articles. They used the Emerald web page as a guide for the exercise. This shortlist of five articles was then communicated to all members of the Editorial Board with a request to rank-order the five articles on a 1-5 scale (1= best and 5= worst) and any additional article that deserved the nomination. They too used the Emerald web page as a guide for the exercise. Based on the enthusiastic response of the majority of the board members, the final ranking was derived from all individual ranks provided by the board members. The top article in the combined rank-order was nominated for the Most Outstanding Paper award and the next two articles were nominated for the Highly Commended Paper Awards.

Congratulations to the Outstanding Paper Award Winner:

Value-driven consumer e-health information search behavior. Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 128-142.

Lynn Goetzinger, Jungkun Park, Yun Jung Lee, Rick Widdows

Congratulations are also due to the two Highly Commended Award Winners:

Do mergers and acquisitions create shareholder wealth in the pharmaceutical industry? Vol.1 No. 1, pp. 58-78.

Mahmud Hassan, Dilip K. Patro, Howard Tuckman, Xiaoli Wang

Consumer responses to direct to consumer prescription drug advertising. Vol. 1 No. 4, pp. 276-289.

Hai D.B. Chen, Norman V. Carroll

This issue includes five value-adding articles covering a gamut of topics that address important issues in pharmaceutical and health care marketing and management. Collectively, they represent a nice ensemble of theoretical, empirical, and policy insights into pharmaceutical and health care marketing.

The pharmaceutical industry has been beset with several crises and is a fertile ground for research in crisis management practices. The first paper in this issue, titled “Crisis management in pharmaceuticals: Evidence from Greece” explores the practice and problems of pharmaceutical companies regarding crisis management. Authors Priporas and Vangelinos reveal that product recall is the major reason for business crisis in pharmaceutical companies. Large-scale companies have crisis management departments and programs, while small-sized pharmaceutical companies mainly depend on their executives or owners’ experience to handle business crises due to cost considerations. The main priorities in crisis management functions include continuous training, collecting and evaluating relative information, and developing two-way communication systems. Overall, the authors contend that their research provides much-needed understanding of the current state of crisis management in today’s turbulent pharmaceutical sector.

The global pharmaceutical industry is being reshaped by the emerging companies from India (and to a lesser extent from China) through drug development, off-patent generics, contract manufacturing, and outsourcing. The second paper by Rao, titled “The emergence of the pharmaceutical industry in the developing world and its implications for MNE strategies”, explores the strategic response of the pharmaceutical industry in developing countries to the new patent regime. These firms compete and collaborate globally with the MNEs - the large companies focus on discovery and development of new drugs, and medium and small companies focus on producing off-patent generics and manufacturing, respectively. MNEs, in response to this opportunity, need to rethink their traditional internalizing approach to R&D activity, redirect their focus toward collaboration through alliances, offshoring, and contract research, and invest in neglected diseases through public-private partnership. The threat toward collaboration between MNEs and developing country firms is continued price competition. The MNEs can limit this problem through differential pricing strategies. Overall, firms in rich and poor countries will continue to develop and market the needed drugs at affordable prices.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising remains a major topic of research interest in pharmaceutical marketing. This research has grown in multiple directions, but the findings have raised more questions than answers. Joseph, Spake, and Finney attempt to see through the fog by critically reviewing the literature, and by measuring relevant consumer attitudes and the role of income based on a sample survey. Their research, titled “Consumer attitudes toward pharmaceutical direct-to-consumer advertising: An empirical study and the role of income” posits that consumer attitudes toward DTC advertising appear to be positive but most consumers are reluctant to admit or are not aware that DTC advertising does influence their behavior or brand preferences. While fewer consumers consider their physicians as their sole source of pharmaceutical information, more and more consumers begin to rely on DTC advertising when making health care choices. These phenomena tend to cause changes in “physician-patient interaction” and raise public policy concerns. Furthermore, the authors find that DTC advertising has greater impact on lower income consumers than higher income ones in influencing medical decisions. While DTC advertising encourages low-income consumers to seek medical treatment, these groups can least afford to buy the expensive, branded drugs that it promotes.

The fourth paper in this issue by Coustasse, titled “Cost of medical detoxification among drug and alcohol users in a private Texas hospital” adopts a public health perspective, by estimating the cost of medical detoxification among drug, alcohol, and substance users. A large secondary sample data was drawn from a community hospital in Texas. The mean cost and cost by length of stay (LOS) was the highest for cocaine, followed by opioid and cannabis. In each individual drug detoxification class, except for amphetamines, the mean and median LOS was reported to be less and the cost of LOS higher among the uninsured category compared to privately insured subjects. The consequences of alcohol and drug abuse show significant costs to Texas in medical resources used for treatment and care, reduced productivity, law enforcement, destruction of property, and in motor vehicle accidents. Furthermore, the 2002-2003 Consolidated Plan for the city of Fort Worth, Texas, indicated that substance abuse was the most important reason for homelessness and emphasized it as a top priority need. Apparently, substance abuse is a serious public health problem and will result in remarkable costs to the health care system in the United States. As a result, the public health community must provide an effective strategy consisting of significant improvements in the coverage and quality of substance abuse treatment under Medicaid and the Substance Abuse Treatment Block Grant Program.

Diabetes remains a major health care challenge because of its chronic nature and its co-existing secondary diseases. Based on the large-scale secondary data available from the National Center for Health Statistics, Pontes, Pontes, Tashiro and Lewis, in “Effects of diabetes, patient age, and health insurance provider on the mean number of drugs ordered or provided per physician visit in the US”, attempt to estimate the number of drug mentions (drugs ordered or provided) for diabetes and non-diabetes visits in the USA. Results show substantial and significant effects of diabetes, patient age, and health insurance provider on the mean number of prescription and non-prescription drug mentions per physician visit. Besides, the results show that physicians use more prescription drugs to manage diabetes visits than non-diabetes visits and use fewer drugs to manage diabetes when patients have no insurance than when they have Medicare, Medicaid, or private health insurance.

Finally, we have a review on the book The Primary Care-Market Share Connection: How Hospitals Achieve Competitive Advantage by Marc D. Halley.

As is true with each issue of IJPHM, herein you will find many strong, value-adding connections between pharmaceuticals and health care, medical sciences and management, public health and marketing, and theory and practice. I am sure you will enjoy the articles.

Avinandan Mukherjee