Half a decade of IJPHM and continuing new ideas in the business of healthcare

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing

ISSN: 1750-6123

Article publication date: 21 November 2011



Mukherjee, A. (2011), "Half a decade of IJPHM and continuing new ideas in the business of healthcare", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 5 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijphm.2011.32405daa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Half a decade of IJPHM and continuing new ideas in the business of healthcare

Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Heathcare Marketing, Volume 5, Issue 4

The International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing (IJPHM) completes half a decade of publication at a time when the healthcare sector provides significant impetus to the growth of mature economies in terms of advances and new discoveries in biotechnology, genetic engineering, stem cell research, bioinformatics, evidence based medicine, managed care, health insurance exchanges, measurement of healthcare service quality, etc. As IJPHM evolves into a mature journal in healthcare scholarship, these topics and more will receive significant attention.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association of America in its 2010 edition of Healthcare Trends in America (Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, 2011) identified four key trends essential to improving the healthcare system:

  1. 1.

    improving access to health coverage;

  2. 2.

    keeping healthcare affordable;

  3. 3.

    improving quality and safety; and

  4. 4.

    improving consumer health.

The US Department of Health and Human Services, in its “National Health Care Survey”, identified critical issues such as trends in health care utilization by selected condition, drug, procedure, outcome, and site of care; determinants of health care utilization; and access and quality of healthcare delivery (US Department of Health and Human Services, 2010).

In its White Paper on health reform entitled “Equity and excellence: liberating the NHS”, the British National Health Service identified crucial changes to its mission and philosophy, with focus on putting patients and the public first; improving healthcare outcomes; autonomy, accountability and demographic legitimacy; cutting bureaucracy and improving efficiency (British Medical Association, 2011).

We hope these topics will continue to be addressed in IJPHM as we move through the next half of its first decade of publication. Research published in this journal will provide a useful blueprint to assist stakeholders and the federal government as they implement healthcare reform.

Articles published in IJPHM in 2011 were almost evenly split between pharmaceutical-focus (52.38 percent) and healthcare-focus (47.62 percent). The 21 articles published in 2011 can be classified into research paper (57.14 percent), book review (14.29 percent), conceptual paper (14.29 percent), case study (4.76 percent), research note (4.76 percent), and practitioner perspective (4.76 percent). There has also been a good mix of articles authored by one author (14.29 percent), two authors (38.10 percent), three authors (28.57 percent), four authors (4.76 percent), five authors (9.52 percent), and seven authors (4.76 percent).

The international nature of the published articles has grown in 2011 compared to the previous years. As many as ten countries are represented in the country affiliation-of-author mix: USA (50.00 percent); India (15.52 percent); Brazil (6.90 percent); Australia, Iran, and United Arab Emirates (5.17 percent each); Canada, Italy, and Turkey (3.45 percent each); and United Kingdom (1.72 percent). Further, 40.91 percent of the editorial board members now come from outside the USA.

Healthcare researchers publishing in IJPHM come from several disciplines. It gives me great pleasure to report that the journal is increasingly becoming interdisciplinary with regard to its readership as well as authorship. Just 36.84 percent of the authors in 2011 came from marketing departments. The other disciplines represented by the authors in 2011 were: business administration (18.42 percent); informatics/information technology (10.53 percent); health services management, administration and policy (7.9 percent); international business (5.26 percent); and biomedical technology; value, ethics, and law in medicine; communication science; consumer sciences and retailing; corporate organization; public health; social and administrative pharmacy; and statistics (2.63 percent each). Also, there was a good mix of scholarly as well as practice-oriented articles. To compare these numbers with those of the past four years, please read my editorials in the final issues of Volumes 1-4 (Mukherjee, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010).

The articles published in IJPHM over this one-year period used different research methodologies. The quantitative methods (65.00 percent) used by the authors in 2011 were:

  • regression (bivariate, linear, logistic, multiple, OLS, stepwise) (50.00 percent);

  • factor analysis, structural equation models (11.11 percent each); and

  • experimental design, flow chart, logic model, PLS path analysis, and survey (5.56 percent each).

On the other hand, the qualitative methods (35.00 percent) used by the authors in this year were:

  • literature review (33.33 percent);

  • internet web sites (22.22 percent); and

  • case study, Delphi method, focus group, and secondary sources (11.11 percent each).

This journal issue presents five research articles, which offer interesting insights and important contributions to our understanding of pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing. The first article by Kabir C. Sen is “An empirical investigation of the variations in direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising”. In this study, the author aims to explore the underpinnings of the variations in brand level direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising through a two-part study. First, the study examines the various influences on advertising intensity (operationalized by advertising to sales ratios) in the context of DTC advertising; second, it analyses how changes in share of voice impact changes in market share. The author uses data on brand level advertising as well as sales collected from different government and industry sources. The data is used to compute the ratio of DTC advertising to sales as well as changes in share of voice, market share and average drug prices. A log-log model is used to find parameter estimates based on OLS regression. The results reveal that market share has a negative influence on the ratio of advertising to sales. Drugs that have a greater degree of innovation (as judged by the FDA) appear to spend more on DTC advertising relative to sales. The paper also finds that an increase in share of voice is not associated with increased average drug prices, but is related to a growth of market share because of a change in the share of total prescriptions dispensed. The paper is one of the few to examine the factors influencing advertising to sales ratios in the context of DTC advertising. It is also one of the first to investigate the relationship of changes in the share of voice with changes in market share.

The next two articles deal with physicians’ drug prescribing behaviour in the context of two large economies, Brazil and India. Wagner Junior Ladeir, Marlon Dalmoro, Alisson Eduardo Maehler and Clécio Falcão Araujo, in their article “Drug prescription practices in Brazil: a structural equation model”, attempt to analyse the functional relationships between factors related to the prescription of medical drugs in Brazil. Ladeir et al. conduct a survey among 232 medical doctors in Brazil to test five hypotheses on the factors impacting drug prescription. The results of the structural equation model analyses reveal that the process of medical drug prescription in Brazil is positively correlated with all the five factors, albeit by varying degrees. Characteristics of the drug and information available on a drug have the weakest effect, while the cost-benefit ratio of a drug has a moderate effect. The drug’s brand and its related advertising have the strongest effect. These results highlight the importance of advertising and branding in pharmaceutical marketing strategies targeting Brazilian physicians. The study provides a deeper understanding of the influences on physician prescription behaviour.

The third article in this issue is a research paper by Kareem Abdul Waheed and Mohammad Jaleel, titled “Prescription loyalty behaviour of physicians – an empirical study in India”. This study empirically identifies the major factors that influence physician loyalty behaviour in prescribing certain brands of drugs in the Indian market. The authors develop testable hypotheses and use a survey questionnaire to capture data from 71 physicians, as a convenience sample. The hypotheses were tested by PLS path modelling. The major finding of the study is that tangible rewards to physicians by the pharmaceutical companies lead to prescription loyalty. The second major finding is that the professional values of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (PSR) impact significantly on physician prescription loyalty. The hypotheses related to the impact of PSR personality, drug quality, corporate reputation and professional influence on prescription loyalty were not supported in this research study. The results should prove useful to the pharmaceutical companies in developing physician loyalty to particular brands, and to drug control authorities and governmental health policy makers in controlling unethical marketing practices to physicians.

The fourth article by Adam B. Barak and Jyoti S. Nandi is “Orphan drugs: pricing, reimbursement and patient access”. This article provides a description of the principal aspects of policy and practice associated with orphan drugs and treatments of rare diseases, by adopting a practitioner perspective on new and emerging approaches for addressing patient access. The authors synthesize the information from a wide variety of sources including their experience and familiarity with this topic, having over the past ten years developed market access strategies for many orphan drugs. This is supplemented by pertinent information from conferences, meetings and articles published over the last 20 years and from policy documents released by relevant regulatory bodies. While a small number of people suffer from any one rare disease, approximately 30 million people in the EU and 25 million people in the US are affected by such diseases. Annual orphan drug treatment costs may approach $500,000. High costs coupled with relatively sparse supportive clinical data and difficulty in meeting standard cost-effectiveness benchmarks raise significant issues for payers in allocating finite budgetary resources. Since the US (1983) and European (2000) orphan drug regulations were approved, hundreds of agents have been granted orphan status although much fewer have achieved marketing authorization. Agencies have introduced a slew of incentives to help sponsors develop and market orphan medicinal products. The nature and focus of the programs are undergoing a metamorphosis as access to funding is becoming as important as supporting development. The article represents a contemporary examination of orphan drug policy and practice, bringing together historic elements which influenced practice up to 2010, and the latest emerging trends and approaches which stakeholders are now embracing and which will shape procedures from 2011.

The last article of this issue is “Towards logic models for the analysis and evaluation of the criticalities in chronic patients’ care paths” by Isabella Bonacci and Oscar Tamburis. The authors’ aim of the case study is to examine how the introduction of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can have positive implications in the healthcare context, where healthcare organizations are characterized by limited organizational independence and lack of individual statutory autonomy, with limited level of integration between the involved parties (healthcare operators, managers, and patients) and an uneven management of data and of information-sharing. The authors combine quantitative and qualitative methods for information-gathering and data-analysis in the context of diabetes care. A case study approach was adopted with the aim of enhancing General Practitioners’ (GPs’) performance levels through an evaluation monitoring and by controlling Care Paths dynamics. The realization of the Target Care Path for chronic–degenerative pathologies in the Local Health Trust “Naples 4” in Campania Region (Italy) led to the identification of a suitable framework that modifies, through the implementation of ICT tools, the communications dynamics and the interaction/integration for those actors involved in a patient’s care path. Healthcare markets are currently experiencing an acceleration of technological developments; the study tries to show how the appropriate adoption of new technologies can lead to improvements in the quality of care, managing at the same time the consequent rising costs in the sector.

We conclude with a review by Gurumurthy Kalyanaram and Sunanda Muralidharan of the book Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein.

As we end the 2011 volume, I would like to acknowledge the editorial assistance of Kyungwon Lee to this journal over the past two years. It is also time to welcome our new Editorial Assistant Naz Onel, a doctoral researcher at Montclair State University.

Each year many reviewers contribute their expertise to peer review, a process that contributes critically to the quality of the journal. The editors and the authors of the papers submitted to the journal are grateful for the help of all our reviewers. Here we acknowledge, with special thanks, selected IJPHM reviewers who reviewed papers for the journal during 2007-2011:

  • Fadi M. Alkhateeb, University of Charleston School of Pharmacy, USA.

  • Syed Saad Andaleeb, Pennsylvania State University, Erie, USA.

  • Nicholas Ashill, American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

  • Muhammad Usman Awan, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan.

  • Subir Bandyopadhyay, Indiana University Northwest, USA.

  • Rian Beise-Zee, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand.

  • JP Benya, Columbia University, USA.

  • Norman V. Carroll, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.

  • Janet Carruthers, Victoria University, New Zealand.

  • Franklin Carter, Penn State University, USA.

  • Ella Cartier, Howard University, USA.

  • Erin Cavusgil, University of Michigan, USA.

  • Ashish Chandra, University of Houston – Clear Lake, USA.

  • Patrali Chatterjee, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Junsong Chen, China Europe International Business School, China.

  • Andrew Ching, University of Toronto, Canada.

  • Christopher Clark, Macquarie University, Australia.

  • Gerry Cleaves, Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA.

  • Alberto Coustasse, Marshall University, USA.

  • Denise E. DeLorme, University of Central Florida, USA.

  • Roger Durand, University of Houston - Clear Lake, USA.

  • Ike Ekeledo, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Christine Ennew, Nottingham University, UK.

  • Burcu Toker Ersöz, Girne American University, North Cyprus.

  • Neil Foshay, St Francis Xavier University, Canada.

  • Marianna Fotaki, Manchester Business School, UK.

  • Scott Friend, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA.

  • Daniel Friesner, North Dakota State University, USA.

  • Liz Gill, the University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia.

  • Margaret J. Greene, Ramapo College of New Jersey, USA.

  • Stephen J. Gould, Baruch College, CUNY, USA.

  • Deborah Gritzmacher, Clayton State University, USA.

  • Muhiuddin Haider, University of Maryland, USA.

  • Mahmud Hassan, Rutgers University, USA.

  • Angela Hausman, Xavier University, USA.

  • Anurag Hingorani, UTS, Sydney, Australia.

  • Gillian Hogg, Strathclyde Business School, UK.

  • David Holdford, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA.

  • Sharan Jagpal, Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey, USA.

  • Abhinandan Jain, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.

  • Anand Jaiswal, Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, India.

  • Thani Jambulingam, St. Joseph’s University, USA.

  • C. Jayachandran, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Per Jenster, China Europe International Business School, China.

  • Jill Jesson, Aston Business School, UK.

  • Joby John, Bentley College, USA.

  • G.K. Kalyanaram, GK Associates, New York, USA.

  • Gregory Katz-Benichou, ESSEC, France.

  • Mark J. Kay, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Dennis Kopf, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, USA.

  • Archana Kumar, Montclair State University.

  • Yun Jung Lee, Aldelphi University, USA.

  • Yam Limbu, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Sooyeon Nikki Lee- Wingate, Fairfield University, USA.

  • Mary K Madsen, University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, USA.

  • Neeru Malhotra, Aston Business School, UK.

  • John McGinnis, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Yahia Zare Mehrjerdi, Yazd University, Iran.

  • Ram Misra, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Santanu Mitra, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Hiroshi Nakamura, Keio Business School, Japan.

  • Vivek Natarajan, Lamar University, USA.

  • Prithwiraj Nath, University of East Anglia, UK.

  • Anthony Ndiege, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Jack Newhouse, Saint Joseph’s University, USA.

  • Prathap Oburai, IIM Ahmedabad, India.

  • Ahmet “Ozzie” Ozturk, Marshall Univ. School of Medicine, USA.

  • Mary Beth Pinto, Pennsylvania State University, USA.

  • Manuel Pontes, Rowan University, USA.

  • Luis San Vicente Portes, Montclair State University, USA.

  • C.V. Priporas, University Macedonia, Greece.

  • Samuel Rabino, Northeastern University, USA.

  • P.S. Raju, University of Louisville, USA.

  • P.M. Rao, Long Island University, USA.

  • Michel Rod, Carleton University, Canada.

  • R. Rohini, Institute of Clinical Research, India.

  • Nilgun Sarp, Ankara University, Turkey.

  • Paul Scipione, State University of New York, Geneseo, USA.

  • Dennis J. Scotti, Fairleigh Dickinson University, USA.

  • George P. Sillup, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, USA.

  • Julie Z. Sneath, University of South Alabama, USA.

  • G. Shainesh, IIM Bangalore, India.

  • Daniel Simonet, American University of Sharjah, UAE.

  • Ramendra Singh, Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta, India.

  • Hermann Sintim, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Eugene Sivadas, University of Washington, Tacoma, USA.

  • Mickey Skiba, Monmouth University, USA.

  • Ronald Goldsmith, Florida State University, USA.

  • Bill Roach, Washburn University, USA.

  • Deborah Spake, University of South Alabama, USA.

  • Leigh Sparks, University of Stirling, UK.

  • Han Srinivasan, University of Connecticut, USA.

  • George Stone, North Carolina A&T State University, USA.

  • Michael Stros Aston University, UK.

  • Bill Stroube, University of Evansville, USA.

  • Dilaver Tengilimoglu, Gazi University, Turkey.

  • Norman Tessell, Norman Tessell and Associates, LLC, Pennsylvania, USA.

  • Omer Topaloglu, Texas Tech University, USA.

  • Bill Trombetta, Saint Joseph’s University, USA.

  • Demetrios Vakratsa, McGill University, Canada.

  • Alex Wang, University of Connecticut-Stamford, USA.

  • Yawei Wang, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Hong Wei He, University of East Anglia, UK.

  • Daniel West, University of Scranton, USA.

  • Sue Weston, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Jennifer A Whitty, Griffith University, Australia.

  • Venkata Yanamandram, University of Wollongong, Australia.

  • Yanli Zhang, Montclair State University, USA.

  • Judy Zolkiewski, Manchester Business School, UK.

  • Nashat Zuraikat, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Avinandan MukherjeeEditor


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