Some of the resources invested by the pharmaceutical industry in promoting new drugs could be spent more effectively. ‘Drugs manufacturers cannot do without promotional activities, but at the same time there’s a lot of ignorance about the compilation of the ideal mix of promotional activities in the pharmaceutical market’, says Sara Kremer. She will be awarded a PhD by the University of Groningen on 11 February.
Kremer researched how pharmaceutical manufacturers could do a better job of drawing the attention of doctors to their products. It’s a tricky subject, the PhD student acknowledges. ‘The pharmaceutical market is one where major profits are made and huge sums are involved in promoting health. A great number of promotional activities are used to increase profits in this market. The strongly commercial aspect of a market that revolves around health is a sensitive combination.’
Kremer also investigated the pharmaceutical industry in the United States, where promotional activities directed towards consumers are permitted.The PhD student demonstrated that in general, these are less effective than activities directed towards doctors. On the other hand, Kremer did find a positive effect when both instruments are used simultaneously. ‘I could imagine that it would be beneficial to permit promotional activities directed towards consumers in the Netherlands as well’, says Kremer. ‘Health is becoming more and more important to many people and patients are becoming more articulate. Patients with chronic diseases in particular are very involved in their treatment plans. By providing that group with more information about the range of drugs, they could gain more influence over what is prescribed.’
Sara Kremer (Vries, 1981) will be awarded her PhD on 11 February 2010 by the Faculty of Economics and Business of the University of Groningen. The title of her thesis is ‘Examining the effectiveness of promotional expenditures for pharmaceutical products’. Her supervisors were Prof. P.S.H. Leeflang and Dr J.E. Wieringa. Kremer conducted her research at the SOM research school of the University of Groningen. Kremer currently works for GfK Daphne Communication Management as a Senior Project Manager Research.
Sara Kremer, firstname.lastname@example.org
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