Marketing strategies for Over-The-Counter (OTC) medicines
Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicines are non prescription medicines that are sold to the consumers at grocery stores, convenience and pharmacies. A strong market for over the counter drugs exists in the less developed countries in which cases the OTC is the most practical method of distribution for medicines. In the developing countries such as Kenya, the market for OTC drugs accounts for a higher percentage of the total medicine sales compared to the developed nations like the United States where the market share for OTC is 8% while a country like Kenya accounts for over 60% of the total sale of pharmaceuticals which means that healthcare financing in Kenya is mainly out of pocket financed.
Cultures, lifestyles, state of the economy and medical care are the major differences that would be found in Kenya and in the United States and the differences contribute a lot to the amount of people that will seek to use OTC drugs in order to save money. For the reasons that most people in Kenya are not insured, the population is as result is more conscious of their health spending. The marketing strategies would be affected by cultures in that some cultures do not encourage the use of OTC drugs and this would necessitate that more effective marketing strategies are put in place so as to counter those hindrances. The lifestyle of the people also affects the market for OTC drugs because lifestyles influence the health conditions of the people and the regions that exercise better lifestyles fall ill less often and as such they have low demands for OTC drugs. The state of the economy and the medical care influences the marketing strategies of the OTC drugs in that those countries that have stable economies such as the United States are able to fund their healthcare systems and people are able to access medication in health institutions at lower costs compared to the medication over the counter.
The development of new media and more improved technologies has changed the marketing strategies for pharmaceuticals in the United States. Users and physicians have increased their reliance on the internet for medical and health information and this will help my company to reach the target market. In the United States, the major tool that I would use for marketing would be the internet as most of the people have an access to internet. In the year 2008, it was indicated that 84% of physicians in the U.S. utilized the Internet so as to access pharmaceuticals. In Kenya, the company will utilize both the internet and direct to user marketers for the reasons that the country is not fully covered by the internet. The direct to users marketing strategy will be used to reach those people who have no access to the internet and will be helpful because it is more effective as the users can have a human relationship with the marketers and questions can be answered immediately and appropriately.
Marketing Strategies for Over-The-Counter drugs in the United States
Free samples are distributed to pharmacies so that they can be availed to users to go and try before they can buy them. It has been argued that free samples give users the benefits of trying it before they buy. It has been estimated that there are 81,000 marketing representatives of pharmaceuticals in the United States that are pursuing the 830,000 prescribers of pharmaceuticals. Mass marketing of pharmaceuticals to users has been banned in more than 30 of the industrialized nations though this is not the case in New Zealand and in the United States. Drug coupons given to consumers have been used by the pharmaceutical companies so as to counteract the copayments that are charged by the health insurers for the prescription of medication. Other marketing strategies have included the Journal articles, peer influence and the most current one the internet which has seen a major growth.
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