Politics and tech cap 2018 in pharma marketing, and they'll trend in 2019, too

Trends in pharma marketing for 2019 include more politics, more tech and of course, more drug DTC advertising. (DMI)

Digital therapeutics, advocacy group tumult, even more cancer ads and innovation challenges and of course, politics. Those were some of the biggest themes for pharma marketing in 2018, but they're also the trends that will continue into next year.

In a year in which politics featured prominently in many U.S. business issues, pharma was no exception. From drug price diatribes and proposed Medicare and Medicaid changes on the legislative side to increased lobbying spending and voluntary price caps on the pharma side, 2018 seemed to be an unending stream of back-and-forth contentions in the American political arena.

It’s also far from over. Next year will see even more drug cost debates, and for pharma marketing, that means a hard press on the inclusion, or not, of drug prices in ads, along with a push for more transparency in pharma payments to advocacy groups and others.

Outside of politics, technology will continue its march in pharma with digital therapeutics like smart pills and connected medical devices entering the real-world evidence phase. Pharma companies will continue to look for digitally savvy partners to help propel their strategies, while tech giants like Google and Amazon pursue their own advancing health initiatives.

In this issue, FiercePharmaMarketing looks back—and forward—to the focal points and features of 2018 that will keep trending in 2019. Enjoy, and we'll be back here on Wednesday, Jan. 2 after breaking for the holidays!