E-marketing almost doubles at Pfizer

Yesterday, we looked at Eli Lilly's changing sales approach. Today, there's word on just how Pfizer plans to move forward with fewer sales reps. According to Medical Marketing & Media, the company already has expanded its spending on online promotions by more than 90 percent. Yep, its spending on electronic sales pitches has almost doubled, to $27 million through the first 11 months of 2009, compared with the $14 million spent during the same period of 2008.

That spending puts Pfizer's e-marketing efforts in second place behind Merck's $62 million. And as MM&M points out, the increase points up the fact that Pfizer--like Merck--intends to expand its online promotions to help fill any vacuum created by the hundreds of sales-rep layoffs.

There are certain advantages; electronic detailing and online events let doctors check out drug information when and where they choose, rather than having to meet with a live rep during office hours. Plus, e-marketing can be carefully controlled; an electronic sales pitch can't choose to go off-label.

Just where has Pfizer been deploying its electronic sales pitches? In support of the Alzheimer's drug Aricept, for one; e-marketing for that drug cost $3.6 million through November 30, up from $316,000 the year before. Then there's the pain drug Celebrex, which accounted for $3.2 million of that e-marketing, up from $803,000. Third, there's the antibiotic Zyvox, with a $2.6 million e-campaign, up from $642,000 in 2008.

- read the MM&M story

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