Drug sales and marketing update: September 2008

Last month we took a look at Big Pharma's top 13 advertising budgets of 2007, but it appears that 2008 budgets aren't looking quite as robust. According to Jim Edwards at BrandWeek, the money pharma is spending on ads is in decline this year for the first time ever. In addition, the tough economy is negatively impacting drug sales as consumers cut back on non-essential meds. In an interview, Walgreen CEO Jeffrey Rein said this is the tightest market for prescription drugs in his 27-year career.

Merck and Schering-Plough both announced more sales rep layoffs last month in what is becoming a familiar refrain in 2008. On a brighter note, Pfizer said it would be beefing up its sales force in emerging markets. As other big drug developers look to expand their presence in this area, it may present a new opportunity for reps who've seen jobs disappearing in the U.S. and Europe.


  • Report: Top 13 Advertising Budgets
  • Pharma cuts 2008 ad budgets
  • Tough times put screws on drug market
  • Mail-order patients go generic
  • Drug samples divert docs from generics

Advertising and marketing

  • Viagra video game pumps sales
  • Lipitor ad returns, sans celebrity
  • Pfizer puts Chantix back on TV
  • Pfizer drug safety website draws praise

Pharma rep news

  • Merck outsources sales force
  • Schering to axe 1,000 reps
  • Pfizer: $800M in cuts to hit 4Q

DTC Advertising

  • Will consumers help police DTC ads?
  • Are drug ads a waste of money?
  • House, Senate hook up on DTC ads

Drug sales and marketing update: September 2008

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