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Big Pharma Ad Budgets Taking a Hit

You may remember a blog I posted last week about the economics behind Big Pharma's manic drive to grow their marketshare for new medications. Big Pharma spent some $725 MILLION to advertise the top five drugs I listed in 2003. How times have changed since the FDA lowered in restrictions on drug markers marketing directly to consumers severn years ago...

Overall, according to today's New York Times, Big Pharma spends close to $4 BILLION on advertising, or more than Coca-Cola, Pepsi-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes COMBINED!

The pharmaceutical industry and Madison Avenue pitchmen are becoming increasingly concerned about their ability to continue to "sell" prescription drugs to patients who would use them, as well as to the doctors who would prescribe them. Why? Vioxx did a great deal of damage to the credibility of both marketing concerns and Big Pharma.

Another equalizer: The Internet, meaning sites like my own that encourage patients to become more responsible for their own health. Arguably, this may foster a more conservative approach to medications, unlike the current model that currently pays far more attention to newer models -- not unlike how car manufacturers flood the airwaves with new model advertising -- rather than "proven" drugs.

Proven or not, "quick fix" drugs can't provide the same kind of optimal health that eating the right foods for your nutritional type and eliminating grains and sugars from your daily diet can do. (Don't forget one important thing about drug company ad money: An estimated $15 BILLION more goes to marketing new drugs to physicians!)

New York Times December 6, 2004

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