Consumers trust doctors to act in the best interests of their patients. However, most consumers are largely unaware of the influence of the pharmaceutical industry’s marketing on the very health professionals they rely on. Between 1995 and 2005, the percentage of total spending on sales and marketing was by far the biggest corporate expense for the pharmaceutical industry. The excesses of drug marketing are well recognised by industry insiders. A survey conducted by Price water house Coopers showed 94% of industry stakeholders said that pharmaceutical companies spent too much money on advertising.
In this report, Consumers International seeks to highlight the marketing practices in emerging and developing economy markets4 by leaders in the pharmaceutical industry. Since direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is banned in most countries health professionals are the primary targets for the sales tactics of the drug companies. Consequently, the scope of our report focuses on doctor-directed promotion.