Pharmaceutical marketing – it’s a bit odd, isn’t it? Almost impossible to categorize in the traditional marketing sense. Is it B2B? Yes, in some markets, but not in most. Is it B2C? Yes! But only in the U.S. and New Zealand. And maybe in Canada, but not really. Is it B2B2C? Stop it. My brain hurts.

Questions and grey areas abound in pharma marketing, and those entering into it for the first time can often feel a little overwhelmed. But how different can it really be? The answer is “immeasurably”, and at the same time, “not at all”.

Walking the regulation tightrope

The main difference in pharma marketing compared to other industries is the dos and the don’ts. Or more accurately, the ‘cans and the can’ts’. And there are many, many more can’t than cans. Take the UK for example. Pharma marketing/advertising is regulated by no fewer than three bodies: the MHRA (attached to government), the ABPI (the watchmen), and the PMCPA (the watchers of the watchmen).

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