advertising analysis

Topics: Generic drug, Pharmaceutical industry, Pharmacology Pages: 8 (1044 words) Published: October 1, 2014
In the market place of the pharmaceutical industry, many marketing strategies and extensive techniques are used to have consumers request their drug products. The pharmaceutical industry is a very competitive environment. It seems as though there are no boundaries that prevent them from bringing their product to market first or proving that their product is superior to its competitors. All things considered, creating a brand is essential and market share can make or break a company. How does a drug company promote their product? How do they prove that their product is better than their competitors? Who is their target audience? How do the pharmaceutical companies protect their new drug investment?

In 1998 Celebrex (celecoxib) was approved by the FDA. Through several mergers and acquisitions, Pfizer became the owner of Celebrex in 2004. (, 2013) In 1999 Merck and Co. Inc. introduced a new drug to treat arthritis. It was called Vioxx (rofecoxib). The drug was marketed worldwide. It was marketed in 80 countries and used by 84 million people. (Anne Asher, 2010) Both of these drugs are in the same drug class, COX-2 inhibitors and can be used to treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain and painful menstruation. In 2003 Vioxx sales were 2.5 billion while Celebrex sales were 3.3 billion in 2004. In early 2004, the FDA authorized the use of Vioxx to treat Migraines and it also received and additional indication to treat juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. (Carol Eustice, 2013) On September 30, 2004, Merck voluntarily removed Vioxx from the market due to a study performed in 2000 which raised a question about cardiovascular concerns. (Carol Eustice, 2013) Due to the voluntary withdrawal of Vioxx, Celebrex sales dramatically increased, but in December of 2004 Pfizer discontinued its campaign for direct to consumer advertising due to criticism from a

consumer advocacy group. The group claimed the ad’s comparisons with other anti-inflammatory drugs were misleading. (, 2013) Since that time, sales for Celebrex have recovered and in 2006 sales were recorded to be 2 billion. In 2006 Pfizer began extensive advertising again reaching its target audience by television and magazines. (, 2013) They compared their drug and its superiority to other anti-inflammatory drugs. In 2012 Celebrex sales reached 1.8 billion and was ranked number 22 in the top 100 pharmaceuticals sold in the US. Celebrex patent expires in 2014 in the U.S. (, 2013) In some cases, pharmaceutical companies have the opportunity to make a generic product of their brand medication. Endo Pharmaceuticals are the makers of Percocet and Endocet. They are both the same medication Percocet is the brand medication and Endocet is their branded generic. Endo Pharmaceutical markets both these brands. By developing and marketing both these products, Endo Pharmaceuticals have effectively expanded its market share. Percocet is a branded pain medication that is well known to physicians first introduced in the US in 1976. (, 2013) Percocet brand, when first introduced, only had one strength available. Percocet has since expanded its brand product to six strengths. This has expanded the brand so that physicians are now able to prescribe this drug to treat varying degrees of pain.

Endocet is the generic form of Percocet; it has five different strengths available. Since physicians are familiar with Percocet they are also familiar with this medication as well, and how it treats pain. Endocet costs less than its competitors, strength for strength. It has a greater

average wholesale price. (Mckesson Connect, 2013) This allows a greater margin and therefore a greater return on investment. The pain relief for Endocet may vary compared to brand Percocet. As with any generic...
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