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les Nouvelles - June 2007


A Guide To Co-Promotion And Co-Marketing Partnerships In The Pharmaceutical Industry: What’s All The Fuss About

Dr. Adrian J. Carter

The pharmaceutical industry is responding to the challenges of decreasing productivity and increasing costs by concentrating its promotional activities on top-selling drugs and licensing more products. In fact, all of the world’s top selling drugs in 2005 involved some form of commercial collaboration (Table 1). There are two major forms of joint marketing which are used to promote a pharmaceutical product, namely co-promotion and co-marketing. And these terms are often confused. Co-marketing involves two companies selling the same drug under two different trademarks in direct competition, whereas co-promotion allows two companies to combine their resources and promote the product under one name. Overall, copromotion is playing an ever greater financial role in pharmaceutical collaborations, especially when marketing drugs with large sales potentials. Nevertheless, co-marketing is still widely used in many local situations. In this article, I intend to describe the essential elements of the changing pharmaceutical environment and outline how companies have responded by pursuing these two forms of joint commercialization.

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