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When the Patient Requests the Drugs
By: Janet Kalandranis
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There are many brands that deal with a channel as a means to distribute and sell its products and services. The most classic is the insurance industry, which involves a broker or agency to sell the products of various carriers to a consumer or business. Of course, over the years, many brands have progressed past the hurdles of simply relying on the channel to make sales, but it’s still very much a means to success. But what happens when other brands, those unexpected, take on this model of business that involves a channel to a consumer?

Insurance is a known industry that has followed a distribution plan for years. The brands have marketed to both consumers and the channel to achieve the classic “push” and “pull” strategy to be successful. And then there is the drug industry. Yes, that’s right, the drug industry. There’s a set of brands within this industry that decided they could take what the insurance brands do and make it successful in their world. That means marketing drugs directly to customers.

This whole idea seems odd and smart and completely wrong at the same time. Customers shouldn’t be able to self-diagnose and request certain drugs because they saw an ad. Does the medical degree no longer mean anything now that consumers have the power to request the medications they’d like to receive? Or are the medical brands getting smarter, understanding the need to market to both the channel and the end customer?

So now these drug brands have a new strategy and one that doesn’t seem to be disappearing any time soon. The classic “push” and “pull” strategy is part of the repertoire used by many of these companies, and for good reason. If these brands can have consumers requesting certain medications, maybe that puts a certain brand in a preferential state and success starts to build. But the scary part is that these products shouldn’t be requested; instead, they should be prescribed by those who know best, those who have evaluated the systems, and those that should have the marketing relationship with these brands.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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