OTC Marketing in India-Difference from Prescription Marketing

Over the counter marketing and prescription marketing

OTC and Prescription Medications:

What are prescription medicationsThe kind of medicinal substances which are prescribed by a doctor and bought at a pharmacy and normally regulated under a stringent authority. (Ex:  Food and drugs administration)

What are Over The Counter(OTC) medications: The medications which  can be bought or consumed without any prescription from the doctor. These kind of medicines can be directly bought over the counter  in the pharmacy and in many cases general stores. They are meant for self medication and are generally safe if warnings and directions are followed.All medicinal products that are not included in the list of ‘prescription-only drugs’ are considered as non-prescription drugs (OTC, or over the counter) in India. This  small brief brings some differences between marketing of prescription and over the counter drugs with respect to Indian Pharmaceutical market: 

Difference between OTC and Prescription Marketing

  Prescription marketing OTC Marketing
Target audience Doctors of  various specialities(Ex; Cardiologists, Physicians, Neurologists etc) Consumers
Decision maker Doctors who prescribes the medication , however patients who are prescribed medicines can also be a decision maker at the point of purchase based on factors like cost of medication and pharmacist recommendation Consumers are the decision makers
Market research Research is done with an objective to understand doctor’s prescription behaviour, molecule usage and attitude  for a category of molecules /therapy area Research is done to build consumer insights which when creatively communicated leads to  an inspirational OTC advertising
Communication Communication talks about  molecules advantages, its benefits and superiority to previous class of molecules/ enhancement in drug delivery system/ convenience  over other brands. Communication talks about brand differentiation to consumers and pitches on a direct call to action(Buying)
Objective of the marketing communication Objective  of the marketing is to influence and penetrate into the consideration set of  the Doctors/KOLs for brand building Objective of the marketing is to penetrate the consideration set of consumers  and associate the brand with their  specific needs
Communication aims at creating a favourable image in front of the doctors  which helps in prescription generation and revenue generation for the organisation Aims to build a memorable and convincing advertisement for the brand so that the  brand can be recalled at the point of purchase
Channels of communication Sales team -Medical representatives are mostly employed by the pharmaceutical firms. With advancement in  technology the promotion is expanding through virtual detailings and webinars Channels of communications with target audience are wide- Broadcast Media(TV, Radio), Print media(Magazines, Newspapers),Out door media, Indoor promotions, Internet promotion etc
Other channels include advertisements in Medical journals, books , showcasing products in conferences etc
Message delievery and dilution Message is communicated through  medical reps  which  can lead to  message distortions and key messages getting diluted many times Message is conveyed directly  to consumers through various channels (TV, Radio,Web etc)  with no chances of getting key message diluted
Advertising expenses 65-70% expenses are towards field force cost A& P expenses are very high in the initial 2-3 years of launch . 65-70% expenses are in advertising /10-15% field cost
Return on investment It can take short time since doctors are aware about the basic molecules and any brand who is active in promotion,creating  favourable activities have a higher chance of  getting returns on the investment( Think only branded generics) ROI usually takes a long time since building  brand awareness and creating a desire for the product takes a long time.Its an entire process of brand building.
Product launches There are numerous product launches in a year in prescription marketing  with a new division emerging every year in many pharmaceutical  companies .For ex;  1700 new product were  launches in 2012 in Indian Pharmaceutical industry Very few brands are launched in the market who can  break the clutter and make into the mind of the consumers
Price Regulations Prices are governed by NPPA(National Pharmaceutical pricing Authority) which is the main pricing authority in industry  according to which prices of non essential medicines can not rise by 10% per year No such regulations exists however pricing is brand specific  which is governed by competitive scenario. Unless the brand has significant USP to offer the prices remain in the competitive bandwidth
legal recognition Legally all prescription drugs fall under Schedules H and X No specific legal recognition in India

By Kumud Kandpal Read more on OTC marketing in India on: http://goo.gl/cij1UK

You can also view the post on : http://medicinman.net/2014/05/may-2014-issue/        

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