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Abstract

The pharmaceutical industry invests its sales force in contacts with doctors, making visits and publicizing its drugs, in order for them to prescribe these products to their patients. This work discusses the structure of the pharmaceutical market and how marketing strategies are used by laboratories in their relations with doctors and with the owners of pharmacies and drugstores. The cases of two laboratories, Aché and Boehringer Ingelheim, which serve as the reference for this study, are presented and discussed. The work demonstrates the difficulties arising from the lack of doctors, lack of assistance and the disloyal and unfair competition between ethical and promotional products. It was observed that the industries should improve their guidance and sales promotion actions among doctors. However, these strategies should be different from those applied in the sales and distribution points of the pharmaceutical products. Some ways of enhancing marketing among the two groups (doctors and pharmacies), which would lead to an increase in sales, are suggested. It is important also to invest more in information and in the education of patients, encouraging them to seek information about their problems and discuss them with their doctors, something that is now being done by the DTC (Direct-to-consumer) practices.

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