The future of Rx marketing
Pfizer is taking an unusual tack in marketing its new smoking cessation drug, Chantix, according to the Wall Street Journal. Rather than taking an aggressive approach –which it could, considering the product has demonstrated superiority over existing treatments– Pfizer is soft-pedaling the drug with consumers and physicians.
Insurers are reluctant to pay for smoking cessation drugs, so Pfizer is focusing on the self-pay segment. Pfizer is offering the product at a moderate price and is providing support systems, including call centers, to help customers succeed in stopping smoking. As consumers begin to get used to going without drug insurance, expect more brand name pharma products to be pitched to customers who are paying themselves, and for companies to provide realistic information about what the drug can and can’t do. It will be an effective antidote to the backlash against over-promising DTC campaigns and heavy physician detailing.November 22, 2006