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Prescription drug communication strategies: A comparative analysis of physician attitudes in Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East

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Research into direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs is extensive in individualistic cultures. In contrast, using Hofstede's classification to select representative collectivist countries in high potential regions and conducting surveys of 308 physicians in Greece, the United Arab Emirates, and Taiwan, this research investigates physician attitudes towards the value of drug manufacturers' physician- and consumer-targeted communication strategies. The analysis reveals that physicians are satisfied with physician-targeted communication strategies and greatly value two-way interactive approaches, though they have significantly differing attitudes across cultures towards the likely impacts of DTC advertising, with Greek physicians the most opposed. They generally support unbranded disease awareness campaigns though. The research findings thus suggest that planned value creation for manufacturers and consumers through DTC advertising conflicts with the value delivery for the intermediary physician, which delays the expansion of this advertising policy.

Keywords: advertising ethics; direct-to-consumer advertising; drug marketing; international; value creation; value delivery

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: University of Hull, UK 2: University of Birmingham, UK,IESEG School of Management, France 3: University of Leeds, UK 4: University of Sheffield, UK

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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