Good Pharma: How Marketing Creates Value in Pharma Publisher: Marcel Corstjens (2014) 284 p.
Executives working in pharmaceutical companies should be proud to be working in an industry that is second to none in terms of its contribution to the wellbeing of mankind. One might have some reservations about this, as in recent years pharma- bashing has become a popular game. From Ben Goldacre’s bestseller ‘bad science’ to eye- catching press coverage about huge fines imposed on several pharmaceutical companies for unethical marketing and sales practices, the pharmaceutical industry has had a disproportionate share of bad publicity. Of course, some marketing and sales practices by several pharma companies in developed as well as in the E&D world are wrong and should be eliminated, but it is the generalization of the blame that is the issue. We believe that the world would be a much worse place to live in without the pharmaceutical industry, and that includes the way pharmaceutical companies behave. By its very nature, the pharmaceutical industry is very visible: it has many observers, and thus its alleged excessive profits are often a demagogical target for many polemic commentators. Actually, as shown in Table 1 below, the profitability margins of large pharmaceutical companies is in line with many large companies in a variety of other industries.