Created by potrace 1.14, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

What Big Pharma Can Teach us About Medical Advertising

  • Big Pharma. Some argue it is the devil in disguise. Others see it as the saving grace of the medical field. It is one of the most polarising cooperate entities in the world. From those saying medicine should be free, others see the price we pay for it as a way of allowing these companies to fund their research and development towards greater cures. But wherever you stand, you cannot deny that big pharma is good at what it does.

    And that is the aspect we are going to be looking at today. In the field of medical advertising, the impact is important. It could save lives. This goes beyond simply selling drugs. This includes spreading medical awareness, bringing in money to fund small clinics, and being able to provide the equipment doctors need to go about their job.

    So we are going to be seeing what we can learn from big pharma when it comes to medical advertising and sees how that can be applied to other fields. Whether you are running an independent medical advice firm or looking to improve advertising for your medical spa, this article should give you some ideas.

    Big Pharma

    Big Pharma, in case you don’t know what we mean, is the companies that create, bottle, and sell medical drugs to hospitals. They do not sell these drugs directly to the general public, due to regulations. In the USA, anywhere that has these drugs will have gotten them from big pharma companies. The term big pharma is an umbrella term for all corporations. But why are they so successful.

    Firstly, the product they create and sell is beyond vital for society. We have become a civilization reliant on drugs. And big pharma companies know that and use that to their advantage. They market the drugs with a twist. They will let the public think this drug will solve their problems.

    Then, once the public is sold on it, they approach their doctors asking for it. It’s at this point that the hospitals put in an order for the drugs from the companies. Big pharma creates the demand and creates the supply. A tight circle of marketing.


    How can this be applied to other fields of medicine? Firstly, the method in which they appeal their products to the public is genius. People gravitate towards anything that will improve their life with little ease. So it is important when marketing your services to the public that you take that into account. Try and appeal to their sense of self-improvement. Scare tactics rarely work to entice in customers, except in rare cases.

    Let us take a look at a medical spa. While not a necessary service, it still provides a quality medical experience to those who want it. How would an organization like this apply the lessons of big pharma? Simply by having their advertisements big up their treatment packages. Make them seem grandiose, but never lie about what they can do. Inform the viewer that this service will improve their quality of life massively and leave them feeling great and then let them come to you. Try not to drown them with costs and plans. Keep it simple and to the point. Customers want to know what will happen, not how much it costs.

    What to Avoid

    The lessons we can take from big pharma aren’t all positives. Like we said before, it is one of the most polarising industries on the planet. Many see those who own big pharma as reducing human lives to nothing but numbers and dollar signs. Looking to make money off the suffering of those most vulnerable in an already broken system. To that end, there are a few things we can learn not to do when it comes to medical advertising.

    The first, and most important point, is to never forget the driving force behind medicine. At its core, the practice of medicine is about helping those in need. The hypocritic oath of ‘Do No Harm’ is echoed the world over by medical professionals. And this message should engrain itself in your advertising campaign. People want to be reassured. They want to be informed. They want to feel their concerns are being heard and their medical needs are taken seriously. So make sure your advertisements take this into account. Never talk down to the viewers. Reassure them. Educate them in a respectful, yet authoritative manner. Because this leads to the second point.

    Big pharma is often seen as a business that isn’t run by doctors. Even if they have doctors on staff, a lot of people are distrusting, assuming they have no medical backing for their motives. Make sure you are using reputable and reliable sources of information in your advertisements. Have medical professionals show up and reassure.