E-Commerce in Ethical Sales Promotion: Future Aid for Indian Drug Industry
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Legally, ethical drug promotion in India is confidential and done in private with the registered medical practitioners. Pharmaceutical is a profit generating industry to which doctors are the key business drivers because medicines are sold on prescriptions. The industry has undergone many changes during the last two decades. With increasing competition in the generic drug market among numerous brands, the conventional marketing models are becoming obsolete and the industry needs ingenious ideas. The introduction of e-commerce has changed the way of doing business in India. This open prospective study was carried out with randomly selected 361 doctors from 8 specialties across 23 centers in India to evaluate whether e-commerce, with its pioneering technologies, could change the face of ethical drug promotion, particularly, the modality of communication. The results showed that there was an immediate need for developing e-commerce platforms for more than 72,000 doctors who are currently left out of the industry’s marketing network and there is a situational demand for expansion of electronic communication media for country’s more than 700,000 doctors. The study also evaluated prospers of e-commerce modules in ethical drug promotion for nearly one million doctors and for advertising and promoting more than 100,000 medicinal brands in India. However, e-commerce application in ethical drug promotion should be felicitous and should be implemented with caution. Otherwise, it may turn out to be ineffective and even counter-productive.
Indian pharmaceutical market; E-commerce; Pharmaceutical industry of india; Ethical drug promotion; Sales promotion employees