Marketing Marketing

Are you being duped?

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7297.1312 (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1312
  1. Trevor Jackson
  1. BMJ

    How drug companies use opinion leaders

    We all know that there is no such thing as a free drugs company lunch, but, what the hell, the food's good, those marketing people seem ever so nice, and, anyway, there doesn't really seem to be any catch. The catch, however, need no longer be a mystery. For the marketers have set out explicitly the methods they use to “educate” doctors into championing their products.

    The May edition of Pharmaceutical Marketing magazine explains what it calls “the tricks of the trade.” These include developing “opinion leaders” (key doctors or other health professionals or even patient group representatives who are likely to be able to influence many others); building successful relationships with them (“how you can best get them to know and like you and your products”); and skills training (“ensuring your product champions communicate effectively on your behalf”).

    These “tricks” appear in a 24 page …

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