Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD) has released results on pharmaceutical marketing investments for full year 2013.

Worldwide, industry investment in pharmaceuticals sales force and marketing channels remained flat in 2013, at just under [Eur]85 billion constant US dollars. Notably, the leading 10 multinationals ranked by promotional expenditure, all reduced investment during the 12 months to December 2013.

"A combination of factors has led to a general consolidation in marketing activity," commented Christopher Wooden - VP for CSD Global Promotion Audits. "The impact of the so called patent cliff is still being felt as the industry seeks to maintain margins. Meanwhile, regulatory scrutiny and clearer compliance guidelines are putting pressure on the use of traditional, personal promotional channels.
Finally, broad coverage primary care sales forces are being transformed to promote highly specialized portfolios. Consequently, fewer reps are needed."

Reduced marketing investment, however, was not universal. Major emerging countries saw increased expenditure including China (+9%), Brazil (+11%), Mexico (+9%), South Korea (+4%) and Russia (+16%).
Nevertheless, these increases were offset by cuts in the USA (-4%) and generally across Europe with spending in the UK down nearly 13%.

Globally, the use of "digital" channels such as e-detailing, e-mailing and e-meetings continued to expand with these three channels up over 14% over 2012 at $1.9 billion constant US dollars. In the last 6 months of 2013, all digital channels tracked by CSD including pharma company websites, social media, web banner advertising in professional online journals and mobile apps came to nearly $2.5 billion USD - approximately 6% of audited marketing expenditure.

"In absolute terms, digital marketing investment is still a relatively small portion of the mix," added Wooden. "However, we expect the use of these channels will only continue to advance as marketers seek to maintain reach through ease of access while delivering a high level of information quality to HCPs."