Japan: A pharmaceutical viewpoint

At the recent Marketing Excellence Japan 2010 conference, I caught up with some of the pharmaceutical company speakers and asked them about the unique aspects of pharmaceutical marketing in the Japanese healthcare environment.

In this video interview, Brent McCain, Head of Marketing Excellence for sanofi-aventis K.K in Japan, and Gabrielle Pastore, Managed Markets Brand Director with AstraZeneca, share some of their experiences in the Japanese market.

Outlining the importance of Japan for a global pharmaceutical company, Gabrielle Pastore points out that Japan is the second-largest market in the world for pharmaceutical companies, and it continues to grow.

Pastore says there is an opportunity to bring Western market research techniques such as unique focus groups to Japan, to understand what drives prescribing. But she says that bringing new ideas can be challenging:

“Japan is an island, and they are very happy with the way they do things here. To bring ideas and change is a significant challenge.”

Brent McCain highlights the enormous number of Japanese patients who are not only accessing the Internet, but also creating content. He says that this provides a real opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to carry out market research, and also points out that this means changing the perception of the role of the Internet in pharmaceutical marketing:

“The role of the Internet is going to become a little bit different from what we thought before… it’s going to be a lot more about learning from social media and the Internet than it is about getting our message out to customers …that’s where we’re going to get insights.”

Creation Healthcare’s new Tokyo office opens 1st July 2010. [intlink id=”contact” type=”page”]Contact us[/intlink] if you would like to speak with a specialist about healthcare engagement in Japan or globally.

Daniel Ghinn

Daniel Ghinn is Editor of Healthcare Engagement Strategy and CEO of Creation Healthcare, the online market research consultancy for healthcare. He is a prolific writer and speaker on emerging trends healthcare engagement in the digital age.