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Marketing your way to the top of the Market. iPhones, ADHD drugs

So word on the street is that Apple’s new iPhone 7 is the best smartphone out there. But is it really true?

Apparently Not. In Apple CEO Tim Cook’s own words “It is the best phone they have built yet.” Supporting to that, there are many android phones that have come up with the features that iPhone 7 boast to have like HTC M8 with dual cameras, Sony XperiaZ with water-proof body and Gionee S6 or Oppo F1 with High Res front camera. Still they haven’t garnered the public attention like iPhone did.

So where lies the secret?

Giving Credit where it’s due Apple has employed some of the most brilliant marketing tricks to sell their products to reach where they are today. They aim to deliver to the customer’s expectations and succeed in keeping them within their reach. One of the most successful tactic among them is “be the brand”. You don’t buy a phone; you buy an iPhone. You don’t but a mp3 player, you buy an iPod.

One might say analogous to that, big pharma, especially in U.S are spending huge no of resources in the form of time, manpower and money on marketing their products. One look at the marketing and R&D budgets of key players in the market can evidently showcase where their priorities lie.


Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars advertising to consumers and healthcare professionals. In U.S.A, where drug advertising is allowed Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications (DDMAC) is in charge of making sure that the companies provide honest, balanced and precise information. However, European Union voted 22-5 against legislation that would have allowed companies to distribute information directly to patients.

But the Companies don’t always play by rules. Since 2009, the U.S. government slapped six of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world with multi-million and multi-billion dollar fines for illegally promoting drugs.


The question that needs to be asked is does this tactic work?

You bet it does. Advertisements sway consumers to purchase products and services in a marketplace. American television stations air 80 ads for prescriptions drugs every hour of every day. Advertisements sway consumers to purchase products and services in a marketplace. Companies wouldn’t invest so much time, money and resources into marketing and advertising if consumers weren’t persuaded. In some cases, like ADHD medications, marketing campaigns tend to turn the usage of medications into misuse and abuse.

Historically ADHD is associated with 5% of children but the campaigning and lobbying strategies of big companies include even normal behavior like carelessness and impatience to ADHD skyrocketing the diagnosis levels to 15% of school aged children in USA alone. There are currently 3.5 million American children on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medication, up from 600,000 in 1990. There were almost 16 million ADHD medication prescriptions written for adults ages 20-39 in 2012, compared to 5.6 million in 2007. Latin America and Europe also adopt the American based Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) standards, which are comprehensive but have a lower threshold for diagnosing ADHD.

The FDA has cited every major ADHD drug – like Shire’s Adderall, CIBA’s Ritalin, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ Concerta, for false and misleading advertising. Actually one might say Apple took a note out of their playbook since they used the concept of “be the brand” even more effectively. You don’t take methylphenidate, you take Ritalin. You don’t take dextroamphetamine, you take Adderall. All in all, this is inflicting a positive growth to the ADHD prescriptions market, albeit for wrong reasons.

Research Analysts at Market Data Forecast has estimated the ADHD therapeutics market to be at USD 8.08 billion in 2015 and reach USD 12.43 billion by 2020 with a CAGR of 9.00%. You can check out free report sample here. For more industry updates and business insights don’t forget to visit our blog and subscribe to our newsletters.

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