Latin America as a Prototype
of Global Pharmaceutical
Marketing Research – Part II
Latin America as a Prototype of
Global Pharmaceutical Marketing
Research – Part II
In the last issue of The Orange Pages, I wrote about Internet
findings on health care and pharmaceutical marketing in Latin
America. Since that time, we gained additional insight by
conducting a summit with key GfK associates working in Latin
America to get an up close and personal look at the situations
in their countries as they experience them.
Let me provide you with the big pieces before we examine each
of the participating countries in Latin America (or “Latam,”
which we learned from our summit participants to call, as we
will here, all countries south of Mexico).
First, it is important to note that while many commonalities ex-
ist among Latam countries in terms of health care delivery and
pharmaceutical marketing, many significant differences exist
as well. As discussed in the country-by-country review which
follows, most countries have both public and private systems
for delivering health care; they also have significant govern-
ment input into how health care is manufactured and how
pharmaceutical products are employed, and they try to keep
costs down by encouraging the use of generic products where
possible. Moreover, for understandable economic and
political reasons, many of these countries prefer that these
generic products be manufactured on their own soil.
Second, it is important to note that pharmaceutical marketing
research is just beginning to emerge as a major area of
endeavor in the region. Historically, such research was
conducted by full service research companies as a sideline,
with TNS and now GfK being the only major research compa-
nies to set up separate divisions and/or otherwise apply
significant, dedicated efforts in this direction. Thus, the area
is wide open for competition among marketing research
companies to dominate this marketplace. Methodological
sophistication is largely absent, with qualitative research and
univariate surveys being the primary techniques of choice.
Internet research is largely precluded because of limited
penetration in these countries. Clearly, the size of this market-
place, both across the Latam countries and prioritized within
each country, must be assessed if we are to make reasonable
business decisions in terms of investing in this market.
All that having been said, the positive note is that all of the
market researchers we encountered are excited to have the
opportunity to develop new skills, and look forward to
receiving our support in doing so.
More specifically, we can now examine the individual Latam
countries, exploring their health care issues, pharmaceutical
marketing endeavors and pharmaceutical marketing research
Proceeding alphabetically, we begin with Argentina, a country
of great interest, where the health care market is growing
significantly. According to Lucas Nicolao, GfK’s Senior Con-
sultant who prepared the summit presentation on Argentina,
over-the-counter sales in U.S. dollars grew 13.5 percent to $240
million between September 2006 and August 2007. As is
Several important insights can be reached by reviewing the top “laboratories” doing business in Argentina as shown in the chart below.
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