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Advertising in Specialized Markets: Example from the US Pharmaceutical Industry

Author

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  • Amrita Bhattacharyya

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

This paper studies the usefulness of advertising to both consumers and experts in specialized markets like the prescription drugs, travel and real-estate markets where the consumers' purchasing decisions are influenced by the experts (e.g., doctors, travel agents and real-estate agents). Inspired by the features of the prescription drugs market the study shows that direct-to-consumer-advertising (DTCA) does not substitute for advertising directed to physicians even when physician-advertising is only persuasive in nature. Furthermore, the paper analyzes possible advertising equilibriums in a two-firm setting and finds that it is possible to have a sub-game perfect, non-symmetric Nash Equilibrium in which only one firm advertises to the consumers and the other firm becomes a free-rider when, (i) the number of patients who are aware of treatment is very low, and (ii) there are very few patients who insist on a particular drug. Otherwise, for familiar diseases a non-advertising equilibrium is most likely. Finally, consumer advertising can have welfare improving implications depending on the disease types and patient characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Amrita Bhattacharyya, 2005. "Advertising in Specialized Markets: Example from the US Pharmaceutical Industry," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 610, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 10 Nov 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:610
    Note: previously circulated as "Advertising in Specialized Markets: Example from the US Pharmaceutical Industry"
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    File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp610.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Kaldor, 1950. "The Economic Aspects of Advertising," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(1), pages 1-27.
    2. Berndt, Ernst R, et al, 1995. "Information, Marketing, and Pricing in the U.S. Antiulcer Drug Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 100-105, May.
    3. Rosenthal Meredith B. & Berndt Ernst R. & Donohue Julie M. & Epstein Arnold M. & Frank Richard G., 2003. "Demand Effects of Recent Changes in Prescription Drug Promotion," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-28, January.
    4. Meredith B. Rosenthal & Ernst R. Berndt & Julie M. Donohue & Arnold M. Epstein & Richard G. Frank, 2003. "Demand Effects of Recent Changes in Prescription Drug Promotion," NBER Chapters,in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6, pages 1-26 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hurwitz, Mark A & Caves, Richard E, 1988. "Persuasion or Information? Promotion and the Shares of Brand Name and Generic Pharmaceuticals," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 299-320, October.
    6. Toshiaki Iizuka, 2004. "What Explains the Use of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs?," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 349-379, September.
    7. Gerard R. Butters, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(3), pages 465-491.
    8. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
    9. John E. Calfee & Clifford Winston & Randolph Stempski, 2002. "Direct-to-Consumer Advertising and the Demand for Cholesterol-Reducing Drugs," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(S2), pages 673-690.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sorisio, Enrico & Strøm, Steinar, 2006. "Innovation and market dynamics in the EPO market," Memorandum 12/2006, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    2. Amrita Bhattacharyya, 2005. "Competition and Advertising in Specialized Markets: A Study of the U.S. Pharmaceutical Industry," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 624, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 10 Nov 2005.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    advertising; DTCA; prescription; expert; Nash equilibrium;

    JEL classification:

    • L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
    • M3 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising
    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General

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