Of course, companies need to exploit the relatively short period they have to recoup their research investment in new products and make some profit before their patent protection runs out. But the devotion to the brand budget rather than the corporate budget is bound to lead to problems.
For the pharma industry, it is only the corporate PR and communications budget that can really address the public. Because of legislation and codes of practice individual companies cannot communicate directly with the public through their prescription brands in a sustained way as other industries or sectors can.
So come on pharma companies - let's have more discussions about this issue in the board room.
Bonnie Green, freelance communications consultant.