BRAND-NAME drug makers in the United States employ 81% more people in their marketing departments than in their research and development (R&D) departments. And the "gap has been growing" over the past few years, according to a study by Boston University School of Public Health1. Researchers found that drug companies employed 48,527 staff in their R&D departments in 2000, down from 49,409 in 1995, while employment in their marketing departments increased from 55,348 to 87,810 during the same period. According to the study, the additional 32,000 marketing department employees were "mainly" sales representatives who promote drugs to doctors and Health Maintenance Organizations.
At work in a pharmaceutical laboratory in the USA. But according to a recent study many more people are involved in marketing than research and development
Photo: WHO/PAHO/C. Gaggero
In 2000, drug makers employed 39% of their staff in marketing, 22% in R&D, 26% in production and 11% in administration, the study found. Brand-name prescription drug makers say that they focus on discovering new cures, and that Americans must continue paying high prices to support research. Their employment priorities offer evidence that neither claim is true, the study concludes.
For further information contact: Boston University School of Public Health, Health Reform Programme, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118, USA.
1. Sagar A, Socolar D. Drug industry marketing staff soars while research staffing stagnates. Report. Boston University School of Public Health, December 2001.