Strategies employed by pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in addressing marketing challenges in Kenya
Today, as competitive pressures increase, marketing skills have never been more highly valued by organizations in both the public and private sectors. What many used to see as a departmental activity within companies is nowadays regarded as frontline business attitude of mind in all employees. Pharmaceuticals are specialized and costly products, being major components of local and international trade: a major health investment for the government and development partners and key health expenditure for the households. With the production capacity of 50%, the manufacturing pharmaceutical firms in Kenya commanded only 28% of the total market in the domestic industry. Therefore, the study set out to ascertain the strategies employed by pharmaceutical manufacturing companies in addressing marketing challenges in Kenya. The key objective was to determine marketing strategies used by pharmaceutical firms in Kenya and to establish challenges that these pharmaceutical firms experience while marketing their products. The study adopted a descriptive survey and targeted all the pharmaceutical firms in Kenya that are manufacturing human products. Data was collected from senior sales and marketing staff using questionnaires and the collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics. The findings indicated that the most used marketing mix was product strategy while the least exploited was promotion strategy. The challenges experienced included over-regulation of the industry with regulatory authorities such as PPB, NQL, and DARU among others and limited technology. It was recommended that the government off-lift its tight grip of the pharmaceutical industry in regard to the promotion of their products. The pharmaceutical industry should also take advantage of the e-marketing and the booming opportunity of social media to showcase their products.