Customer relationship management in the pharmaceutical industry

The role of the patient advocacy group

Francis Buttle*, Jorge Boldrini

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)


Establishing relations with third-party allies has always been an important part of pharmaceutical company efforts, particularly in building support for products among healthcare professional groups. Recently, however, patients and carers have begun to form dedicated associations known as patient advocacy groups (PAGs) to draw attention to and assist in the treatment of disease. Both parties — PAGs and pharmaceutical companies — benefit from this alliance. The main goal of this paper is to highlight these benefits and to identify some broader trends impacting upon the relationship. As consumers attain ever-greater significance as a target audience for marketers of ethical or prescription products, pharmaceutical companies are using a variety of techniques ranging from media relations or publicity, to direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising where it is allowed. If properly handled, working with consumer groups or PAGs offers another vehicle that can help companies reach customers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-214
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Medical Marketing: Device, Diagnostic and Pharmaceutical Marketing
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • customer relationship management
  • PAG
  • partnership
  • pharmaceutical industry
  • relationship marketing

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