Pharmaceutical exports; how to approach marketing research

August 17, 2018  Source: Ddu 323


Identifying the right clients is a common challenge when it comes to product exporting issues. This is why well-organized marketing research which is precise and reliable can be the key to assist you to work out a clear working plan.

As an example, Ddu is going to take the pharmaceutical field to show you how to conduct trustworthy marketing research.

1. Target Market Overview

The first step is to collect the targeted country’s market overview, which should include the common & official language, religion, population & age composition, neonatal ratio, capital, main cities, economic profile, per capita consumption capacity, recent government events and so forth.

With this information, we can get a rough picture of the target market within a short time.

2. Medical Industry Overview

Since we are talking about pharmaceutical exports, the overview of the targeted local medical market should first be identified, which could be an important indicator for further marketing assessments.

3. Medical Resources

Include public and private hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and the number of doctors, pharmacists, and nursing staff. Additionally, the medical insurance system could also serve as a direction of investigation: whether there is national medical insurance plus the percentage and its penetration rate.

4. Epidemic Information

A summary of epidemic outbreak information in recent years, especially the top 10 ranking epidemics, or the top 10 diseases responsible for the leading causes of death.

Tip: You can use the official website of the World Health Organization (WHO) to access the last updated information regarding national health.

5. Import And Export Overview

Local pharmaceutical product research and development, production capacity, pharmaceutical trade import and export ratios, major importing and exporting countries and so forth.

6. Pharmaceutical Enterprise

The ranking of pharmaceutical enterprises within a target market (which could later become a potential customer resource library), the most popular sale varieties and the original drug & generics drug market shares.

7. Products Analysis

After completing industry and target market background research, start looking at product-related data.

8. Market Volume And Outlook

Generally, the total market volume of the product can be calculated based on the total population and disease incidence.

Tip: Searching keywords on Google can also be effective.

9. Product Treatment Plan

The first and second line of treatment options for the indications of medical products.

The indications for pharmaceuticals are determined and the target population is also fixed. However, due to the different medical and economic development levels of each country, there will be variances existing in regards to treatment options and drug selections. Therefore, determine which pharmaceuticals doctors are more inclined to use in the target market to understand the competition that the products will potentially face.

Through the comparisons, analyze the advantages and disadvantages of the products and optimize the following marketing promotion.

 You will probably be asking: How could we swiftly accumulate information as a foreigner? A little piece of advice from Ddu, browse the local BBS being used for communicating between doctors or patients. You may discover some unexpected and valuable information, or you could just go straight by phoning the targeted local doctors.

10. Competitor Information

It is a well-known fact that you can never know enough about your competitors. Specific information on the listed products such as manufacturers, distributors, time to market, indications for the population, price, sales, user evaluation, etc., all need to be understood.

In addition to this, pay attention to competing products in the registration stage. When facing a potential competitor, track the registration progress of the products in real time and consider the response strategy in advance.

Tip: Competitor information can be acquired from the FDA website of targeted countries.

11. Registration Regulations

Unlike other industries, the biggest barrier to enter pharmaceutical foreign trading is the product registration. None of the other procedures can proceed without the registration. Therefore, before initiating the project, it’s an essential step to combine products with corporate qualifications, contrasting local registration regulations and proceeding with the feasibility assessment of registration.

The assessment can be carried out in conjunction with the registration regulations published by the local Ministry of Health's official website, including GMP qualifications, product quality and clinical data.

12. Feasibility Assessment

There is one final step in the marketing research process. After completing the 4 main parts of gathering information, the final phase will be drawing a conclusion according to the feasibility assessment. This conclusion has to be based on objective facts. Also, list the uncertain factors for reference during the team discussions.


The elements above are the points of a reliable medical product marketing research report.

After the investigation, further analysis of market prospects, professional registration evaluations, customer communication and forward communication will be necessary to make the final call.

If you are interested to learn more about the international medical industry, visit our page or contact here:

By Ddu

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