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Prescription Drug MarketingIt seems like you can’t turn on the TV without seeing a commercial for a pharmaceutical giant that ends with ‘Ask your doctor if this product is right for you.’ Today I’ll talk with an expert in the field to get an inside scoop on the marketing of prescription drugs.


The person I interview isn’t a doctor, and doesn’t even play one on TV. But better yet, Cathy Conley is a senior pharmaceutical sales rep for a major drug company. She’s got a chemical engineering degree from MIT, she’s worked at one of the biggest consumer products companies in the world, and as a bonus, she’s an actress and singer and all around funny person.


Today she’s going to let us in on some of the secrets to how pharmaceuticals are marketed.

Click below to listen to this podcast interview:

Play Episode:

View Interview highlights and take the “Name that Drug Quiz”

Cathy’s diverse background:Cathy Conley

  • Chemical Engineering degree from MIT
  • Helped develop a body wash at one of the largest consumer product companies in the world
  • Actress, singer, and recently did a pilot for The Discovery Channel
  • Senior pharmaceutical sales rep for a major drug company (pushing drugs on the streets of Manhattan)



Given a name in the list below, can you guess what each one is for, and which ones are fakes? Answers in the podcast.

Notes and questions:

  • According to Wikipedia, global spending on prescription drugs topped $643 billion in 2006, with the US accounting for almost half that amount.
  • How sales reps distribute samples?
  • How pharma reps differentiate themselves to busy doctors
  • How do health care insurance companies and pharmacists affect the marketing process
  • The best way to save money on prescription drugs (you won’t like the answer!)


  • Doctors or pharmacists… who can you trust?
  • Are we overmedicating the American public?
  • The greatest marketing success story in pharma
  • How a media frenzy can twist how people think about prescription drugs
  • Prescription drugs … what are the true risks?
  • What does Cialis have to do with Chris Farley in Tommy Boy?


If you enjoyed this interview, you may also like:

Interview with Julia Allison – Queen of self-promotion, lightning rod for publicity, Wired cover story

Interview with Wired’s Jeff Howe, author of ‘Crowdsourcing’


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