The pandemic in 2020 has had a massive impact on the healthcare sector of course, but there has been an interesting effect on the branding of drugs that were rapidly developed and approved for use against COVID 19.
Historically the pharmaceutical companies who produce a patented drug give it a recognisable name such as Atorvastatin, Ibuprofen, Viagra, Tramadol and so on and the company name is much less well known.
After 20 years the patent on a new drug expires and other companies can produce generic versions which contain the same component parts but are identified by the name of the active ingredients, for example sildenafil which Pfizer sell under the brand Viagra.
In 2020 the urgent need to develop a COVID vaccine meant that companies around the world, acting independently, produced vaccines in a time scale that was previously considered to be impossible. As a result there is now a range of vaccines that are identified by the pharmaceutical developer rather than by a brand name; AstraZeneca/University of Oxford, Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, Novavax, Sinovac, Gamaleya Institute and CureVac.
A tremendous amount of goodwill and admiration worldwide is now attached to these companies and institutions. It will be interesting to see if the pharma companies use this widespread recognition of their company names to promote their branded drug portfolio in the future and Branded Healthcare Products is here to recommend relevant promotional items to strengthen the marketing mix.
Brand awareness is a crucially important area within the NHS and healthcare sector as there are thousands of branded and generic drugs from many suppliers and establishing and maintaining awareness is crucial.