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Am J Pharm Educ. 2008 April 15; 72(2): 46.
PMCID: PMC2384221

Marketing for Pharmacists

Reviewed by Donna S. West, PhDcorresponding author

DA Holdford.
Marketing for Pharmacists.
2007. 2nd Edition. Washington DC: American Pharmacists Association. 333. $52.00(hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-58212-106-2.

Pharmacists today in all practice settings are developing and implementing advanced practice models focused on delivering innovative goods and services. For these new practice models to be successful, it is critical that pharmacists understand marketing and have marketing resources available. This book Marketing for Pharmacists, 2nd Edition, fulfills this need and provides a comprehensive overview of marketing concepts and their application to pharmacy. Although there are general marketing books, pharmaceutical marketing books, and pharmacy management books available, this book focuses specifically on how pharmacists can market their goods and services.

As the authors state in the preface, the target audience includes pharmacy students, faculty members, and pharmacists in institutional and ambulatory settings. It is an excellent resource for faculty members teaching a pharmacy management course, a marketing course, or a course pertaining to service development. I believe the book would also be useful to pharmacy preceptors, residency directors, and new practitioners; all of whom are often developing new practice opportunities.

The book has 13 chapters divided into 6 sections. Dr. Holdford wrote the first 5 sections and Dr. Carrol wrote the last section. Because of the limited number of authors, the chapters flow and there is little, if any, redundancy between them. Each chapter contains objectives, text, references, and additional supplemental readings, exercises, and discussion questions, and an activity idea. The text includes anecdotal stories that demonstrate the relevancy of the topic, text boxes with main points, numerous figures and tables, and a summary section, which make it reader-friendly, especially for pharmacy students or others new to marketing. From a faculty perspective, it is the additional readings, exercises, discussion questions, and activity ideas that set this book apart and increase its value. An instructor manual and PowerPoint slides that correlate with the text are also available. The book provides brief descriptions of marketing theories and then focuses on their application to pharmacy practice. However, students and practitioners who want to find further information about specific marketing theories and concepts can refer to the additional readings.

The book content is similar to the first edition. Part I (Chapters 1, 2) provides an excellent summary of marketing concepts. I agree with the authors that it should be read by all pharmacists and pharmacy students. Part II (Chapters 3, 4, 5) discusses elements of services, how to manage service performance, and designing pharmacy services. Part III (Chapters 6, 7) pertains to consumer behavior. Although market research is addressed, the authors do not devote a significant amount of pages to the various aspects of market research. Part IV discusses marketing strategy and Part V discusses segmentation and promotion. I believe these 2 parts (IV and V) are the heart of the book. They include in-depth discussions of marketing strategy, from conducting an environmental analysis to developing strategies and positioning products to selecting a target market, to promoting the products. Part VI covers the last 2 P's of marketing: price and place. The place chapter mainly pertains to goods and channels of distribution and less to pharmacy layout and placement of services.

This is a worthy addition to any pharmacy library or personal library. Any pharmacist who is interested in growing his/her practice or business will find the book helpful as the topics can be broadly applied. As pharmacy services evolve in a changing healthcare system, many principles covered in this book will remain, making the book a good one to have on hand.

Articles from American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education are provided here courtesy of American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy