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The pharmaceutical market has traditionally remained one of the largest advertisers in Ukraine: in the first half of 2019 manufacturers spent 1.5 billion USD on TV-commercials alone, increasing investments up 25.6% compared to the same period of 2018. The budget for the advertising of medicines is constantly increasing, and among the market participants there is a saying: "The one who launched first won the season". For example, flu season.

On the Internet, things are a little different: one of the largest advertisers in the country – the pharmaceutical market – puts about 30 million hryvnas in advertising budget for online advertising on the Internet. These are the results of research conducted by the smart planning digital agency MediaHead. "Medicine, as leaders for TV placement, are fairly indirectly represented on the Internet. At the same time, the number of trademarks presented on TV is much higher than on the Internet, and the number of advertisers is twice lower. This indicates that the majority of players on the Internet are manufacturers with a small pool of products and turnover, which does not allow to fight for the consumer in the TV arena." says MediaHead Strategic Planning Specialist Olexandr Syniakov.

Pharmaceutical companies need to increase their digital advertising budgets as 7 out of 10 European consumers seek health-related information online. According to a study by consulting firm IPSOS, search engines, today are one of the most important channels of health information after a doctor. 43% of consumers refer to this channel. Besides, 75% of these health searches are done from mobile devices.

"Brands need to use search engine advertising today throughout their communication period with consumers, since using this tool is the work with the most interested audience. Since payment is made in one click, the investment is paying off as efficiently as possible." – notes MediaHead Strategic Planning Specialist Georgitsa Vladyslav.

Market analysis

According to the results of the first half of 2019, total sales of all categories of "pharmacy basket" products amounted to 48.9 billion UAH, which is 16.6% more than the same period of 2018. The same goes for sales in dollar equivalent: an increase of 15.6%. In the first half of 2019, pharmaceutical companies sold 1.8 billion USD worth of goods. However, in the natural equivalent, sales declined 1.8% to 846 million packs.

As for the medicines market, sales in the first half of 2019 grew by 15% in both the UAH and dollar equivalents and amounted to 40.6 billion UAH and 1.5 billion USD, respectively. But in physical terms, sales decreased by 3% to 543.7 million packages.