Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Call for Papers | Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: Pharmaceuticals, Marketing, and Society

Call for Papers | Journal of Public Policy & Marketing: Pharmaceuticals, Marketing, and Society

Matthew Sarkees, M. Paula Fitzgerald and Cait Lamberton

Toward a Better Understanding of the Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities of a Dynamic Industry

The Journal of Public Policy & Marketing is soliciting manuscripts on pharmaceutical issues that impact marketing and public policy.

Pharmaceuticals improve citizens’ lives, are an exemplar of innovation, and provide an interesting laboratory to study sales, strategy, B2B marketing, channels of distribution, and consumers’ love/hate relationship with a critical industry. The industry also is an important laboratory for developing and testing critical theory and practical application relevant to a host of marketing researchers.

Global pharmaceutical spending on medicines spending will increase to $1.5 trillion by 2023 (IQVIA 2019). Almost four billion prescriptions were filled in the U.S. alone in 2018 (Kaiser Family Foundation 2019). In recent years, the number of physician visits in the U.S. has approached one billion (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2017). Pharmaceutical companies and regulators find themselves in the media limelight for a variety of positive and negative reasons. Digital marketing, COVID-19 and big data growth are placing pharmaceutical firms and consumers in uncharted marketing waters. Regulators are working to keep up as they too face new challenges in the industry’s marketing, sale and communication of pharmaceuticals to the public. Non-profits, governmental agencies and for-profit healthcare systems are challenged to use pharmaceuticals to provide protection and relief from sickness and disease, while simultaneously minimizing unintended consequences (such as addiction or misuse) of these products.


Fundamentally, an understanding of pharmaceuticals continues to be of interest to stakeholders around the world. Marketing and public policy professionals and researchers appear to have just as many questions as answers. Thus, this special issue seeks fill this gap with innovative, thoughtful discussions of the key issues of pharmaceuticals in the context of marketing and public policy.

Manuscripts in this area might include, but are not restricted to, topics such as:

  • FDA’s use of streamline approval and emergency use authorizations for medical devices, testing and treatments during crises.
  • The influence of state and local governments on access to prescription drugs and medical devices.
  • Consumer pharmaceutical literacy/knowledge
  • Under-served and vulnerable populations’ access to and use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs as well as medical devices and testing
  • Impact of proposed policies regarding pricing of pharmaceuticals
  • The opioid crisis and addiction
  • Healthcare provider-patient relationships before, during and/or after prescribing and use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs
  • The relationships between pharmaceutical firms with healthcare providers and institutions
  • Consumer acceptance of medical testing or prophylactic medications for illnesses.
  • Medical insurance, reimbursements and other related issues as consumer access and pay for pharmaceutical products
  • Challenges in provider prescribing and constituent use of pharmaceutical products faced by government agencies such as the Veterans Administration, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or Food and Drug Administration
  • Strategies and policies implemented by pharmaceutical firms
  • Counterfeit drugs
  • Off-label prescribing and the impact of government entities promoting or restricting access to off-label uses
  • Market for imported pharmaceuticals and travel across international borders to access legal drugs
  • New trends in drugs/medicines as they impact marketing and consumers
  • Marketing of innovative healthcare solutions in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries
  • How patients experience the consumer journey when accessing and using pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmaceutical sales or distribution issues
  • Cultural issues in legal prescription and over-the-counter drug markets, including cross-cultural issues regarding the effectiveness and efficiency regarding how this segment of healthcare is approached across different countries
  • Normative and prescriptive examination of self-regulation by firms and industry groups in the pharmaceutical industry
  • Potential deceptiveness in promotion and advertising of prescription and non-prescription drugs and how it affects consumer perceptions, attitudes and choice behaviors
  • Anti-vaccination movement and COVID-19 potential vaccinations

For this special issue, we encourage work from diverse perspectives: empirical or conceptual, organizational or individual-level, qualitative or quantitative. International perspectives are welcome.

All submissions must clearly focus on marketing issues (broadly defined). Additionally, all submissions must directly deal with policy – within a firm, within an industry, with non-profit organizations and/or Federal, State, and local policy.

Manuscripts that advocate for a political perspective either for or against pharmaceuticals shall not be considered; rather, submissions should contribute to marketing and public policy by examining these issues through an unbiased lens.

Submission Requirements and Information

Inquiries can be directed to the special issue coeditors:

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing found at:

All manuscripts should be submitted through the JPP&M online submission system at

UPDATED: The deadline for manuscripts is June1 , 2021

Matthew Sarkees is Chair, Associate Professor, Marketing & Business Law, Villanova University School of Business.

Paula Fitzgerald is the Nathan Haddad Professor of Business Administration at West Virginia University.

Cait Lamberton is Alberto I. Duran President's Distinguished Professor of Marketing, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, USA.