Marketing budgets of U.S. health care companies 2017-2018

Out of the three types of healthcare companies in the United States including biotech and medical devices firms, pharmaceutical manufacturers had the highest marketing budgets. Nevertheless, all three increased their spending between 2017 and 2018. On average marketing budgets of healthcare companies in the country grew by two million U.S. dollars in the measured period. In general, the healthcare sector tends to focus more on advertising in traditional media rather than digital ones, at least on a local level.

Marketing and advertising of the pharma industry

  Among companies in the pharmaceutical sector, Pfizer invested the most in direct-to-consumer advertising in 2017. Pfizer’s U.S. ad spend amounted to 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, and Eli Lilly ranked second with a spend of 480 million. In total, the pharma industry spent 6.1 billion U.S. dollars on DTC advertising in the United States in 2017. When it comes to print advertising, GlaxoSmithKline was the highest spender in 2018, followed by AstraZeneca and then by Pfizer, who spent close to 18 million U.S dollars on promotion in health journals. TV ad spending of pharma companies amounts to roughly 3.7 billion U.S. dollars, led by AbbVie and its ads for Humira.

Average marketing budgets of health care companies in the United States in 2017 and 2018, by type

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Release date

March 2019


United States

Survey time period

2017 and 2018

Number of respondents


Special properties

mean average

Method of interview

Online survey

Supplementary notes

*2017 n=176; 2018 n=233

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Statistics on "U.S. pharmaceutical industry"

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