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Doctor on billboard The U.S. and China accounted for 86 percent of 2018 spending with the U.S. contributing $15.9 billion and China $14.4 billion. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Make no mistake about it: health care is a for-profit industry. And like any for-profit business, health care companies are banking on advertising to earn consumers’ dollars. Globally, companies spent $36 billion on health care advertising in 2018.

According to Zenith Media’s Healthcare Advertising Expenditure Forecasts, advertising overall is expected to log a growth rate of 4.8 percent in 2019 and 4.3 percent in 2020 across 13 key global markets. Health care advertising globally isn’t hitting the same breakneck pace, though. Health care brands are expected to boost spending by 3.6 percent this year and match that pace in 2020. Research costs and the current battle over the cost of health care are depressing advertising spending by health care firms. But new technology, new OTC products and new services, as well as an aging population needing more care, are expected to fuel increased spending in the years to come.

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Marlene Satter

Marlene Y. Satter has worked in and written about the financial industry for decades.

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