In India same drug molecules are sold under different brand names by different pharmaceuticals. To persuade the physicians to prescribe their brands pharmaceuticals engage in marketing techniques like giving samples, gifts, sponsoring travel etc. Many countries are striving to reduce the impact of incentives on prescription behaviour. This study explores the influence of pharmaceutical marketing on the prescription practices of doctors in India. There were 103 study subjects - 50 doctors and 53 sales personnel. Data collection was done by a self administered questionnaire. Data were collected on 36 variables which were supposed to influence prescription. The effectiveness of the promotional strategies on prescription behaviour was marked in a seven point Likert scale ranging from "not at all effective" (score=1) to "extremely effective" (score=7). Open ended questions were used to collect qualitative data. Good rapport with the doctor, launch meetings, reputation of the company, quality of the drug and brand names significantly influenced prescription behaviour, while direct mailers, advertisements in journals and giving letter pads and other brand reminders were less effective. Commonly used method of giving samples was not among the twenty most effective methods influencing prescription. Product quality and good company are still factors that influence prescription. Pharmaceutical marketing influences the choice of brands by a physician. The more expensive strategies involved in public relations are more effective. Sending mails and journal advertisements are less effective strategies. How expensive marketing strategies affect cost of the medicines has to be explored further.