Pharma DTC At The Crossroads? 2011 Prevention DTC Study Results

Here are six thought starters I see coming out of Prevention Magazine’s 14th Annual Pharmaceutical Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising Study.*

1. Generic growth continues to put downward pressure on DTC ROI’s.

2. DTC continues to positively impact conversations with the doctor, but there is a general decline in patients receiving the prescription drug–a significant drain on ROI.

3. Consumers value Pharma websites, but opportunity exists to improve their value with less focus on ‘benefits-only’ messaging.

4. Consumers are consistently looking for Pharma to provide more information about the safety and risks of prescription medicines.

5. Social Media and Mobile Health are still in their infancy in helping consumers to gather information about prescription medicines and to manage their healthcare.

6. Consumers are interested in new health IT and advanced treatment solutions to help improve their health.

1.      Generic use continues to rise with 36% reporting that they’ve switched to a generic prescription or OTC medicine in the past 12 months to reduce healthcare costs.  With Generic medications now accounting for 78% of all retail prescriptions dispensed (IMS Health), this has sizable potential implications for any brand’s DTC Adverting ROI.  Continue reading

What Does It Mean To Be Patient Centric?

Almost every Pharma company today calls itself “patient centric”.  But how many truly put their patients first or have patients at the heart of their business model?

Here are 24 things Pharma-or any company for that matter-can do to get closer to being patient centric:

  1. Listen to your patients/customers. They often know what’s important. Social Media has made this much easier to do.
  2. Converse with patients…on-going if possible. Dialog is more than pushing out one-way messages…
  3. View the world through their eyes–as they see it-not as you want it to be. Try living in their shoes…
  4. Provide impeccable customer service 24/7–answer the phones, consider live web customer service. ‘The customer is always right.’
  5. Provide real- time product updates  as new information becomes available; the good, the bad and the ugly (efficacy and safety).
  6. Provide easy to understand information about your products’ benefits and risks. Might you explore use of the drug facts box? (Patient Risk Communication FDA Advisory MeetingContinue reading

Pharma Marketing to Consumers Faces Continued Pressure from Generics

Generics and the Economy continue to add pressure to Pharma Brand Marketing.  The most recent data released by Wolters Kluwer Health continues to support that even the Pharmaceutical industry is not immune to the economic downturn.  In fact, by the close of 2009, 2/3’s of all prescriptions filled will be for a generic…


Summarized in a recent WSJ article “Many Drug Prescriptions are Going Unfilled”  the data suggests that the numbers of Americans not filling branded prescriptions is continuing to rise.

“Due to cost, U.S. patients failed to fill 6.8% of the brand-name prescriptions their doctors requested in the 2008 fourth quarter, a 22% increase from the first quarter of 2007. Patients also abandoned prescriptions for generic drugs at a higher rate, failing to fill 4.1% of generic prescriptions,” according to the WSJ.

Wolters Kluwer also also reports that “abandonment increased as the amount of the co-pay increased, especially for new prescriptions. For example, new prescriptions with co-pays of $100 or more carry an abandonment rate of just over 20%; while with co-pays of $10 or under, the abandonment is only 4 percent.”

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