Don’t use random data for DTC strategic decisions

  • Random marketing data via social media may not be applicable for your product/health condition.
  • Marketers need to ask “why?” and “what does this include?”
  • Perfect example is the latest health data from Rock Health.  It doesn’t differentiate between health apps and fitness apps.
  • DTC marketers need to conduct their own research and validate it with follow up research.

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PhRMA winning the PR war on drug pricing

  • The amount of money people spend on prescription drugs has nearly doubled since the 1990s.
  • According to the GAO “pharmaceutical and biotechnology sales revenue increased from $534 billion to $775 billion between 2006 and 2015. Additionally, 67% of drug companies increased their annual profit margins during the same period—with margins up to 20 percent for some companies in certain years”.
  • Pharmaceutical companies have some of the highest profit margins in the world, a distinction that has earned the industry criticism from both politicians and consumers, who often complain about the high prices of prescription drugs
  • PhRMA launched a PR campaign to blame PBM’s for high drug prices and it seems to be working.

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The over complicated process of drug pricing

  • Black-box negotiation processes” between drugmakers, insurers and the middlemen who haggle behind closed doors over how much money changes hands are hidden from patients.
  • Drug companies set the list price of drugs at insanely high levels solely to ensure the highest possible payment by insurers once all the haggling is complete.
  • There are markups along the supply chain by wholesalers and retailers, which want as big a piece of the profits.

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DTC: less effective than we thought?

  • Follow up research with patients who were on therapy found that less than 2% of patients said that DTC ads were the primary factor in asking for a specific therapy.
  • The number one driver was recommended from HCP followed by online research and feedback from social media.
  • Patients said they “don’t pay attention to drug ads” because they are too repetitive and don’t address their needs.
  • Pharma websites continue to rank low on “meeting my needs” from online health seekers.

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HCP’s to pharma “tell me something I don’t know”

  • HCP’s are increasingly becoming frustrated with pharma sales people because they “detail” information that is readily available online.
  • Most HCP’s go online first thing in the morning and go to HCP sites like Medscape.
  • Millennial physicians use mobile devices more than Boomer physicians.
  • Even with the medical and scientific information online many physicians complain that the data released by pharma companies doesn’t “tell the whole story”.

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Generic drug prices are spiking

  • Forty-five states and the Department of Justice are claiming that generic-drug prices are fixed and the alleged collusion may have cost U.S. business and consumers more than $1 billion.
  • The prices of some generic drugs, such as captopril (Capoten) and pyrimethamine (Daraprim), have risen substantially in recent years.
  • Pharma companies have raised the prices of 43 generic drugs by at least 10% so far in the first half of 2018.
  • Prior to going generic, many brand-name drugs see large increases in their cash price, with prices rising by as much as 50%.

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