Prescription drug DTC marketing

Content and innovation for pharma marketers

Bright IdeaPOST SUMMARY: If you want to excel as an innovator in the future, don’t set out to copy and improve what someone else has already done. Focus on your audience and deliver a great online brand experience while answering their concerns about living with health conditions. Continue reading »

FDA approval no longer means sales

I was talking to our research Director about some recent research findings and surprisingly one of the top line findings is that both consumers and physicians are not in any hurry to try new drugs just because they were newly approved by the FDA.  Why ?  Trust. Continue reading »

Highlights from Comscore Pharma study

comdscore report Those who access health content are also doing so using more than just PCs. In April 2013, 35 percent of visitors used mobile devices to consume health information. A year later, almost half of health information-seekers used mobile devices to consume health content. This uptick in mobile usage suggests two things: an increased reliance in managing one’s health issues on-the-go, and an increase in tablet usage at home instead of the PC.  For those using mobile devices out-of-home to manage health issues, uses included understanding symptoms, treating a condition, or achieving one’s health goals. Comscore’s research indicates more specifically that on-the-go mobile users seek health information at doctor’s offices and while waiting for prescription refills at the pharmacy. Continue reading »

Pfizer fights generic Lipitor with new promotion

cc_imgPOST SUMMARY: Rather than surrender branded Lipitor sales to generic competition, Pfizer is fighting back by offering patients a “Lipitor Choice” card.  However, insurers can’t be too pleased if patients opt for the more expensive branded product over the much less expensive generic.  Who are the real winners here? Continue reading »

Using web analytics to benchmark a drug launch

web analyticsPOST SUMMARY: Web analytics can provide a wealth of information allowing brand teams to determine if they are on target with the global launch of new prescription drugs.  By developing a digital global launch excellence template organizations can benchmark if their message is cutting through the clutter to reach consumers who are likely to ask about your product. Continue reading »

DTC Review: Linzess for IBS

linzessdtcPOST SUMMARY: IBS affects between 25 and 45 million people in the United States (10 to 15% of the population). About 2 in 3 IBS sufferers are female. About 1 in 3 IBS sufferers are male. IBS affects people of all ages, even children. Although IBS is common in the general population, few seek medical care for their symptoms, so I have to wonder why Ironwood and Forest are taking such a bad approach to the DTC marketing for Linzess. Continue reading »


buildinghealthwebsiteWomen with children in the household are the primary users of online health information—they are the “chief medical officers” of their families. Roughly three-quarters of US women use the internet for health information, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and many of them do so nearly daily.  Yet when it comes to unifying the customer experience cross-channel less than one quarter of companies report they “always succeed,” while more than 60 percent “often or sometimes fail” according to a Forrester study . Continue reading »

DTC marketers focus on dying media

deathofTVAccording to Business Intelligence “The TV business has had its worst year ever. Audience ratings have collapsed: Aside from a brief respite during the Olympics, there has been only negative ratings growth on broadcast and cable TV since September 2011, according to Citi Research.” While the national network news seems to be sponsored by pharma companies consumers are consuming media elsewhere and time shifting their favorite shows because repetitive tv commercials are downright annoying. Continue reading »

Just how out of touch are DTC TV guidelines ?

iStock_000010822711XSmall_thumbIf the FDA wants to make DTC TV ads relevant to consumers they need to revisit the guidelines they established years ago.  For example, the requirement to add a “see our ad in…” is completely worthless.  Does the FDA really believe that consumers are going to remember that ?  Then there is the fair balance which is a bit of an oxymoron.  What the FDA really needs to do is look at how people are reacting to these ads and better understand the steps they go through as they decide on which drugs they are going to ask about. Continue reading »

Inventing a health condition via DTC

understanding-low-testosterone-4504According to today’s Times “The market for testosterone gels evolved because there is an appetite among men and because there is advertising,” said Dr. Joel Finkelstein, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who is studying male hormone changes with aging. “The problem is that no one has proved that it works and we don’t know the risks.”  Many experts say that pharmaceutical advertising promotes excessive and inappropriate drug use by convincing patients that they are ill — or have a more serious condition than is genuinely the case — and need medicine to treat it. While television viewers are barraged with advertising warning men they may have “low T,” Dr. Finkelstein said, “There is no such disease.” Continue reading »

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