Individuals are starting to control their own health treatments

KEY TAKEAWAY : McKinsey says “Patients are becoming more than just passive recipients of therapies. Healthcare will be driven much more by consumers than physicians, with patients increasingly coming to their doctors with more information, parameters they measured at home, and an informed opinion about how they should be treated,” says Dr. Bertalan Mesko, medical futurist and author of My Health: Upgraded”.  How is pharma using this to leverage DTC?

Google cancer and you’re going to get over 600 million hits .  How are patients supposed to manage all that information and make informed and educated decisions when there are so many parameters involved in treatment options?

There are some patients who really want to take control of their health care, but for others the abundance of online health information can be at best confusing and at worst lead to bad decisions that can lead to health problems and higher healthcare costs.

There are so many opportunities for pharma, but companies need to stop thinking about selling and focus more on helping people make good, informed and sound choices.

1ne: Segment your website for patients that are prediagnosed and those who have received an Rx for your product and give them the information THEY want and need.  Remember, your website is not about YOU it’s about users.

2wo: For heavens sake please hire a copywriter who can write engaging and informative copy. Stop using complex “medical” jargon.

3hree: Make sure you explore the positives as well as the negatives of your product.  Patients are going to get the information they need either on your site or get it somewhere else.

4our: Update your site on a regular basis.  If the disease state you market in or your product is in the news you should be talking about it on your website.

5ive: Use patient stories featuring real people.

6ix: Stop using pharma website products pages as a template.  Conduct usability studies and research.  One of the best websites I ever launched was the result of research in which our focus groups actually designed a homepage.

7even: Deep link your site.  Feature links to trusted and credible health websites.

8ight: provide patients with printable summary sheets of key information they either need to know or should talk to their doctor about.

It’s time for DTC marketers to stop falling in love with TV and start thinking about patients and the confusing world of having to make key treatment decisions.

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