Will pharma get digital?

  • Only 3% of healthcare advertising is spent on digital.
  • Pharma websites are not designed to engage users they are there to strictly inform people about the advertised drug.
  • An estimated $7.4 billion (£5.5 billion) was wasted on display ads alone in 2016, a figure that will rise to $10.9 billion (£8 billion) by 2021, according to Forrester.
  • Before serving an ad, marketers must gain insight on target audiences. Many take a “spray and pray” approach, hoping to drive performance success.
  • According to AdWeek, only 14% of marketers whitelist sites, with 52% estimating that 10-50% of their marketing spend is lost to fraud.
  • More than half of paid programming impressions are probably fraudulent , while under even the best-case scenario, one-third of those impressions aren’t viewed by an actual person.

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Digital health does not replace a visit to the doctor

  • Digital health is one of the hottest spaces for investment, with companies raising $1.6 billion in venture capital in the first quarter of 2018.
  • Digital health companies are getting really good at screening populations of people for health problems before they develop into serious medical issues, but they struggle to get patients into their doctor.
  • Medical experts say that digital health can’t do much for users that are already sick, or at high risk of a serious medical condition.

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The biggest threats to your health care

  • The biggest threats to our health care is not the cost of prescription drugs.
  • The health insurance industry is tracking your race, education level, TV habits, marital status, net worth. They’re collecting what you post on social media, whether you’re behind on your bills, what you order online. Then they feed this information into complicated computer algorithms that spit out predictions about how much your health care could cost them.
  • Medical experts say that digital health can’t do much for users that are already sick, or at high risk of a serious medical condition. Many of these companies won’t diagnose disease for regulatory reasons, even if they’re picking up strong signals through sensors and algorithms, so instead they’ll suggest that a user see their doctor.

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What do patients expect from pharma companies?

  • There is a significant gap between patient expectations and pharma company services when it comes to prescription drugs.
  • Patients want pharma companies to “help them” learn about and manage their health problems.
  • They also want pharma to provide clear and easy to understand content about their products.
  • Real patient stories score very high in credibility and pharma should try and “connect” these people online.
  • Patients want a source to “turn to” when they have a question about their medication beyond their doctor or pharmacist.

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DTC advertising benefits consumers

  • DTC advertising is designed to provide scientifically-accurate information to patients so that they are better informed about their health care and treatment options.
  • There is never any requirement or obligation for physicians to prescribe a particular medication, as was confirmed by 91 percent of physicians in FDA’s survey.
  • Beyond increasing patient awareness of disease (including undiagnosed conditions) and available treatments, DTC advertising has been found to increase awareness of the benefits and risks of new medicines and encourage appropriate use of medicines.
  • In addition, DTC encourages patients to visit their doctors’ offices for important doctor-patient conversations about health that might otherwise not take place.

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DTC and online health seekers

  • Patients, today, have a lot of choices when it comes to Rx medications.
  • They spend a lot of time online comparing treatments.
  • Social media is playing a bigger role, however while patients seek out other patients, because of their experiences, they usually require more information.
  • Online health seekers use multiple online health websites to get the information they need they only go to pharma websites for information on a specific product.

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