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.

I’m helping prepare a website for product launch for a client and, with their permission, we are getting feedback from out target audience first-hand.  When asked to list some of their top pharma product websites, there was an awkward silence in the room so we then went to several of the top RX drug websites to learn what they liked, and didn’t like, about the online experience.

Here are the top findings..

1ne: Fair balance, on websites, often overwhelms online health seekers when they first visit a site.

2wo: Websites try to do too much on their home page(s) often leading to confusion and people reloading the website (when there are sliders).

3hree: There is a huge disconnect between product information and health information. Visitors expect pharma companies to be the experts and don’t understand why they don’t include more health information as well as a list of available resources. 

4our: Even for college educated online health seekers the content was hard to understand.  One person said “who are they writing this for me or a nurse?”

5ive: Online health seekers like content from other patients and they would love to connect with these people online to talk about their experiences .  Pharma should try their best to connect these people and then bow out of the conversation.

6ix: Online health seekers don’t understand why pharma can’t answer their questions about their products.  When we explained the FDA regulated environment the vast majority said they should “try and find ways around it to help customers”.

Before we started this research we did a deep analysis of website metrics and found that the “engagement rate” (time on site, pages viewed) was poor for their other product sites and that the bounce rate was high.  We are going to launch a “pop=up” exit survey to determine the specific reasons why this is happening but we already have a very good idea.

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