A realistic view of healthcare in 2022

Yes, there will be changes in healthcare in the coming years but put away the thoughts that telehealth and wearable devices will revolutionize healthcare. More and more patients demand a level of service they want with the increased costs of health insurance premiums. Here are things I believe are more realistic.

1ne: The value proposition of prescription drugs still outweighs potential side effects – Wegovy’s demand quickly exceeded supply after the FDA approved once-weekly semaglutide injections. Semaglutide’s study results were enough to warrant plenty of hype for obesity treatment despite the list of potential nasty side effects. People don’t want to lose weight through diet and exercise if they can lose it through a prescription drug.

2wo: Telehealth will find use among patients because of convenience – No need to go to the doctor to ask for an Rx renewal and, in some cases, a new Rx. Telehealth will find a niche for patients who need their doctors for simple health issues, but physicians still need to be taught how to recognize more severe problems that require an office visit.

3hree: Pharma will increase its spending in digital, but a lot of the money will be wasted. Studies show that tens of millions of dollars are being wasted due to fraud with programmatic advertising, but many pharma companies are still wasting money on the channel. Digital, within healthcare, is used differently by online health seekers. Invest in product websites with content and usability studies.

4our: TV will still be the first choice for DTC marketers – TV is excellent a creating awareness, but the reach and frequency models need adjustment. Think “patient journey.”

5ive: Wearable devices continue to grow, but there are challenges – HCPs don’t trust data from wearable devices, but they may alert patients about potential health problems. I expect more companies to integrate more health monitors into wearable devices.

6ix: HCPs and insurers continue to ignore the most significant health crisis in this country – Obesity is out of control, and it’s leading to a myriad of health issues. Obesity is a considerable public-health and personal-health problem. Chronic diseases linked to obesity cost Americans at least $150 billion in medical care. Obesity significantly increases heart disease; stroke; diabetes; many forms of cancer, including breast and colon; and premature death.

Medications, mental health, social deprivation, self-esteem, and genetics all play a role in our ability to control our weight, and judgment is never a constructive approach. But suggesting that being a size 30 is just as healthy as being a size 12 isn’t a body-positive message either – it’s irresponsible form of denial.

7even: The pharma industry continues to struggle to attract talented people – So many good, talented people have left the industry that it scares me. Some of the questions I get from senior marketing people leave me speechless. Pharma needs people who can disrupt the DTC marketing model with grace rather than a bull in a China shop.

8ight: More politicians will swing over to Medicare price negotiations with pharma – Sorry, PhRMA doedoesn’tve enough money to buy that many politicians.

9ine: Smaller biotech companies dondon’tve the money to launch their first approved drugs – Mergers and acquisitions will be hot again. It’saper to bet on a small molecule in development than add more money to R&D.

10en: Omnichannel marketing has become more critical in marketing to HCPs – The salesforce still has value for some specialties, but omnichannel marketing will be the key to reaching HCPs.