According to a GAO Report “Medicare Parts B and D and beneficiaries spent $560 billion on drugs from 2016 through 2018, $324 billion of which was spent on advertised drug”.
GAO’s review of four advertised drugs found that drug manufacturers changed their DTCA spending during key events, such as increasing spending when a drug was approved to treat additional conditions or decreasing spending following the approval of generic versions.
The report fails to acknowledge the role of HCPs in prescribing medications and empowered patients who may have been educated by DTC ads.
This report is going to lead to more calls to limit DTC advertising.
IN BRIEF: DTC managers usually have a tough time allocating DTC budgets, but once you layout your brand objectives and better understand your audience, the choices become clearer. Learn everything you can about your audience, such as “where are they online and what are they really looking for in treatment options?”.
SUMMARY: Television remains the most important medium for healthcare advertising, accounting for 54.7% of all spend in 2018, far higher than television’s 30.8% share of the advertising market as a whole. However, recent trends indicate that healthcare marketers are shifting more dollars to digital ads. The shift to digital advertising doesn’t make sense when pharma product websites don’t meet consumers’ needs.
SUMMARY: By far, the biggest question I get as a consultant is, “how much should we spend on DTC ads?”. It’s important to understand that no formula can be applied across all health conditions and products. It varies by the size of your audience and the number of diagnosed and undiagnosed patients.
SUMMARY: The number of visitors to your website doesn’t mean anything if you have high bounce rates and low page views/time on site. More than half of mobile users leave a website that takes more than three seconds to load, yet too many pharma sites are not optimized for mobile. Houston, we have a problem.
SUMMARY: The LinkedIn team had a unique take on measuring ROI. “77% of marketers measure ROI within the first month of their campaign, knowingly trying to “prove ROI in a shorter amount of time than their typical sales cycle., while only 4% of marketers even measure ROI over a six-month period or longer.” So how should DTC marketers really measure ROI?
According to a study in the Journal for American Board of Family Medicine “respondents (76%) said they were likely to ask a health care provider about advertised drugs; 26% said they had already done so. Among the 26% of respondents who talked to a health care provider about a specific prescription drug they saw advertised, 16% said they received a prescription for the advertised drug. But is this really true across all DTC?