QUICK READ: A two-month analysis of social media and prescription drugs found the number one reason online health seekers use social media is to share and ask questions about medication side effects. I also found an abundance of medication misinformation based on personal experiences and hearsay.
TEASER: What DTC marketers and consumers do as the result of seeing a relevant DTC ad differs by a wide margin. DTC marketers would like to think that patients ask for the advertised drug when visiting their doctor, but that’s largely untrue.
SUMMARY: The goal of business is to maximize profits for shareholder returns but when a company that serves the public good pays CEOs millions of dollars in compensation while having among the highest profit margins within ANY industry I would argue that something is dreadfully wrong.
SUMMARY: COVID-19 has caused substantial increases in the number of avoidable cancer deaths due to diagnostic and treatment delays. People who need healthcare are avoiding it because of COVID-related concerns, and in some cases, it costs them their lives. Where are healthcare companies?
SUMMARY: Pharma has not embraced a content strategy when the number of online health seekers is climbing. A content management strategy can lead to a better brand-patient relationship and turn customers into brand ambassadors.
SUMMARY: Searching for online health information has become more complicated and is often wrought with bad health information. Pharma product websites need to evolve and become a credible source of inline health information for people who are often lost in bad information online.
IN SUMMARY: Online health seekers are using the Internet differently since the pandemic. Treatment options are researched more, and people are using, but not relying, on social media to gather information on what’s best for THEM.
WHAT THE? According to a Harris Poll, only 73% of Americans said they saw the CDC as somewhat or very trustworthy and 72% said they saw the FDA as highly trusted. The politicization of the FDA is also having an effect on prescription drugs. DTC now, more than ever, needs to be more transparent but will DTC marketers listen to patients?