Clinical trials: Is data enough?

doctors-social-mediaKEY TAKEAWAY: With so many new drugs being developed and updates on their efficacy being released the best way to reach prescribing physicians might be a mix of patient stories with clinical trial data.

Today, both Eli Lilly and Biogen are going to release updated data on their Alzheimer’s drugs.  There will both pro and cons as investors, analysts and physicians react to the results, but there might be an opportunity to leave a lasting impression with real patient stories.

One of the things I took away from my years of marketing to HCP’s is that they seemed to be really interested in hearing what patients had to say about living with health problems and potential treatments.  Physicians want to better understand, beyond physical aspects, how the quality of life is measured by patients while they deal with potential health issues.

arzt informiert am flipchart

Physician’s today are trained to treat conditions not necessarily treat patients.  It’s important for them to better understand a patient’s perspective of how their quality of life is affected both pre and post treatment.  While Shire is trying to condition the market for BED they might make some real inroads if they demonstrate how real people are dealing with BED and how it affects their well-being.

I remember working with a thought leader on Cialis who viewed a videotape of patients talking about living with ED and the other problems it was leading to including depression.  “I never realized how important an issue ED is to a patients overall wellness” he said.

Marketing is about telling stories and perhaps telling REAL stories from REAL people could help convey the importance of new treatments in conjunction with clinical data.