Consumerism has upended healthcare

Shopping for health care (side view)KEY TAKEAWAY: 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience, and the happiest consumers are those who interact with the system the least.  There is a gap in perception between providers and consumers on the quality of experience currently being provided.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Providers underestimate the degree to which the patient experience fails to meet consumer expectations.[/inlinetweet] This skewed perspective is creating a lack of urgency among providers to fix the problem. While providers are aware of patient dissatisfaction, they have many competing initiatives, making it difficult to prioritize.

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The patient experience must go beyond fixing what’s broken and focus on building unique, brandable experiences.

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What about pharma?

Pharma, for the most part, has taken the attitude that “patients need us more than we need them”.  That’s changing, and in a huge way.  Now it’s about cost, and the drug side effects and the quality of life. “How does your product allow ME to live the life I want?” is a question more and more patients are asking.

While there has been a lot of talk about being more patient centric pharma has been sitting on their hands, studying it and talking about rather than actually doing it.  It’s actually very simple, just treat patients like people and demonstrate that you actually do care about THEM rather than profits and sales.

Generics become bigger piece of the pie

In 2015, generic drugs brought patients and the U.S. healthcare system 227 billion in savings, bringing the savings since 2005 from generics to $1.46 trillion. And [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]generics saved Medicare about $67.6 billion in 2015[/inlinetweet] (about $1,737 per enrollee) and Medicaid said savings of $450 per enrollee, totaling $32.7 billion.  Adults 40-65 years old see 45% of the generics savings, with seniors 65 years and older seeing 34% of the savings. Young adults 20-29 saw 14% of the total savings, and children 0-19 years old say 7% of the savings.

Though generics make up 89% of prescriptions, they only constitute 27% of total medicine spending, which means that branded drugs making up 11% of prescriptions are responsible for 73% of costs — with specialty drugs making up 1% of scripts and 30% of total drug spending. Patients know this and as one doctor told me “are asking more about inexpensive treatment alternatives.

Why should ANY patient stick with a branded drug when drug companies could care less about them?  That’s a question that pharma had better figure out and fast.