Cost of cancer drugs not the issue

screenshot_26POST SUMMARY: Spending on cancer medicines represents less than 1 percent of all health care spending for all diseases —$25.9 billion out of $2,800 billion. Cancer medicines represent 20 percent of total spending on cancer care.  But don’t let facts get in the way of a good media story.

Between 1988 and 2000, 23 million years of life were saved due to cancer treatment advances. During that time, the United States realized $1.9 trillion in value due to improved productivity, extended life, and other factors resulting from improved cancer treatment.  A lot of that is because of the hundreds of new cancer drugs both on the market and in development.  The media, though, likes to point fingers via shallow reporting of news stories.


While the Internet allows access of a wide variety of news it seems that it’s left up to each reader to decide if the whole story is being told or just part of the story.  The same can be  said about Rx drugs.

All it takes is one troll via the Web to kill a great marketing campaign and sticking your head in the sand is no way to deal with the issue of trust.  DTC marketers need to have timely and quick feedback to current DTC messages beyond focus groups. We need to know what is being said via the living web because it may lead to a decline in Rx drug sales for certain products.

Do we need to respond to everything that is said via social media? Of course not, but we need to do a better job with patient insights both to identify threats as well as opportunities.  The objective should be not only to rate threats to our marketing and the brand, but to determine how we can defuse threats before they become a major issue.

Pharma marketers need to be empathetic and more transparent if the drug industry is ever going to earn the respect and trust of patients.



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