“May” and “could” should not be used in healthcare news

The pandemic has led to a consistently high number of people looking for health information online. There are too many health news stories; however, they include the words “could” and “may.” These stories are based on preliminary studies that have a long journey to benefit patients.

Social media continues to be a resource for inaccurate health information leading to false hope for some patients and caregivers. Even LinkedIn has health reports about potential treatments so early in redevelopment that they shouldn’t be discussed.

Today ASH starts in New Orleans, and I’m already receiving press releases designed to do one thing: attract investors or raise the company’s stock price. Some research indicates that as much as 95% of potential new treatments will never make it to the market.

Pharma companies have an opportunity to be the voice of reason and accurate information about health conditions and promising new treatments. Developing a content plan around your audience’s needs is a great tactic to position your brand as the market leader.

While more HCPs are reading online content, very few companies have addressed their needs which are data and more data. You need to get to the point with HCPs and eliminate soft marketing. Essentially your data is YOUR marketing. Spinning it will lead to more questions and could cause your brand to lose credibility.

A great example of misinformation continues to revolve around COVID. A recent story, for example, indicated that patients 65 years of age and older have a very high mortality rate. However, a deeper dive into the data showed that older patients may not have had COVID booster shots. It will take years to analyze the data from COVID to gain a better understanding.

Biotech startups often hire PR firms to tout their drug development, but it’s not really about the drug; it’s about attracting potential investors or other pharma companies interested in purchasing the company.

Healthcare content that includes the words “may” and “could” should be ignored because the road from working with mice to working with patients is a long one.