patientsToday, many suffer from uncontrollable disabilities or illnesses. Though there are types of medicines and treatments that can often assist with the pain and uncomfortable feelings, many patients go on suffering. Why? The answer is simple: patients are unaware of their options and what they are entitled to. It’s important to make healthcare choices prominent and well known—patients need to understand that there is help out there.

Unknown9Almost a quarter of Americans (23 percent) report they or a family member had problems paying for medical bills in the past year. Difficulty paying bills can lead to tough choices as people negotiate tight budgets. In an effort to allay costs, roughly half (52 percent) report foregoing or delaying medical care in the past year.  What is ironic about these numbers is that people who delay medical care now are often going to wind up paying both a higher price later in dollars and quality of life.

MillsChang11-2012While I was listening to the discussion on a conference call about some possible digital marketing initiatives for a client I asked a question that nobody had considered “what about the patients?”.  There was an uncomfortable silence and then someone finally said “do we know what our patients really want and need here to make an educated choice?”  It’s a very simple guideline but with talk of KPI’s and business objectives we sometimes forget to get back to marketing 101 and give our audience what THEY want.

CANCER-articleInlineThe Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Celgene’s drug Abraxane for use in treating advanced pancreatic cancer which in clinical trials prolonged the lives of patients by a little less than two months on average.  Celgene said the drug would cost $6,000 to $8,000 a month but the drug can depress levels of white blood cells and platelets and raise the risk of bacterial bloodstream infections and lung inflammation. 

6629088361_602f6c9736_m4According to the CDC four modifiable health risk behaviors—lack of physical activity, poor nutrition, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption—are responsible for much of the illness, suffering, and early death related to chronic diseases.  7 out of 10 deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases. Heart disease, cancer and stroke account for more than 50% of all deaths each year.  Instead of selling quick fixes via medication should the FDA require that all websites include content on prevention and staying healthy ?

how-to-fulfill-the-true-promise-of_2According to Manhattan Research three years into the iPad age, most manufacturers have tablet-equipped reps in place, and ePharma Physician feedback suggests the devices provide a substantial boost to details. Nevertheless, there’s plenty of room for refinement in reps’ use of tablets, and risk-averse firms may be limiting their opportunities to engage with healthcare professionals by concentrating digital investment in product sites and other properties they own. Moreover, physicians are being buffeted by epochal changes to their practices—changes that successful marketers must understand to get closer to their customers.

budgetplanningNow that summer is unofficially over a lot of DTC marketers are going to be spending a lot of time and hours preparing their budgets for 2014.  There will be the usual meetings and questions about where the dollars should be spent and some will rely on agencies to help them prepare arguments for certain tactics but before you open up that spreadsheet the first question you should be asking is “what has changed in the environment in which we market ?” and “what is likely to change ?”.  Here are some of the things that we all need to consider for 2014..

rxtransparencyYou have the right to work with your physician or other prescriber to make informed decisions about your health care and potential treatments. This includes making informed decisions about the medicines you take.    So states the copy on the home page of Prescription  It’s a website that gives patients a better understanding as to what actually happens when their doctor writes an Rx.  Do patients care ?  From what I have heard if focus groups and read the answer maybe more than DTC marketers actually are aware.