On a week where a lot of people are taking their final summer vacations the news is that Amgen is buying Onyx and AstraZeneca Plc took a further step to bolster its pipeline of new cancer drugs on Monday by agreeing to acquire privately held U.S. biotech company Amplimmune for up to $500 million. On paper it’s a good business move but as big pharma companies gobble up small biotech companies they bring with then antiquated processes and business people who are thinking about the bottom line rather than patients. The results ? Innovation that led these smaller biotech companies to develop new drugs will be stymied by a bureaucratic business model.
The rise of people using the Internet has probably done more to make DTC marketing ineffective than any other consumer behavior. Yet with more and more people using the Internet for health pharma marketers have not evolved their online marketing to meet changing needs and wants of empowered patients.
Two in ten online consumers indicate that, in the past month, they have forwarded a link to an article about a brand or product (19%) or to a brand’s or product’s website (19%) to someone in the past month, while 15% have forwarded a link to a brand’s or product’s video (Source). With all DTC budgets facing increasing scrutiny it’s time to pay a hell of a lot more attention to your product website than to simply turn it over to an agency to develop. A good website can help achieve brand objectives, but a poor one can lead to a lost conversion and a waste of money against key brand KPI’s.
Employees are contributing nearly 6% more for health insurance for their families in 2013, more than three times the increase in workers’ wages. Workers are shelling out an average of $4,565 for their employer-sponsored family health coverage this year, according to the annual survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. What does this mean for DTC marketers and patient behavior ?
A new analysis conducted by Forbes puts grim numbers on new drug development costs. A company hoping to get a single drug to market can expect to have spent $350 million before the medicine is available for sale. In part because so many drugs fail, large pharmaceutical companies that are working on dozens of drug projects at once spend $5 billion per new medicine. Some caveats, though: drug companies have tax incentives to count costs in research and development, which could inflate the figure; they also are likely to spend extra money in order to get those medicines approved in other countries.
According to Kantar Media’s annual physical segments 60% of patients had a physical last year. The problem is that this statistic varies widely by age group and income. We also have to remember that some people believe they had a physical last year when in fact it has been several years since their last physical.
So you spent a lot of time and money getting your target audience to ask for your medication and get an Rx, but that may not be enough. Some insurers want to talk to the prescribing physician to ensure that they have tried generic medications first and to understand why the physiciam is prescribing a branded medication. DTC marketrs need to understand the potential barracades for patients seeking branded prescription drugs.