Patient Insights: Opportunities for pharma (MS)

insights_ideasPOST SUMMARY: Patient insights provide valuable opportunities for pharma marketers to get closer to their customers (patients) but only if DTC marketers are listening and act quickly to provide tools and health information that drive patient needs and brand objectives.

As I prepare to ride for MS tomorrow and am a caregiver for someone with MS I am reminded that each health condition has its own audience needs and characteristics.   Over the last year I have done a lot of “listening” to MS patients and there are several opportunities for biopharma to get closer to these patients of all ages.  Here are some examples..

INSIGHT: MS patients use social media to “talk” to one another.  The conversations most likely revolve around how to live with Ms as well as advice on minimizing side effects of some medications.

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ACTION: Connect patients via the brand via patient communities.  Use thought leaders to provide insights and recommendations on ways to minimize medication side effects as well as patient advisors to talk about their “learnings” of living with MS.

INSIGHT: Social media mining indicates that the needs of caregivers of MS patients are being largely unmet.

ACTION: Specific content for caregivers so they understand the impact of MS on patients.  During research we presented MS patients with a poster that can be hung in the kitchen with the words “today I feel…”.  Patients then can write in “tired, energetic, good” to help share their current days health with partners.  Surprisingly, it worked really well.

INSIGHT: MS patients want to track their good and bad days.

ACTION: An app that allows MS patients to easily track their physical symptoms tested very well.  Results can be emailed to physicians or printed out in a chart view to review with their doctor.

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These are just three examples, but the key here is to implement initiatives without having the need for months worth of meetings.  The key is to implement, learn, optimize and get better.