Patients: Pharma websites don’t talk to me”

KEY TAKEAWAY: “How can a pharma company try to sell me a product when they don’t understand what I’m going through?”

We are in the middle of developing a website strategy for a biopharma company and, as part of our winning process, we started with some qualitative research.  We first started asking about online health sites in general and then moved to pharma sites.  The audience was online health seeker of all ages, but primarily women as they are the ones who really research treatments.  Here is what we learned:

1ne: Online health seekers believe that pharma companies don’t understand “what they are going through” in trying to treat health conditions and researching treatments.

2wo: They want to hear and share others experiences with different treatments and also want tips on living with chronic health conditions.

3hree: Cost is becoming more of an issue in deciding which treatments they want to try.

4our: Pharma companies see them only as “sales targets” not customers.

5ive: The content of pharma websites is too complicated and the safety information on the bottom of the website needs “context”.

Will they still go to a pharma website? Yes, but only to get some basic information or download a coupon. In other words “pharma websites are not doing the job” in converting prospects into customers.

(Qualitative research, n=104, March/April 2108)