Walk into any corporate pharma HQ, and you’re likely to see a mission statement that’s pure bullshit about how patients come first. We all know that Wall Street and sales come well before patients. Want proof? Just look at any pharma product website that is nothing but a sales brochure in a majority of cases.
ROI drives pharma companies. If it doesn’t add value to the bottom line, it’s not worth spending money on. In the past, pharma product websites had a huge effect on whether a patient asks for an Rx. Today it’s only a tiny part of an online health seeker’s journey.
If pharma companies really want to earn back patients’ trust, they have to start with the basics, which means websites that focus on what people need and want rather than what DTC marketers want to push.
I know I’ve talked about this before, but we need to rethink the pharma product website completely. We need to measure in terms of engagement rather than raw visitors.
Here’s what I mean:
1ne: Homepages need to be simplified with a message that resonates with online health seekers.
2wo: Use images of real people. Stop using fake HCP’s and then asterisk the image with “portrayal.”
3hree: Talk to online health seekers, don’t preach.
4our: Make your website about “wellness,” not just about your product. For example, share information with MS patients about how to live with their MS or tell people with diabetes about the best meal delivery services.
5ive: It’s time to update clinical trial information. Don’t just say the “most common side effects were..” let people know how many people what percentage of people reported certain side effects.
6ix: P L E A S E address misinformation by providing links to credible health sites.
7even: Get out of the mindset of “once the website is up we’re done”. HUGE mistake.
8ight: Challenge the FDA. Fair balance should be one-click away not on the homepage.
Online health seekers are bombarded with sites and health information which adds to the confusion. Drug companies have done very little to try and leverage the opportunity to regain trust via online sites.