The responsibility of empowered patients

Your-ResponsibilityKEY TAKEAWAY: We keep hearing about empowered patients, but with patients wielding more power and acting like consumers comes a responsibility that most patients may not be able to accept.  This is a great opportunity for biopharma companies.

Yes, patients are acting like consumers today, but for a lot of patients it means entering a maze that many just don’t have the time to navigate.  Depending on the health condition, the search for health information can be confusing and frustrating.  Often patients are left to make their own decisions based on information that may be good or bad.

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The question then becomes “what is pharma doing to help patients become better informed about healthcare choices?”.   Pharma websites are in need of a major overhaul from top to bottom.  They have to, primarily, help and guide patients before selling them on possible solutions.  Pharma marketers also have to understand that no patients are going to choose their product as a result of coming to one website.  They need to draw a picture of the patient journey and determine what can be done at each touchpoint to influence patients.

Can insurers help?  That depends. [inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””] If insurers steer patients towards treatments based on lower costs they are going to be looked at with skepticism[/inlinetweet].  As it stands right now health insurance websites don’t even show up on radar when patients are looking for online health information.

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Patients can be empowered, but only to a certain extent because health information is very hard for most people to understand and there are too many variables that can be applied to each person.

The oxymoron in this is that DTC marketing has to shift from selling to helping.  The hard sales model is not going to be work as patients challenge marketers’ claims.