The worst day of listening to patients….

The_Worst_Day_Ever_by_Whinnie10It was perhaps my worst day in market research ever.  I listened to an MS patient, who is making $100,000 a year, tell us that she cannot afford the MS drug that works for her because her insurance won’t cover it and it cost $17,000 every month.  As I listened to her, she said she had a savings account with close to $40, ooo in it, but that it would soon be gone because the drug she needed.  She said the drug company said “they can’t help” because she makes too much money so her progressive MS symptoms will return.  

As we listened to her tell her story, it was hard not to want to reach through the glass and say “I understand” until the person I was with said “the problem is, there is probably a lot more like her”.

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These are the people that the drug industry needs to get out and listen to if we are to change the industry perceptions.  Rather than sit in meetings and listen to MBA’s make business cases we need more empathy and a willingness to help.

I’m not sure when the drug industry became more of a business, but that day was indeed a dark day for us all.