Uniqueness if pharma DTC

Pharma DTC marketing is unique, and drug marketers need to think more about the journey from awareness to requesting an Rx. In addition, the patient journey is different for each product category and audience. Some will lead to more online research, while others may not.

The hottest pharma product is Lilly’s diabetes drug, hyped by the media as helping patients lose weight. Most of the media stories, however, leave out the possible drug side effects, which are serious. Will the target audience see this drug as a solution to losing weight and minimizing side effects? Whose responsibility is it to remind patients of the drug’s side effects?

Mounjaro’s homepage is a callout about patients losing “up to 25 pounds”. Is Lilly responsible for informing patients that using this drug requires a diet modification, and doesn’t that someone can order a double quarter pounder at McDonald’s after using the medicine?

Mounjaro has not had a high search volume on Google, which, to me, is troubling. This could mean that the target audience is asking for/about the drug without doing their research. Accurate, the DTC has not started yet, but the media is exciting the weight loss, and headlines appear all over social media.

The patient journey for Mounjaro is different from that for other products like drugs used to treat depression, or MS. Do DTC marketers have a patient map to show the key touchpoints and where DTC marketing can provide the best ROI?

I’m[ortant for DTC marketers to understand how current patients became customers through continued research. TV, alone, is not the answer. Marketers need to know how and why patients went on therapy.

In the CPG world, marketing is changing. More people are moving to private labels because of higher prices and shrinkflation. In pharma, it’s all about “what can you do for me” combined with “how much and what are the side effects?”.

I am always surprised when DTC managers say they don’t have a patient roadmap and are unaware of the critical triggers for asking for an Rx. Pharma is different in many ways, but treating prescription drugs as “just another product” for TV is a waste of money.