Want to help patients? Go beyond the Rx

imagesKEY TAKEAWAY: DTC marketing’s objective has always been to generate new Rx’s but that model is broken.  To maximize revenue per patient DTC marketers need to go beyond the Rx and help patients help themselves.

Going beyond the Rx is a paradigm shift in the way we approach DTC marketing but its time has come.  Rather than trying to “sell” patients that our products a worth the maze that has become healthcare marketers need to stop accepting that the lifetime value of patients is minimal.

How can we keep patients on therapy? By going beyond the Rx and giving patients the tools they need to both ask for your medication and stay on it once they start.  It means support tools as defined by your research and patient needs, but managers also have to convince executives that investing in these programs is worthwhile.

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Here’s a good example..When I worked in the diabetes area I read, via a patient support group, about a 24 year old woman who was going through shock and depression as she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.  She was very healthy and ran 4-5 miles a day plus and was a vegetarian. She was at a loss how this could happen to her and was very down at the idea of giving herself injections around the clock.  Several people in her support group reached out and responded that living with type 1 diabetes was not a lifestyle killer and that she could continue running and doing the things she loves with an insulin pump.  We reached out to her to document her transition to using an insulin pump and it was one of the highest traffic pages on the site.  I had to convince management that the cost of videotaping her and putting her story online was worthwhile as it was a way to go beyond the Rx.

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Getting an Rx is only a small part of the battle to win customers, we need to help them live the lives they want to live and provide them with support as necessary.  It means a new way of thinking, but it can be done.