When it comes to “engagement’, patients have different needs

UnknownKEY TAKEAWAY:  Do consumers/patients really want to engage pharma companies?  Recent quantitative research says “no” but what they want is, for the most part, not being met by pharmaceutical companies on or off line.

I just finished an analysis of quantitative research for a client.  Our objective was to quantify “engagement” from a patient’s perspective and to learn what that engagement, with pharma, might look like.

Here are the topline findings..

1ne: When it comes to engagement (interaction) patients first need/want is engagement with their physician(s) (72%) and insurer (66%) before a pharmaceutical company (21%).

Orange Man

2wo: Patient’s top wants/needs via an online pharma website are: side effects/safety (78%), drug discount cards (58%) and whether their health insurance covers the product (69%).

3hree: When asked “do you want an online relationship (via social media or email) with a pharma company whose product you were prescribed an overwhelming majority said “no” (82%).  When asked why the reasons given were, privacy concerns(54%), “I don’t see the value/need(49%).

4our: “Should drug companies use social media to engage patients?”  Again the majority said “no” (65%) while (42%) said “sometimes.


What did we learn?  We all talk about engagement, but before we act on “the numbers” perhaps we should define what engagement looks like from a patient’s perspective.  Rather than apply these findings to whole patient populations marketers need to use them as a starting point followed up with more in depth research within specific patient populations.