I believe that compared to just 5 years ago, pharmaceutical marketers need to rethink their targeting focus and % allocation efforts. Today, community based HCPs are becoming less accessible with many closing their doors to company representatives. Managed care remain a key focus but more than ever they require greater and earlier cost effectiveness and outcomes data before they consider reimbursement.
With less access to physician targets, marketers need to identify new approaches to facilitate appropriate conversations or engagements between physicians and patients. Within these HCP engagements, patients are more than ever influencing their own outcomes. According to some research, patients often receive the drug they request. When it comes to understanding whom patients are most influenced by, many site other patients, care partners and visits to branded and unbranded sites as key influencers. For these reasons; I think industry needs to increase their targeted patient effort allocation with extra attention paid to those patients who influence other patients. Some of these influencers are referred to as “e-Patients” and often they are “uber” users of digital /social technology. The “e” descriptive is in reference to the following:
The e-Patient movement is growing and has now integrated across multiple disease states – chronic and acute. These patients often seek to positively influence other patients with a vision of improving outcomes through the sharing of personal experience, approach and information. This is more than advocacy. I know personally patients who have risen to their cause. They influence other patients via blog, website, radio and gatherings
I think the pharmaceutical Industry would benefit tremendously from getting to know these e-Patients who’s perspectives can guide and inform patient facing strategies and tool creation.
See Also: “e-Patient” Dave deBronkart’s video about this story and what the new digital world means for all patients.