Here’s a recent consumer trend worth talking about: According to new research, consumer trust in pharma has hit a new low, dropping 13 points from 51% to 38%.
How can an industry that does so much good have such low credibility? Listen to patient testimonials in focus groups and those that are seeking treatment are incredibly appreciative of their prescribed treatment — especially when it allows them to breathe easier, or control their sugar levels, or prevent a heart attack. So why the drop? According to the research, the high cost of healthcare was partly to blame. Most respondents also said they believed pharma companies put profits ahead of patients.
This latter sentiment uncovers a real need for pharma brands to discover new, more personal ways to connect with patients. 68% of consumers said they would trust a pharma company more if it also provided them with information, tools, and support to help them manage their disease.
So let’s give the patients what they want! This doesn’t require a complete overhaul of your current marketing strategy; rather, brands can identify the right engagement opportunities where refined messaging will resonate most with patients — both inside the physician’s office and out. Promote the patient savings programs to make your drug affordable; explain the how and why of how your drug works in easy-to-understand terms (if regulatory will allow you!).
Putting the focus on the patient first, offering information, and resources throughout his or her care journey that helps them better understand their own condition, more effectively talk to their doctor and more easily find and follow the right treatments, is exactly what is needed to start to turn this trend around.
Point-of-care platforms are already providing patients and caregivers with disease-specific education and information in the waiting room, exam room, and beyond. Take advantage of these channels and feature accompanying content to show you empathize with patients and are truly a trusted partner in their care.
While trends are transitory, we can’t afford to ignore these perceptions of our industry. We all know the good work we’re doing to help patients live better, healthier lives. This research, however, should serve as an important reminder that we could be doing even more to show patients that their best interests are truly at the center of everything we do.
This post originally appeared in DTC Perspectives.
Linda Ruschau is part of the PatientPoint founding team, bringing 25 years of experience in pharmaceutical marketing and point-of-care expertise to the company. As Chief Client Officer, Linda leads a national sales team in helping brands impact patient-physician dialogue, drive patient engagement and create sustainable success for forward-thinking pharma, OTC and CPG clients.