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Payers, Personalization and Patients

Increasingly in the Pharma industry, we are seeing that the rather fixed mindsets that can result in frustration among digital marketers are being challenged by the evolving world of our customers and the consumers of our products. How can an industry stand still when there are new decision makers, new ways of sharing information and, critically, new ways of seeing how that information is being received by patients or physicians?
ePharma 2015 touched on all these topics and more, allowing speakers to present their experiences and insights into how we can navigate new territories or, at least, start to enter arenas which have so far been perceived as too risky.

So, who are our payers, how are we targeting them and are we doing this effectively? The Affordable Care Act, part of wider Healthcare Reform, is cited as the most impactful change of recent years, and the effects are still being understood, including the influence on access to physicians and the consideration of a new customer segment of decision makers. As we consider the breadth of roles that now impact prescribing, we need to think about the content that is being promoted and how this is being done. This is where digital is integral to ensuring that the Pharma industry can stay relevant and adaptable. The tools in the field and online represent an opportunity to tailor your message across different channels and audiences; the data analysis tools above the field allow you to assess how successful your strategy is.

Tailoring your content and targeting your audience are essential to a strategy that presents the right people with what they want or need to see. We’re not in a position to create an experience for physicians, and they don’t necessarily want this – distinct from other industries, customers within Pharma are skeptical of the information they are being given and what they have to provide in return to see it. Within these limitations (and others), the only way to cut through the deluge of material available to, and directed at, physicians is to give them information that provides value, in a way that they want to see it. To do this, though, is to evolve the approach to content creation and distribution, as well as to navigate the complex course of federal and organizational approval systems and processes. Continuous analysis of the result of these efforts, however, makes it possible to gain a real return on the investment by evaluating and subsequently adapting tactics based on the evidence available.

As for the patient, can we accept the risk of evaluating their experience or creating a dialogue with them? Patients have opinions: they care about the drugs they are taking, how those drugs are making them feel and how those drugs are making other patients feel. The opinions of patients matter: an informed and supported patient is more likely to see the value in the medications they are prescribed, leading to better adherence and outcomes. Methods of opening up this communication with patients exist and there is a drive to use these from patient advocacy groups, as well as patients themselves and brand teams.  As Pharma continues to recognize the mutual value of this sort of engagement, and the qualitative results that can be gained, the commitment to new interactions signposts a promising trend towards transparency and consideration for the patient experience. 

As ePharma gave delegates an opportunity to see, digital is opening up better and more intelligent avenues to personalize the physician, payer and patient experience by providing the means through which we can target users, tailor content and appraise the results. It’s up to us to use it properly to reap the benefits.

Do you need help in creating your very own Digital Ecosystem? At PharmiWeb Solutions we help our customers understand what their customers want from a digital experience and deliver on this, from strategy and scoping to data & insights. Contact us to find out more.

Avril Humphrey, Client Services Executive (US Office) 

5th May 2015