Sunday, October 05, 2008

Patient Support in The Changing Economy: 3 Issues to Consider

It looks like change is around the corner. Here are 3 issues patients and their families may be considering in their healthcare spending choices, and their implications for C&P marketers:

Issue 1. Shrinking or delaying healthcare expenditures where there are no perceived short-term rewards or consequences;

Consideration: Do my brand's C&P services communicate short-term patient benefits and rewards? Think of short-term surrogates rather than just long-term, more existential reasons to stay on therapy.

Issue 2. Increasing dependence on low and no-cost health support such as pharmacists, telehealth, web-based resources and trusted friends and family;

Consideration: Does my plan incorporate services that can help bridge the care gap patients will experience from job loss, spending scrutiny & increased stress on family? Copy that expresses empathy ("you're not alone", "it's hard and nobody's perfect") is easy, but are you providing your patients with performance support tools to actually empower and connect patients? It's nice to say that it's hard to stick with therapy, but what does your brand do to make it easier -other than attributes of the molecule itself?

Issue 3. Expecting greater value and accountability from those essential healthcare purchases that are maintained.

Consideration: Have you considered a 6-month promise or guarantee to NRx patients? Patients who accept the challenge of persistence could receive the motivation and performance support it will take to get there. If they fulfill their promise and your brand doesn't, how much should they pay? What should your brand try to promise?

Photo: Flickr, Redvers