The world is going native — and doctors who want to remain relevant should too.
No, we’re not talking about adopting local customs when traveling (or forgoing underwear). We’re talking about digital natives, i.e., people who were born during or after the general introduction of digital technologies and, therefore, have been interacting with such technologies all their lives.
(If that’s not you — if you’re, say, 45 or older and can remember more analog-driven times — then you’re what demographers would call a digital immigrant.)
And those millions of digital natives are not just posting cat videos or playing videogames. Among them are the increasing number of doctors who began their careers after the Internet went mainstream and, like their contemporaries, have relied on interactions through connective digital technologies for their entire professional career.
And, if the folks at LBi Health are right, this year represents a tipping point: For the first time (and from here on out), more doctors (51%) will be digital natives than digital immigrants. It may not sound like a major upheaval but, ready or not, the ramifications promise to disrupt every aspect of the profession.
Digital doctors: Not surprisingly, younger doctors are among the most avid adopters of digital technology. According to Kantar Media, 87% of doctors ages 35 and younger use a smartphone for professional purposes vs. 84% for those ages 35–44, 74% for those ages 45–59 and 59% of those ages 60 and older. And social media usage among doctors ages 26–55 is 22 percentage points higher than for those ages 56–75 (87% vs. 65%), says MedCity News.
Digital patients: Young doctors aren’t the only ones glued to their smartphones and social media feeds. Younger patients instinctively turn to the Internet when considering medical procedures, conducting online searches, consulting medical websites and reading reviews from others to a much greater degree than their older counterparts. When the time comes to contact potential providers, who do you think they’re likely to turn to — those they’ve gained some familiarity with or those they’ve never heard of?
Digital marketing: The above ability to “get to know” — or at least get a sense of — a doctor before meeting him or her is arguably as fundamental a shift as the digital one that enables it. As such, it requires an equally fundamental shift in how doctors interact with people who are not just potential patients but also healthcare consumers. If you don’t meet them early in their “decision journey,” there’s a good chance you won’t meet them at all.
It’s a process that’s reinventing marketing in every industry and well captured in this recent post by Jessica Meher of HubSpot. She’s talking about how the changes impact Chief Marketing Officers, or CMOs, but if you change just a couple of words, her post takes on a whole new resonance:
In a time where buyers are already 60% through the buying cycle before they engage with a vendor, [doctors] need to attract [aesthetic consumers] early in the sales cycle, nurture them until ready to purchase, and help turn them into loyal customers. Investing more in mobile or social isn’t what makes a digital [doctor] truly digital. Modern [doctors] inherently understand how buying behavior has changed and how to get through the clutter by creating valuable content and building an inbound marketing foundation.
The foundation will also provide the stability required to stay on the right side of the digital tipping point.
This study analyses how 14 OECD Countries refer to “value” when making decisions on reimbursement and prices of new medicines. It details the type of outcomes considered, the perspective and methods adopted for economic evaluation when used; and the consideration of budget impact. It describes which dimensions are taken into account in the assessment of “innovativeness” and the consequences of this assessment on prices; it confirms that treatments for severe and/or rare diseases are often more valued than others and shows how countries use product-specific agreements in an attempt to better align value and price.
The main objective of this report was to explore value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals. In principle, value-based pricing (VBP) can offer better value-for-money for purchasers of pharmaceuticals. It also gives clear signals to pharmaceutical companies that they will be rewarded if their products address the priorities of the purchasers, so in the longer run may reorient pharmaceutical innovation in a more cost- effective direction. However, it is easier to talk of rewarding ‘value’ than it is actually to do so. Is it value to the purchaser that should be the basis of decisions (i.e. some combination of the increase in health and the reduction in other health spending) or the value to society (which would also take into account increased labour force productivity of those who are less sick and those who no longer care for others, amongst other things)? Is there ‘value’ in innovation itself? Countries which use value-based pricing for pharmaceuticals do not make the same choices as to how to determine value. Furthermore, countries which do not have value-based pricing per se may take into account some of the elements used in economic assessments of value in making their decisions. This report attempts to shed light on what impact these different choices make to reimbursement decisions and prices.
Read on in the downloadable PDF!
Please cite this paper as:
Paris, V. and A. Belloni (2013), “Value in Pharmaceutical Pricing”,
OECD Health Working Papers, No. 63, OECD Publishing.
Pour les laboratoires pharmaceutiques, on le sait, l’avenir du business n’est pas forcément au beau fixe. Pour ce faire, l’une de leurs perspectives réside certainement dans la transformation digitale et l’évolution vers les services d’e-santé.
“Pharma companies need marketing strategies that will successfully engage the e-patient in order to continue branding and growing their products.” (How the ePatient Will Revolutionize Pharma Marketing http://t.co/AG8reVXSg4)...
Les Échos Nouveau recul des dépenses de médicaments Les Échos Depuis 18 mois, les patients qui refusent que leur pharmacien leur délivre un générique doivent faire l'avance des frais. L'effet dissuasif a joué à plein.
Bayer HealthCare today announced it has launched an educational website for U.S. physicians about a rare life-threatening condition called Chronic Thromboembolic Pulmonary Hypertension (CTEPH). The site – www.CTEPH.com – is designed to increase CTEPH disease awareness among healthcare professionals (HCPs) and educate them on proper CTEPH diagnosis and surgical treatment.
While the pressure on pharma companies to maintain profit margins is high the industry needs a better focus on patients as consumers of healthcare. Part of this focus should be using all the digital tools at their disposal to help consumers navigate the confusing world of empowered healthcare and make choices based on good, clear and easy-to-understand health information.
Le site internet gaucherfrance.fr est un service que Genzyme met à disposition des patients atteints de la maladie de Gaucher et de leurs proches pour gérer leur quotidien et être acteur de leur santé.
Strategic pharma digital marketing. strategicpharmamarketing POST SUMMARY: Biopharma organizations should be preparing for the customer of the near future by building capabilities now rather than later and focusing more on the ...
“There’s a tension between opportunity and risk”, says Simon Quayle, Director of Digital Communications at GSK, describing his work leading the company’s corporate social media engagement. And he should know – he was responsible for making GSK’s Facebook page one of the world’s first ‘open’ pharma social media environments, encouraging public stakeholders to post comments during a time when most pharmaceutical companies kept their pages tightly locked down.
That was in the days when Facebook allowed pharmaceutical companies to ‘switch off’ commenting from their pages; a practice that has since been banned by Facebook, forcing less-prepared companies to either close down their Facebook pages or rapidly adapt to two-way public engagement.
GSK featured in my“Top 10” pharma social media firsts of 2013for exceeding 90,000 Facebook ‘Likes’; today, Likes on the company’s page are rapidly approaching 100,000. But according to Quayle’s colleague Janet Morgan, Director of Corporate Reporting at GSK, the most successful channel of engagement is in fact not Facebook, but LinkedIn, where the company has over 400,000 followers actively sharing its content.
Quayle and Morgan tell me that their secret to success in social media is to focus on selected channels where they can be most effective: currently Twitter; Facebook; YouTube; LinkedIn and Flickr. As they share some of their stories, I sense that the lessons they have learned through both success and setback have developed the company’s mature approach to social media.
1. Learn what engages people
Morgan says that the most active engagement from people with a genuine interest in what GSK is doing comes via LinkedIn, where the profile and behaviour of users is quite different to Facebook. On Facebook, what works best is “feel good” stories about positive news and corporate responsibility. Quayle says that it can be surprising to learn what kinds of content leads to positive engagement. He was surprised to discover, for example, that a photo of the GSK headquarters building attracted more positive comments than a story about a community partnership.
A recent example of content that inspired a positive response was the profiling of women in management within GSK, to mark International Women’s Day which took place on 8thMarch. The theme of International Women’s Day was “inspiring change” and GSK’s take on that was to profile inspiring change in the workplace, with content published on the company’s website shared via a photo album on Facebook; Tweeted; and posted on LinkedIn. After just three days, Morgan says that engagement was 50% higher than average.
2. Stream specialist conversation into channels
I ask Quayle & Morgan about @GSK_conferences, the dedicated Twitter profile featuring “Tweets from GSK employees attending scientific conferences”. Quayle says that this is an experiment to allow the company to engage actively at conferences without the corporate @GSK Twitter profile becoming too noisy for the majority of its 40,000+ followers who may not have an interest in the particular conference. Tweets from @GSK_conferences are sent by GSK team members while they are on site at conferences. “It’s important to actually ‘be there’ if you are tweeting form a conference”, says Quayle.
GSK uses other dedicated channels, too. In the US, for example, a dedicated customer channel exists to handle responses to product queries. Ultimately the conversation is usually taken offline, but using a dedicated account for responding to product enquiries keeps the corporate channel focused.
3. Know the channels
Quayle, who launched the company’s Facebook and corporate Twitter accounts himself, started in social media with his own personal profiles on the platforms, so that he could learn about the environment before taking the helm of GSK’s social media engagement. Quayle & Morgan tell me that GSK staff with an interest in using social media for the company are encouraged to have their own accounts, and to start out by simply following others, listening, to learn about the channel.
4. Always experiment
A key aspect of Quayle’s approach to GSK’s social media engagement is to continually be experimenting, discovering what works and learning from every experience. He likens the company’s history with social media to learning to ride a bicycle, and says while it is important to understand the opportunities and the risks, it is even more important to actually try things: “You don’t learn to ride a bicycle by reading a manual – you have to try it”, he says. “And when you go out, you need to have a rough idea of where you are going.”
“Working closely with legal and compliance colleagues is essential”, says Quayle, adding that an aspect of experimenting is being happy to close things down if they are not working.
5. Be prepared
Returning to the bicycle analogy, Quayle adds that it is important to be prepared for what could go wrong.“[When riding a bicycle, you need to] have a view about what might be ahead – take a first aid kit, and a puncture repair kit”, he says, indicating that the corporate social media equivalent to these might be a crisis management plan, and a clear escalation process.
Being prepared for change seems to be something that Quayle relishes. He is eager to make the most of opportunities as they arise, and yet both Quayle and Morgan are clear about their goals: “Building [GSK’s] reputation; building trust; developing transparency”.
It’s not just about sales
Does social media bring commercial benefits to GSK? That’s not exactly the point, according to Quayle and Morgan. “Increasing sales is not one of our KPIs”, says Morgan, “although building reputation and trust will do that”.
“The way that we do business is just as important as what we achieve”, adds Quayle. “You cannot be a company that’s performing well if you’re not living up to the expectations of society, and living transparently”.
I am left with a sense that despite GSK’s success in social media to date, the team have a lot more up their sleeves yet. “We have to organise ourselves around the needs of the customer”, says Quayle. “We’re starting to do that”.
Although social media use in healthcare continues to grow, a new study has found that about half of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies are not actively engaging with patients through social media and the same amount of companies are not using social media effectively. More specifically, as drug makers experiment with social media to engage consumers, they are reluctant to use these tools to bolster their efforts in designing and developing clinical trials.
According to the study,“Engaging Patients Through Social Media”by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, while only one in 10 clinical trials run by drug makers have recruited participants through social media channels, most have yet to try it. Concerns range from protecting patient privacy to equally sticky issues such as patients who publicly distort event experiences or introduce research bias by sharing treatment information with others.
Of the top 50 pharmaceutical companies, the report found that 23 used at least one social media platform to connect with patients, and just 10 used all three platforms. Twitter was the most-used channel (22 companies), followed by YouTube (17 companies), and Facebook (15 companies).
“Like it or not, social media communities as a forum for interaction and engagement are here to stay,” Ken Getz, the director of sponsored research programs at the Tufts University Center for the Study of Drug Development, toldThe Wall Street Journal. “And patient centricity is about engaging patients. But there is a decidedly low level of adoption today when it comes to using social media in clinical research…Its use is really quite minimal. Most companies have yet to develop a set of core policies and procedures.”
In addition, none of the companies report using social media to design clinical trial protocols. According to Getz, of the 20 companies that participated in the survey, only 13 provided data about their use of social media in trials. The lack of clear guidelines from regulatory agencies may be discouraging pharmaceutical companies from broadening their use of social media to interact with patients. To date, the FDA has only published draft guidance on the topic and is currently collecting feedback on the recommendations. As a result, only one in five companies that use social media directly interacts with patients for various purposes, according to Tufts. Most outsource patient engagement to third parties or use what was described as more passive approaches, such as banner ads on social media sites.
According to Tufts, drug makers are making increasing use of social media for patient recruitment – an estimated 11 percent of all trials now do. Of the companies queried, nine of 14 say they plan to increase adoption to recruit in the U.S. and five of 12 expect to do so in Western Europe. More specifically, 12 of the 13 companies with quantifiable data reported using social media to track the number of leads generated for trial participants and 10 of those 13 said they tracked the number of patients screened, while eight companies tracked the rate at which participants were randomly placed in trials.
As health care continues to evolve, the report suggests that expanding the use of social media in patient care will become increasingly important and will require a combined effort from regulatory agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and healthcare professionals.
The report states, “Advancing social media to center stage in health care and the use of medicines will require clarity from regulators, a more proactive stance by pharmaceutical manufacturers to engage with patients, and utilization of available tools to ensure patients receive value from their social media interactions.”