It has been stated in the pharmaceutical industry that the next big “blockbuster” might be patient adherence in a chronic condition. If pharmaceutical companies can drive adherence and improve patient outcomes, it will likely help reduce costs throughout the healthcare system and help create a win-win-win scenario among consumers, healthcare professionals, and payers.

The pharmaceutical company wants to motivate prospects to discuss their product with their doctors. However, the overarching objectives are to support patients on therapy, reinforce lifestyle modifications, maintain adherence, and achieve successful outcomes for all stakeholders.

Designing a Relationship Management Program

In these situations the company needs to implement a Relationship Marketing (RM) program with prospective patients and especially with current patients. In order to create an effective RM program, insights must be gained from research; behavioral modeling and segmentation need to be utilized to architect a program that meets the needs of the patients. It must be relevant to the patient and their caregiver(s).

The RM Program itself includes multiple communication channels to drive awareness of the disease and medication, including information-rich digital resource centers. It’s equally important to appropriately time communications, so that they correspond with physician visits or the critical adherence drop-off points, In addition, surveys at key points allow product managers to continually learn more about the patients.

Small, Positive Steps

Furthermore, each communication is aligned with the RM programs mission: to encourage small, positive steps that, when taken consistently, yield health rewards and improved outcomes. For prospects, such a step might be asking their doctor about the drug. For patients already on drug, that small step might be a refill reminder.

When correctly implemented, an RM program can to drive successful patient compliance. The process is in place to drive the win-win-win scenario, and the basic tools are well researched. It’s a matter of using the process in the right situations to deliver relevant content and meet the needs of all the stakeholders.


About Kevin T. Dunn

Kevin is a seasoned veteran of life sciences communications with experience across a wide variety of clients, therapeutic areas and communication programs. He has vast experience in brand, digital, CRM and multichannel programs for healthcare professionals, patients and payers alike. Kevin is passionate about bringing together those three key players in all forms of communication to drive better health outcomes and ultimately better marketing ROI for clients. Kevin has written a series of white papers on multichannel marketing to healthcare professionals. He has been a guest lecturer on pharmaceutical marketing at Fairleigh Dickson University and a presenter at MM&M Skill Set Live Workshops in 2013 and 2014. He holds an MBA from Kent State University.

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