Balancing Healthcare Costs in Turbulent Times

Pharma continues to offer new life-saving innovations—at an amazing pace. It’s a good reason to stand tall, knowing you can help people in need. But it’s hard not to notice that pharma is taking an unprecedented beating from the media, presidential candidates, physicians, payers, pharmacists and patients. Market access to brands is difficult and complicated for patients who need specialty and chronic disease management drugs. The financial strain hits all stakeholders—and patients perhaps hardest of all. More now abandon prescriptions or try to stretch their medications, leading to less than best patient outcomes. Today, experts question the very sustainability of the industry as is.

How can marketers surmount such formidable obstacles? How can they get their brands prescribed to the patients they can help? One way marketers can give physicians and patients a hand is through financial assistance—and co-pay coupons have been a mainstay in this effort. But for those who don’t yet offer such programs, what should they look for in a co-pay vendor to make the brand stand out and get it into the hands of those who need it? Ten industry experts provide the insights you need in this month’s Think Tank.

But there’s more to winning customers than providing financial relief. Pharma marketers are moving quickly—or should be—into providing excellent customer service across the spectrum. It’s no longer an option to pick up the pace in customer service practices—it’s an expectation. In fact, responsive, empathetic and effective customer service can push the needle and reap financial rewards. Our cover story, The New Blockbuster: Customer Service Equals Sales Growth will take you step-by-step through the qualities that define customer service—and put your brand front and center in the marketplace.

Finally, we can’t underestimate creativity as key to industry success. After all, that’s how to reach and engage—more important now than ever before. Look for our Greatest Creators special supplement in the March issue to see how the very best agencies are using their creative prowess to assist all in achieving good health.

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