Pharma puts profits over patients. That’s what many patients think and it’s a seemingly immovable belief. At a time when pharma’s reputation is at the lowest the industry has ever experienced—just below current perceptions of government—one of the best things pharma can do is to start giving patients the answers they want in a way they can understand, and perhaps, come to accept. Not an easy thing to do, and certainly not an easy sell.
In our cover story, Answer Patients’ Burning Questions about Prescriptions, author Christian Rodgers emphasizes that while some brands have successfully braved their way into patient engagement and dialogue through social media, 50% of consumers today want to know about price and affordability more than any other topic.
Indeed, our 45th President has the same questions, but he isn’t asking for answers, he’s demanding change, calling for the government to “work to bring down the artificially high price of drugs and bring them down immediately.”
So, what can pharma do? Answer patients! Suggests Rodgers, “The path to consumer trust is paved with clear goals: Honesty, directness, and transparency.” In this issue, many of our authors touch on the concept of transparency, what it means in the real world, and its extension into everything related to healthcare and life sciences—including keeping patients in the loop on clinical trial results (see story, Putting the Patient Back into the Clinical Trials)—to the more dominant cost concerns. In truth, patients want to know pharma cares about them. And Trendsetter Jeff Arnold believes marketers who can empathize will be better able to help patients—but like everything else, it must be genuinely, transparently evident. That will hit home with patients.
Pharma does indeed have a lot to offer. The proof: Our May issue once again presents our annual ELITE Awards, those honoring the industry’s top Entrepreneurs, Leaders, Innovators, and Transformers. These talented, driven individuals consistently push the healthcare envelope further than we ever thought possible. On July 11, you can meet our ELITE as we honor them at a celebratory networking event at NYC’s 230 FIFTH rooftop bar—it’s an event you won’t want to miss.