Written by Richard Marcil on April 5, 2012
in Healthcare Marketing

In the last year, we’ve significantly increased the amount of work we do in direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of Rx drugs. (Yes, DTC advertising can be done in Canada!). Making it more important than ever to recognize the significant influence of the “PatientConsumer” in the decision-making process of treatment options and outcomes.

Who is the PatientConsumer? In short, all of us. The concept of the PatientConsumer speaks to our attitudes and behaviours in this age of health information consumerism, borne out of the digital revolution that most of us have been living for the better part of two decades.

As Canadian pharmaceutical marketers, we typically shy away from the PatientConsumer and DTC advertising. For so long, our focus has been to educate and market to healthcare providers (HCPs) first and foremost. And of course, it makes sense with DTC advertising being such a minefield of legal and regulatory issues. Right? Well not necessarily.

Educating and engaging HCPs must remain core to our marketing efforts. But it’s also important to recognize DTC advertising as a significant opportunity in the context of healthcare consumerism. The greatest threat to brands may well be the good old mouse cursor, in the hands of the PatientConsumer, it points the way to Rx drugs, over-the-counter drugs, natural health products, to ‘alternative’ treatments. From Canada, the U.S. or elsewhere in the world, and from a number of sources, some wonderfully credible, many not.

There is little doubt that we, as Canadian marketers, can better engage the PatientConsumer, to help them connect with helpful, accurate information and healthcare professionals. In fact, it’s what we must do in order to maximize health outcomes and grow our businesses.

Learn how we can help you reach the PatientConsumer.

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