PE: What roles do healthcare extenders play in pharma's relationships with doctors and patients?
PE: Is pharma doing enough to recognize pharmacists' impact, in particular?
Sinopoli: Pharma companies need to incorporate pharmacists into their marketing mix. How do you let a pharmacist know that new therapies are available, and what emphasis do you place on that? How do you talkto them about their own switching behavior when the patient comes in and why it's important to stick with the brand prescribed?
PE: What's the value of word of mouth?
Sinopoli: Patients seek out family and friends to provide healthcare information almost as frequently as they consult doctors, whether in regard to allergies or prostate cancer. Creating a word-of-mouth brand can influence consumers' initial impressions. That addresses the fact that DTC and public relations together contribute to the knowledge base of family and friends. That's where those influencers get their information. For many consumers, the word on the street is as every bit as important as the doctor's when they first seek disease or treatment information.
Nevertheless, trust still lies not only with doctors, but with the professionals working around them. And that's a trust worth cultivating. After all, the doctor isn't waiting around five minutes after you've put a prescrip-tion in your purse, when you have that one last question before you go.