Direct to Consumer: Patient Education Reform - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Direct to Consumer: Patient Education Reform
Marketers can empower patients to start a dialogue with their doctors.


Pharmaceutical Executive


Some materials do not address patient's most basic concerns. In one example, a first draft of a brochure promoting an antibiotic treatment posed hypotheticals, such as,"If you take antibiotics when you don't need them, they may not work when you do." This indirect approach confused patients. The re-draft, however, spoke to patients using straightforward, declarative sentences: "Don't take antibiotics when you don't need them, because they may not work when you do need them."

Flawed ADHD Brochure

A brochure for parents of children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) demonstrates another flaw in patient materials. While the brochure boasted an inviting design and helpful information, it lacked a clear discussion of side effects, which made parents uneasy. Marketers should have better displayed the information on side effects to make parents feel more confident about treatment options for their children.

Marketers must understand how the patient-physician relationship impacts marketing. To spread a message about a product, marketers must bring educational value to both parties. Effective patient materials encourage patients to talk to their doctors about the product, and make it easer for doctors to understand and promote the product. Marketers must take the time to increase their patient IQ and view materials through patients' eyes.


Shireen Bashir, Sanofi Pasteur Kerry Ann Clawson, Accent Health
People Chris Foster rejoined Burson-Marsteller as managing director of its global healthcare practice. Sarah Wilcox was promoted to executive vice president and director of Draft Health. Abelson-Taylor hired four clinical research associates: Jonathan Davila, Rose Marie Cassey, Radu Postelnicu, and Lucy Chung. James Giffin joined Creotex Communications as director of strategic planning and business development.

Awards Adair-Greene was invited to participate in the 3rd Annual One Show Rx exhibition, honoring excellence in advertising. It was chosen for its ad for Ceralyte, for Attention Deficit Disorder. Ventiv Health celebrated its 10th anniversary with a party hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Palio Communications recieved a gold award at the MarCom Creative Awards for a campaign created for Celegene Cellular Therapeutics and LifeBankUSA

Launches Corbett Accel Healthcare Group launched a new business unit, Surge Worldwide Healthcare Communications, as a spin-off of its New York office. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation unveiled a new ad campaign, "HIV-Not Fabulous," produced by Better World Advertising.

Accounts Adair-Green was selected as Stiefel Laboratories' agency of record for two dermatology products: acne drug Duac and MimyX Cream for eczema. Edelman was selected as the agency of record for the American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Maggie Helmig is president of Eden Communications Group. She can be reached at


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