Michael McLinden, Mc/K Healthcare

June 2, 2008

Companies have spent a lot of money over the past 10 years on banner ads, Web sites, e-media planning and buying, but the big payoff-pens to Rx pads-hasn't been there. Companies are looking for someone to solve it. Someone to say: "This is how you build a virtual relationship with a patient." "This is how you build a virtual relationship with a physician." And finally, "This is how you make these relationships work for your brand."

Companies have spent a lot of money over the past 10 years on banner ads, Web sites, e-media planning and buying, but the big payoff—pens to Rx pads—hasn't been there. Companies are looking for someone to solve it. Someone to say: "This is how you build a virtual relationship with a patient." "This is how you build a virtual relationship with a physician." And finally, "This is how you make these relationships work for your brand."

There's been a lot of progress on the patient end of the equation. There are some good case studies out there showing how to make a web CRM program work like crazy with patients. But we're still sorting out how to do it with physicians. And unless someone can look the client in the eye and say they've figured it out for that brand, that the supports and rationale make sense, clients should continue to be careful with their Web CRM spends. The Web is a tool to be used if it will allow the brand to reach and build relationships with target audiences, and if it will positively impact sales.

In the years ahead, there will be more refined DTC. It's not a coincidence that public respect for the pharmaceutical industry has declined as TV advertising has increased. Ironically, it's never been more important for pharma companies to help educate patients and caregivers about their healthcare options. Pharma companies are one of the few possible counterweights to the payers, chain pharmacies, healthcare systems, and other nonphysician stakeholders who increasingly control pricing and patient choice in our healthcare system.

The Skinny

Mc|K Healthcare is an agency that works with specialty pharma clients to build brands and maximize prescriptions. It is run by the partners, and their management team: Melissa Wojcik, Keith Finch, and Bill Lucas.

Telephone: 671-482-8228

E-mail: michael@mckhealthcare.com

Web site: mckhealthcare.com