ePatient Panel: How Open Should Pharma Be in Marketing?
Last night, in prep for today’s CBI patient panel, Ignite Health’s Fabio Gratton invited Alicia Staley, Ann Bartlett, Diane Bayer and myself to a lovely dinner, all with the purpose to “plot for world domination” (as Alicia said it!) and talk about patient empowerment and pharmaceutical marketing. On nights like these, I’m always struck by how much I learn from being a sponge at the table. Fabio and I listened as these three women carved out a new plan for marketing – one that includes the promotion of unfavorable reactions to devices and drugs, no less.
The argument was this: Alicia and Ann, who both had bad experiences with medical devices, wished they knew that these reactions had happened to someone else prior to their decision to try the devices. The point? They would’ve tried them anyway, but at least they would’ve known to watch out for certain situations that would indicate the devices weren’t working for them. Plain and simple, they want transparency and honesty about what to expect from drugs and medical devices, directly from the source – and feel that this can only help, not hurt, the industry. Only then, they said, would they and others be able to make informed decisions.
The three women are seasoned patients and patient advocates. Alicia is a three-time (yes, THREE) cancer survivor who was first diagnosed with Hodgkins in college, then battled through two rounds of breast cancer. Ann has had type 1 diabetes for almost 40 years. And Diane battles MS and depression, along with raising a son with autism. Needless to say, each had an interesting perspective to bring, quite literally, to the table.
(And today at 10:30 a.m., they will again bring their unique perspectives to the room. Check back later today for a video of the session!)