PRINCIPLES FOR ADDRESSING ADHERENCE THROUGH MARKETING
Adherence is Complex…
There are six relevant variables that influence the ability to improve adherence:
The relationships between:
the patient and the physician;
the patient and the pharmacy and/or pharmacist;
the patient and the non-physician professional or caregiver;
The medical condition for which the drug is prescribed;
The patient’s experience with the drug; and
The patient’s attitude toward drug treatment.
…and There are Many Challenges
There is a lot of emphasis on physician education by pharmaceutical manufacturers, but it is focused on
promoting the sale of drugs, not usage by patients.
Physicians don’t engage in regular dialogue with their patients.
Pharmacists are busy people and, without an intervention by the manufacturer, are unlikely to make a
special effort to have the appropriate dialogue with a patient about your drug.
Adherence is a Marketing Challenge
Typically, organizations approach adherence with reactive programs, or with programs that don’t take the patient
and his or her requirements into consideration.
Effective adherence programs are structured and executed like effective marketing programs:
Programs are executed to influence drivers of patient behavior based on data-driven insights.
Messages and tactics are differentiated based on segmentation and the life stage of the patient.
Multiple channels are deployed based on the patient’s requirements and preferred channels.
Channels must be aligned, along with the messaging from everyone in a position to influence the patient.
Messages must be tailored to relevant family and friends who may influence the patient’s behavior.
Data generated by the program is analyzed to drive actionable insights for the brand and organization.
Principles for Adherence Success
The keys to success are credibility and relevance:
Gain the support of physicians and pharmacists, the most credible and trusted sources of information for
Fostering collaboration between patient and physician.
Ensuring programs are patient-focused, reinforcing health and wellness.
Employing customized communications and approaches that are tailored to each patient’s needs and
Offering simple, flexible and supportive programs to overcome adherence barriers.
Digital Cement’s Solution
Digital Cement uses key principles to develop robust consumer behavior modification programs for many
industries, including Life Sciences. A patient-focused program can be successful when used independently, or in
conjunction with Health Care Practitioner (HCP) marketing activities. A patient-focused approach results in
programs that not only achieve the desired consumer behavior modification, but also provide additional benefits
For Mobilization Programs
The key opportunities for marketers include:
1. Increasing awareness of a disease and its associated risks when launching a new medication or
motivating complacent patients.
2. Encouraging a prescription switch by targeting an audience that uses a competitor’s medication with
messaging that emphasizes your brand’s benefits.
3. Developing a rich consumer database to match against pharmacy data and to accurately measure
program success and drive insights.
For Adherence Programs
The key opportunities for marketers include:
1. Maximizing script refills by ensuring that patients follow their prescription, using medication and
lifestyle content and tools to maintain patient motivation.
2. Collecting valuable patient-level data to both deepen the existing patient relationship and create new
program monetization opportunities through partnerships and marketing comorbidity solutions.
3. Developing goodwill and advocacy with HCPs by providing useful online resources that effectively
help patients and simplify the work of the HCP.
Digital Cement has seen that companies benefit from a patient-focused one-to-one approach when marketing to
the patient directly, in addition to (or replacing) marketing through HCPs. Your program may already employ some
or all of these strategies. In this case, Digital Cement has developed a Maturity Framework to help you assess your
existing platform’s strengths and weaknesses and recommend how to make the program best-in-class, or simply
take it to the next level.
For additional information on Digital Cement’s life sciences tools, contact:
United States Canada and International
John Skroly Paul Erickson
(203) 351-7341 (416) 537-7503
Digital Cement is a relationship marketing company, which helps leading organizations start, grow and manage sustainable customer
relationships. By seamlessly integrating management consulting, customer relationship management (CRM), measurement and analy tics
technology and marketing agency services, Digital Cement harvests data insights that drive desired customer behavior, while continuously
deepening and expanding customer relationships through progressively relevant and valuable experiences.
Founded in 1997, Digital Cement’s expertise spans life sciences, financial services and consumer packaged goods, among other industry
verticals. The company has offices in the United States and Canada. Digital Cement is a subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE : PBI), a $6.3 billion
communications and technology company. For more information, please visit: www.digitalcement.com.