Are You Letting Patients Play Russian Roulette With Your Product?


All of the costs involved in getting a medication to market are on the line the moment the doctor puts the prescription in the patient’s hand.

At that point—for better or worse—the patient takes control of the therapy, making the key decisions that determine whether a medication will be effective.

That was the message from Consumer Health Information Corporation President, Dr. Dorothy L. Smith, addressing top healthcare decision—makers representing the pharmaceutical industry, government, managed care, insurers, and employers.

Dr. Smith said patients carefully weigh the risks of taking a drug against the benefits. Because they don’t know how to manage side effects appropriately, many patients will just stop taking the medication.

“This is why a newer and more expensive medication with a lower incidence of side effects is often more cost-effective than an older drug having more side effects.”

“If a patient stops taking an antihypertensive drug because of the side effects and ends up in the emergency room, the cost savings of the less expensive drug are wiped out.”

Successful product managers don’t gamble in their marketing plans. They make sure patients know how to manage common side effects. Consumer Health Information Corporation has 15 years of experience in developing programs (meeting FDA requirements) that help patients make wiser decisions about side effect management.

What Every Marketing Manager Needs To Know:
  • Medications with a higher incidence of adverse effects will be more likely to result in higher levels of noncompliance, indirectly raising overall healthcare costs.
  • 10% of all prescriptions are never filled—and patients often make that decision right in the doctor’s office. Doctors need counseling tools to convince patients to fill prescriptions for your product.
  • 33% of all prescriptions are never refilled because patients decide they don’t want to continue taking the medication. Your marketing plan should include a refill compliance program.
  • About 50% of medications actually taken are not used correctly. This limits the chance your product will be successful.