Is Your DTC Message Integrated with Your Patient Education Program?


Are you developing your product’s DTC materials piecemeal? Are patients and consumers receiving mixed messages from your company?

For your product to achieve its maximum ROI, your DTC materials must:

  • be developed according to proven patient education principles
  • deliver a consistent “consumer-friendly” message
  • be integrated with all your product-specific patient information

Many companies are throwing away dollars and jeopardizing their ROI by distributing materials that deliver inconsistent messages. Don’t take this risk. “DTC materials are the first link in a total program that can improve patient compliance with your product,” said Dr. Dorothy L. Smith, President of Consumer Health Information Corporation.

“Skillfully integrating the DTC collateral materials with the patient education program will target the 10% of prescriptions never filled, the 33% never refilled, and the 50% of medications taken incorrectly.”

“Unfortunately,” Dr. Smith added, “most of the DTC Patient Labeling and collateral materials we review are written at the grade 12-16 reading level. Since the average American reads at the grade 6-8 level, most people will never be able to understand the message.”

In our recent survey of DTC ads… even in DTC materials that at first glance look consumer-friendly… we found terms like anorexia, hepatitis, jaundice, cirrhosis, nodules, elevated alkaline phosphatase, and bilirubin. This type of wording will probably frighten many consumers and you are shooting yourself in the foot when you use it.”

What Every Marketing Manager Should Know:

A successful DTC campaign will:
  • have wording and “patient-friendly” medical illustrations based on sound patient education criteria
  • be integrated with every aspect of the product launch and patient education materials.
Your message must guide consumers through the two main stages of their health care:
  • The Consumer Stage—Consumers need practical information they can understand. It must convince them to seek appropriate help.
  • The Patient Stage—Once consumers become patients, they need product-specific information that motivates them to manage their disease and medications effectively.

But remember: Even the best integrated program will be useless unless the content meets all the criteria for sound patient education