How Does Pharma Engage with the Patient Expert/Advocate and the HCP?

Last week Janrain presented at SMI’s Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry conference. It was a great venue to understand the issues facing the digital side of the pharma marketing mix and understanding the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry with identity and authentication. It was also interesting to learn from presentations by patient experts and advocates whose communities are based on social networks, blogs and posts.

As the pharmaceutical industry is catching up with the social trends driven by those communities, they’re stumbling into the same issues that have plagued consumer brands for years. Historically, acquiring and recognising customers has required people to fill out registration forms from scratch and create yet another username and password combination. We have been solving those problems for our B2C clients for years.

Pharma’s traditional market influencer is the HCP. Regulatory guidelines in the EU ensure that pharma businesses engage solely with the HCP community. HCP’s have a vested interest in identifying themselves to pharma brands using their HCP ID. They get better content, in a language that they understand.

And it’s all about the content…

However, pharma companies do not have the monopoly on content as newly diagnosed patients hunt for information on their condition. Their HCP team are an obvious source, but the social communities on their specific condition offer advice, support, and guidance; which at a vulnerable time, is impactful.

The challenge for pharma is to leverage the identity services already being delivered by Janrain for their HCP influencers and to widen the scope to enable patient experts access to specific content or community areas curated by the HCP’s and paid for by pharma to wrest back control of the dialogue with their patients.

The pharmaceutical industry landscape will continue to evolve as social media plays an even bigger role in the lives of HCPs and patients. Staying on top of these changes will continue to present challenges to brands as they try to connect with their professional customer base. Finding a comprehensive identity solution will become paramount to bridging the gap between pharma brands, their HCP influencers and their patient consumers.