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Moving Beyond Market Share

Executive Summary

Drug companies measure product success with market share--a measure appropriate to the one-time purchase of consumer goods, or even acute care drugs, but one that is increasingly irrelevant and, more important, misleading, for chronic care medicines. Market share largely measures new scrips and thus 80% of companies' promotional spending is aimed at convincing doctors to prescribe a drug--though in fact 80% of the economic value of a drug (and a similar percentage of its medical value) depends on patient behavior, in particularly getting and taking refills, which companies largely ignore. Companies need to adopt very different marketing strategies--and to start by measuring success differently, through metrics like persistence and intensity of product use.

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Reconfiguring DTC with Patient Behavior in Mind

While DTC ads work when the end consumer is an able judge of product performance, as with medications for seasonal allergies, sexual dysfunction, or hair loss, they don't work nearly as well for asymptomatic illnesses. For these conditions, DTC may help increase patient acquisition and trial, but often fails to improve long-term use, thus under-performing both clinical expectations for patients and financial expectations for manufacturers. Optimal DTC programs should integrate patient acquisition strategies with direct-to-patient support strategies such as, disease-state web sites, refill reminder programs, and financial incentives able to drive ongoing product use.

Reconfiguring DTC with Patient Behavior in Mind

While DTC ads work when the end consumer is an able judge of product performance, as with medications for seasonal allergies, sexual dysfunction, or hair loss, they don't work nearly as well for asymptomatic illnesses. For these conditions, DTC may help increase patient acquisition and trial, but often fails to improve long-term use, thus under-performing both clinical expectations for patients and financial expectations for manufacturers. Optimal DTC programs should integrate patient acquisition strategies with direct-to-patient support strategies such as, disease-state web sites, refill reminder programs, and financial incentives able to drive ongoing product use.

PharMetrics Inc.

Over the years, the impact of patient behavior on drug revenues has grown with the increased focus on treatments for chronic ccnditions. To address this more patient-driven marketplace, PharMetrics Inc. has created a set of data and software tools designed to enhance the ability of pharmaceutical companies to better understand the patients currently using their products.

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