Mukherjee, A. (2012), "A potpourri of patient perspectives in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 6 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijphm.2012.32406caa.001Download as .RIS
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A potpourri of patient perspectives in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing
Article Type: Editorial From: International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Volume 6, Issue 3
It has become sufficiently evident and well accepted that the economic sector that will demand and foster the most breakthrough innovations globally in the next few years is Healthcare. It is also increasingly clear that patients are the focus of all these innovations, as the power gradually shifts from healthcare providers to consumers. Recognizing the importance of this shift, the International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing has consciously addressed research on patient perspectives more than any other topic over the six years of its publishing history.
Understanding and improving patient decision making in healthcare is seen as a necessary step towards containing rising costs, reducing unwarranted variations, expanding patient-centered care and improving healthcare quality (Sepucha et al., 2004; O’Connor et al., 2004).
However, the need to better understand patient perspectives in healthcare continues to grow. Hibbard (2004) laments: “Despite the rhetoric about patient-centered care, few attempts have been made to measure and improve in this arena” (p. 133). A recent article in The Economist (2012) points to the need to reorganize healthcare in response to the rising toll of chronic diseases worldwide. According to this article, while caring for chronic conditions is not what doctors are best at, patients are in the best position to manage their own chronic conditions working with healthcare providers. This new paradigm requires a greater understanding of patient perspectives in pharmaceutical and healthcare marketing.
An important manifestation of patient empowerment in the future of medicine is their inclination to request their physicians for particular types and brands of prescription drugs. This is the topic of the first article “Prescription drug request and denial” by Doohee Lee and Dennis Emmett. Prescription drug requests and denial are important aspects of medical decision making but little research has been done to identify factors linked to patient prescription drug request and physician denial. The study by Lee and Emmett aims to explore just that. Employing a cross-sectional design with a nationally representative database of 2,988 individuals, followed by descriptive and multivariate stepwise conditional logistic regression analyzes, the authors reveal, after adjusting for personal factors, that heart disease, allergy, anxiety, minor chronic conditions, medical seeking behaviors and DTCA were found to be related to patient prescription drug request. The denied were individuals with arthritis, less prevalent chronic conditions, the uninsured, and African Americans. The authors also found that 27.4 percent of the patient sample requested a prescription drug and about 24 percent of those who requested for prescriptions were denied by their physicians. DTCA is positively associated with prescription drug requests but the analysis did not support any effect of DTCA on the refusal status. This paper makes an interesting contribution in looking at a variety of factors, such as medical conditions, demographics and DTCA, associated with prescription drug requests and denial.
Interactive online technologies are an efficient means of supporting and improving patient capabilities for participation in healthcare decisions. The second article by Edgar Huang, Chiu-chi Angela Chang, and Poonam Khurana is “Users’ preferred interactive e-health tools on hospital web sites.” While many interactive e-heath tools are scattered on many hospital Web sites today, it is not clear which ones users perceive as most necessary and useful. In this article, the authors attempt to investigate the patient-oriented interactive e-health tools on hospital web sites that users deem essential. The findings of the research study are based on 242 patients/users from diverse backgrounds in a purposive sample. A modified Delphi technique was used in two rounds of survey to collect and analyze data. The findings of the study show that respondents highly desire core-business tools, especially access to medical records and lab results, while discounting hospitals’ efforts to connect with social media. Hospitals’ e-health implementation on their web sites has greatly lagged behind the users’ needs for interacting with hospitals online. It is concluded that, while continuing to provide traditional functional tools, hospitals should expedite their development in providing core e-business tools and emerging functional tools in order to accomplish multiple objectives, including service, education, and marketing. This article provides solid empirical evidence for US hospitals to (re)consider how to prioritize their efforts in implementing e-health online so as to build a user-centric web site. This is the first empirical study that investigates from the patient/user perspective the usefulness of various interactive e-health tools online. Hospitals will be able to achieve their marketing, service, and educational objectives by following the specific recommendations in this study.
As patients take more responsibilities for their own healthcare, patient decision-making with respect to OTC drugs assumes special significance. The next two articles address patient/consumer behavior with respect to over-the-counter (OTC) medications. The first among them is a research paper by Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen, Richard A. Owusu, and Bylon Abeeku Bamfo, titled “Brand salience of OTC pharmaceuticals through package appearance”. The changing health care market is affecting consumers who are now expected to take greater responsibility for their health. Their means for doing this include purchasing self-medication and medical self-service, which coincides neatly with an increase in the number of OTC pharmaceuticals. Additionally, OTC pharmaceuticals are progressively becoming available in a wider range of stores, where the salesperson’s knowledge of OTC products is absent. This study by Kauppinen-Räisänen, Owusu, and Abeeku examines packaging as a medium that conveys the product message at the point of purchase, and explores the impact of its extrinsic verbal and visual product cues. The authors employ an exploratory conjoint analysis in Finland, the USA, and Ghana. A total of 89 respondents participated in conjoint tasks for two product types, i.e. a painkiller and sore throat medicine. The results of the study show differences and similarities in the impact of packaging cues across Finland, the USA and Ghana. Differences and similarities are also detected across the two different, but related, product types. The study observes that the impact of product cues is contextual, varying across the samples and product types. Although the results are limited by the exploratory nature of the conjoint analysis, they still highlight that medical marketers should recognize the varying impact of salient cues on consumers’ product preferences and choices. This unique study deals with a mostly unexplored issue, and provides exploratory insights into the phenomenon.
The fourth article by Juan Meng and Po-Lin Pan is “Investigating cosmeceutical product advertising in beauty care decision-making process”. In this research paper, the authors aim at investigating key factors that dominate young women’s beauty care decision-making, namely their self body-esteem scale, perceived information utility of cosmeceutical advertising, and other predispositional characteristics, such as their attitudes toward the advertising, their interests in reading advertising, and their perceptions of the effectiveness of product claims in advertising. A total of 224 young female consumers participated in the online survey study through Zoomerang that mirrored the characteristics of the US young online population. The study indicates that the informativeness of cosmeceutical product advertising is a key factor to young women’s beauty care decision-making. Moreover, young women’s various levels of self body-esteem, their perceived effectiveness of product claims, their interests in reading advertising, and their attitudes toward advertising jointly affect their likelihood to take cosmeceutical products. As their levels of self body-esteem decrease, the influence of cosmeceutical product advertising could be a positive predictor of their likelihood to take beauty supplements. Moreover, young women believe that the information conveyed by cosmeceutical advertising plays a beneficial role in helping them make beauty care decisions and purchase certain cosmeceutical products. This unique study adds insights on popular, but understudied, cosmeceutical products to the research stream and expands extant knowledge on the influences of product advertising on young female consumers.
As we study patient perspectives in healthcare, the demographic group that is most in need of healthcare, i.e. the geriatric segment, cannot be ignored. The last article of this issue by Laryssa Wozniak, Mahmud Hassan, and Dale Benner is a conceptual paper with the title “Changing paradigms in the long-term care market: perspective of the pharmaceutical industry”. Long-term care is getting more attention these days due to its positive impact in controlling the growth of the overall healthcare cost. With the implementation of Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the incentives and payment dynamics have changed the long-term care market. This paper focuses on the pharmaceutical market in the long-term care space and identifies stakeholder strategies. The authors use the IMS data sets, complemented by information and statistics available in the literature, to address trends in the long-term care market with regard to pharmaceutical products, its characteristics and dynamics. The analysis shows that the market for pharmaceutical products in the long-term-care space is characterized by a couple of therapeutic classes, concentrated in a rather few geographical areas in the USA. The traditional institutional based care is declining but the home health care use is increasing. Access to the IMS data makes the findings of the study unique. Given that the government sponsored prescription drug plan for the elderly is expanding, it is of significant value to document the impact of the part D plan on the overall healthcare cost in a dynamic long-term care market.
We conclude with a review by Fadi M. Alkhateeb and Rachel Adkins of the book The Strategic Pricing of Pharmaceuticals authored by E.M. (Mick) Kolassa, an editorial board member of IJPHM.
As always, this issue contains articles that address relevant issues and hopefully make a difference in the practice of healthcare. Enjoy!
Hibbard, J.H. (2004), “Perspective: moving toward a more patient-centered health care delivery system”, Health Affair, available at: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2004/10/07/hlthaff.var.133.full.pdf (accessed 6 June 2012)
O’Connor, A.M., Llewellyn-Thomas, H.A. and Flood, A.B. (2004), “Modifying unwarranted variations in health care: shared decision making using patient decision aids”, Health Affairs, October, available at: http://tdi.dartmouth.edu/documents/publications/2004Oct7_HlthAff_OConnor.pdf (accessed 6 June 2012)
Sepucha, K.R., Fowler, F.J. Jr and Mulley, A.G. Jr (2004), “Policy support for patient-centered care: the need for measurable improvements in decision quality”, Health Affairs, October, available at: http://content.healthaffairs.org/content/early/2004/10/07/hlthaff.var.54.short (accessed 6 June 2012)
(The) Economist (2012), “The future of medicine, squeezing out the doctor”, The Economist, available at: www.economist.com/node/21556227 (accessed 6 June 2012)