No matter what therapy you market, which specialists you need to engage, or which payers have your product on formulary, there’s one stakeholder that every healthcare marketer must keep top of mind: the patient. And when a patient is informed and engaged in their own care, it makes it much easier for other stakeholders to do their jobs successfully. But let’s face it, patient engagement is a lot easier said than done, in part because there are so many obstacles, and in part because patients receive information from many different sources.
GoodRx is the leading consumer healthcare platform, with 20 million monthly visitors and a net promoter score (NPS) of 90¹ – meaning that nine out of 10 consumers would recommend GoodRx to a friend or colleague. GoodRx knows how to engage patients and has built a high level of trust with them. Brand teams can leverage this trust and positive relationship to communicate their stories to patients.
Because GoodRx started out as a way for users to save money on their prescription medications, we learned a lot about how your patients think and act, including the main barriers that must be overcome to engage patients in their care. Based on that understanding, we’ve also developed a suite of products focused on helping companies better engage with their patients, either directly or through other healthcare stakeholders, such as their physicians.
Here’s a list of the most common barriers that we suggest biopharma marketers and their agencies address:
1. Knowledge Barriers
If a patient doesn’t understand why they need a medication or other therapeutic, and how that product is supposed to help them, the probability of them staying adherent plummets. To help overcome that obstacle, our account teams often work with healthcare marketers to educate patients through services such as GoodRx Health , or through educational videos from our HealthiNation subsidiary.
In addition to educating a patient about specific conditions, we have found it valuable to teach them about living with a condition and managing their symptoms, particularly for chronic diseases and comorbidities. GoodRx Health provides accurate, clear, and practical information for your patients about how to take charge of their specific health issues. Elements and goals of a GoodRx program can vary based on the medical condition, patient type, and brand, but successful marketers know that overcoming knowledge barriers is step one for patient engagement.
2. Affordability Barriers
Now more than ever, patients are faced with serious challenges when it comes to medication affordability, making it top of mind for many Americans. A December 2021 study² from the Kaiser Family Foundation showed that half of U.S. adults said they put off or skipped some type of health or dental care in the previous year because of cost. Three in 10 (29%) also reported not taking their medicines as prescribed at some point in the same time period, also because of cost.
Creating awareness of your brand’s willingness to help with affordability can mean the difference between a patient that stays on their prescribed therapy and one that drops off. GoodRx was founded in 2011 to help solve this problem, with affordability solutions for both your insured and uninsured patients. Our products, such as GoodRx Assist - a cash program, or Integrated Copay Cards - for copay enrollment, are still among the best ways to address these barriers.
3. Access and Insurance Barriers
At GoodRx, we know that access and insurance barriers can be different than affordability barriers – one is purely financial, while the other may be focused on things like managing red tape and complexity. So, we focus on addressing these barriers with a more specialized approach, spearheaded by vitaCare Prescription Services, which GoodRx acquired in early 2022. Many marketers find that by working with our account teams to address these unique barriers, they can better engage patients, while also focusing their marketing resources more precisely toward the core issues behind a patient engagement challenge.
4. Support Barriers
Often patients know quite a bit about their medical condition, but they’re not sure where to find appropriate treatment. Or they may have specific questions about your medication, but are uncertain where to turn for answers. Yet, despite this clear need for support, awareness and utilization of manufacturers’ support programs among patients remains dismally low. According to a 2021 survey ³ from Phreesia Life Sciences, U.S. pharmaceutical companies spend $5 billion annually on patient support programs, yet only 3% of patients are using them!
Two solutions that help address these patient engagement issues are GoodRx Care , our telehealth platform, and Patient Navigator, a GoodRx service that helps your patients connect with brand resources from biopharma manufacturers. By leveraging a digital platform like GoodRx, with such a large and engaged consumer audience, biopharma brands can direct patients to their existing support programs and other solutions.
5. Finally, Don’t Forget
Lastly, there’s the Forgetfulness Barrier that plagues patients of all ages from time to time. To help remind and engage your patients, GoodRx offers a variety of email, SMS, and other CRM tools that can easily integrate with other programs a brand may offer.
As with treatment, and even adherence, there is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to patient engagement. Whatever the challenge that’s preventing patients from becoming fully engaged in their care, GoodRx probably has a solution designed to help overcome it. To learn more about the ways GoodRx can help you and your brand with patient engagement, click here.
2. “Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs,” Kaiser Family Foundation, December 14, 2021, https://www.kff.org/health-costs/issue-brief/americans-challenges-with-health-care-costs/
3. “Pharmas' return on $5B spent yearly on patient support programs? Only 3% are using them: survey,” Fierce Pharma, July 6, 2021, https://www.fiercepharma.com/marketing/pharmas-return-5-billion-spent-yearly-patient-support-programs-only-3-use-survey#