April 17, 2024

Pharma's Two Biggest Mistakes


Treating doctors like doctors and treating patients like patients.

Burnout across the healthcare ecosystem is systemic. The last thing an HCP wants to do is to spend time looking for something as simple, yet critical, as contraindications and dosing information. Worse, providers are often dealing with poor interfaces and multiple clicks to try to navigate a clunky website to get answers. How many clicks? An ER doctor can click 4,000 times during a standard shift. Examples include 15 clicks to write and print a prescription, and 40 clicks to document a hand or wrist injury. This leaves a mere 28% of their time left over for direct patient care. 

This is unacceptable. 

And it is arguably even worse from the patient’s perspective. No matter their differences - age, gender, insurance coverage, disease state - all patients share one key trait: they are required to be exceedingly patient while they wait. And wait. And wait. Patients wait for a physician referral, for nursing staff to answer their questions (or to route them to a different part of the healthcare labyrinth), to see a doctor, to fill a prescription, and to do just about anything else in search of their care. And patience is required to understand and to attempt to translate, the information that patients receive when it is finally their turn. Even that patience is frequently insufficient, as only 12% of Americans have the requisite health literacy to navigate an increasingly complex maze of patient portals, pharma brand websites, and medical terminology. 

This is intolerable.

If pharma’s mission is HCP education and patient treatment, their brand webpages are falling short. Just look at any drug page on a manufacturer’s website. Plenty of content and banners and widgets - maybe even a “cutting edge” AI-enabled chatbots - but to what end? Are these websites saving HCPs or patients time, or wasting their time? Are they surfacing the most important information at the right time, or burying it under a mountain of jargon and scrolls and clicks? Try it for yourself and see. Too often, whether you are an HCP or patient, the end of your digital pharma journey is “I’m sorry, I couldn’t understand your question” or “please talk to your doctor for more information.”  

This is inexcusable. 

We have an opportunity to fix these failures, together. And it starts with bringing consumerization to healthcare and pharma. We know that a better experience is possible. Look at all we’ve learned from the consumerization of ordering movies, shopping for prescription glasses, or hailing a ride to the airport. Sometimes it seems that every other segment of society but healthcare has figured out that the secret to a successful engagement is to get you the information, goods, or services you’re looking for with the least amount of scrolling and clicking. So why not us?

Whether you’re facing a provider looking for side effects or a patient with minimal medical knowledge, AI-enabled solutions can save time, reduce stress, and deliver vital information to those who need it. It’s time to bridge the gap between those who make medicines and those who prescribe or need them.

This is the way forward. 

Watch CEO Chase Feiger Outline Consumerization at PanAgora CX Pharma Summit