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Social entailments: the gulf between patient goals and pharma actions

Motivated patients have goals.

Such goals can include achieving disease remission, managing a chronic condition optimally, or rehabilitating effectively.

In order to achieve these ambitions to their own satisfaction, each patient brings a complex matrix of capabilities, desires, and perspectives to their own personal health objectives.

Each patient’s progress towards those objectives will be determined by their ongoing attitudinal disposition, their fluctuating personal circumstances, and their day-to-day life experiences.

Each patient’s perception of the lived reality of their being before, during, and after their condition is diagnosed is unique.

The totality of events contributing to the experiential framework of each patient’s individual understanding of what it means to live with their conditionĀ informs every aspect of their self-management.

Bearing in this in mind, consider how woefully ill-suited the majority of pharma digital activities are to support these needs.

From microsites with as much warmth and personality as a lump of granite, to educational resources that pay more heed to the regulator’s eye than the recipient’s, to apps that almost no-one installs, the pharmaceutical industry continues for the most part to shun the necessary social entailments of delivering upon the promise of a desire to conduct themselves in social environments in the manner that patients do themselves.

We are not even approaching parity when it comes to those companies that succeed and those that fail to:

  • Respect platform etiquette
  • Abstain from push messaging
  • Commit to full participation and interaction
  • Resist unnecessary and alienating corporate-speak
  • Maintain an open and transparent disposition
  • State their objectives with clarity
  • Deport themselves with informal professionalism
  • Give patients what they need rather than what they are prepared to allow
  • Post a mix of content that reflects the totality of patient experience
  • Resist internal pressure to allow inappropriate corporate content to pollute their feeds
  • Test the intrinsic logic of their digital activities against the extrinsic validity of audience interests

Pharma’s participation in digital environments has a price of entry, namely recognising and responding to the necessary consequences of their doing so.

Attending to the items described above would take any pharma activity in a digital environment some distance towards requiting this debt, although it can never settle it in full.

Transactional relationships in digital environments give and take, indefinitely.

There is no final reckoning.

However, in order to discern where the industry is in debt, and where it may even occasionally be in credit, with regard to patient opinion, pharma need only do one thing:

Ask.

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