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Patient Communication ROI is Major Opportunity for Life Science Brand Teams

Study Explores Performance Measurement in Patient Education and Patient Communication

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC – April 6, 2010 – Patient communication and education has become one of the most important channels for drug and device companies to communicate product value. But many companies struggle with how to accurately track their return on investment (ROI) for patient communication programs. According to survey data, only half of brand teams formally measure ROI for patient communication strategies.

The data, published by Cutting Edge Information, (http://www.cuttingedgeinfo.com/patient-communication), underscores the difficulties associated with measuring ROI. It is often tough for teams to clearly link their patient education efforts with commercial results. For example, most teams build patient education campaigns with the goal of encouraging new prescriptions. When a brand sees an increase in sales, however, it can be difficult if not impossible to isolate the impact of patient communications on those improvements.

An inability to show success can lead to declining resources and create a cycle in which patient communication programs never reach their full potential.

“Without good measurement and communication of positive results, under-investing in patient education is a common mistake,” said Jason Richardson, president of Cutting Edge Information. “Life Science companies have faced a particularly turbulent period in the last several years, just as Patient Communications has become one of the most important communication channels. With a relatively new and often unmeasured strategy, too many companies won’t spend on the programs.”

The study asked about a wide variety of potential ROI measurements. However, most brand teams boiled their measurement down to five or fewer metrics – many of them qualitative, or “soft,” measures that do not directly link patient education to critical commercial metrics.

Working with scarce resources, brand teams know it is critical to show clear ROI to management and colleagues. A handful have found ways to make this connection, and effective patient education vendors provide concrete ROI as part of their services.

“Many of the groups in our study are frustrated with their metrics or aren’t measuring at all,” said Richardson. “We advise every team to put a formal ROI system in place. It’s challenging, but there are tools out there that make it possible.”

Eric Bolesh
Senior Director of Product Development

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