DHC’s Executive Director, Christine Franklin, recently interviewed Meghan Rivera, Vice President, Head of Women’s Health Sales and Marketing at AMAG Pharma. Meghan has been a member of the DHC Advisory Board for several years and a vocal advocate for innovation within digital pharma marketing. We sought out her perspective on the topic of patient-centricity, having watched her cultivate a culture at AMAG which genuinely prioritizes the patient.
In the conversation below, she shares some of her thought process and behind-the-scenes efforts that have helped to deliver the innovative projects coming out of AMAG now.
Digital Health Coalition: You have done an exceptional job of cultivating a true “patient-first” culture through your efforts at AMAG, what motivates you to keep that focus, when there are often competing pressures?
Meghan Rivera: Having the opportunity to work in women’s health has, personally, been a privilege. Knowing that women often times do not prioritize themselves and their well-being makes it even more important to keep our patient-first culture strong here at AMAG. Specifically in sexual health, it is mission critical for us to put her first in order to ensure that we are elevating the conversations that are often times uncomfortable and doing everything we can to ensure she feels empowered to seek the treatment that she needs and deserves.
Digital Health Coalition: With marketers facing increasing pressure to stay relevant in an Amazon and Instagram world, we are seeing a subtle shift in the language around who it is that pharma marketing efforts target… “patient”? “consumer”? Which do you prefer, “patient” or “consumer”, and why?
Meghan Rivera: I would always say “consumer” as I believe it is more in line with how we see healthcare operating today. People are empowered to take control and drive healthcare decisions in collaboration with their healthcare providers.
Digital Health Coalition: How do you work with your partner agencies to maintain the internal commitment to keep the patient first? How do you sell the vision successfully?
Meghan Rivera: One of our key priorities in our partners is their demonstration of empathy and their ability to pull it through in their work. I actually think it’s refreshing for agency partners to truly focus on patient experience and by driving that culture through our women’s health team here at AMAG, we’ve been able to ensure we’re holding each other accountable to that.
Digital Health Coalition: How does the lens of patient-centricity impact your decision making as you consider various innovation opportunities and start-up partnerships?
Meghan Rivera: We always start with a patient need, not with a technology when it comes to innovation. Anchoring back to addressing an unmet need or gap in experience is at the root of all pilots or partnership that we pursue. The question we continue to ask ourselves when evaluating opportunities or taking an idea into execution is “is this helping to support better health outcomes for women, and how?”
Digital Health Coalition: Tactically speaking, what channels or innovations are you testing or considering investing in for 2020 that you think might be game-changing for how you connect patients with brands/condition information?
Meghan Rivera: We continue to explore opportunities on a daily basis, especially those that can help to elevate and destigmatize the conversation around sexual health, but some things we’ll continue to invest in are chatbots and AI, new and different partnerships within the social sphere, and avenues to disrupt and streamline the path to treatment through partnerships in virtual medicine.
Digital Health Coalition: Your work with the AMAG portfolio has included building several initiatives that give women a voice and community to talk about sensitive personal topics. What stands out for you as a particular high or moment of triumph where you saw that “patient first” mantra pay off?
Meghan Rivera: There’s too many to count, in all honesty. But I think one of the most powerful things I’ve seen has been the response in the communities we’ve built in social media. The connections they build on these platforms are incredibly moving. Seeing women who feel broken or lost find the confidence to speak up about a topic that is often times stigmatized – like sexual health – and feel empowered to seek help is an incredibly rewarding thing to witness.
You can find Meghan Rivera on LinkedIn.