Interview

In Health We Trust Report

Thought Leaders Discuss

christine franklin

Amy Baumann

Steven Xie

in health we trust header

Summary

DHC Group’s Christine Franklin recently interviewed Healthline Media’s Brendan McHenry about their report, In Health We Trust. Access the report below as well as a transcript of their interview.

In Health We Trust Report

2020 has come and gone. Now what? See how a year of disruption impacted how and why we strive to maintain our well-being — and what that means for brands today.

In Health We Trust shines a light on our collective resilience in the face of widespread change, and explores how different segments of the population have been impacted differently.

Interview Transcript

christine franklin

Christine Franklin

Executive Director
DHC Group

“Do you think there’s a significance in the drop in the percentage of consumers who consider the cost of healthcare prior to visiting a doctor? Should pharma’s messaging shift as a result? For example – the report noted that “health and wellness is having a moment” – demonstrated by an increased interest in healthy lifestyle choices. Do you hypothesize that messaging from pharma should shift more towards patient education and lifestyle resources/care management for now?”

Brendan McHenry

SVP of Sales & Strategy
Healthline Media

“I think this last year has given people a new perspective on costs as they relate to their health. We think this drop in cost consideration is a reflection of healthcare being seen as more of a necessity than before the pandemic. It’s still a barrier, but the extent to which it’s actually inhibiting people from seeking medical care has gone down by about 16%. Keep in mind, though, that this decrease was highest for Gen Xers, perhaps because the pandemic was a wakeup call for health preservation for people in their 40s and 50s. It was almost non-existent for Boomers, who were already fairly cost insensitive pre-pandemic.

I think the takeaway for pharma needs to be less about the significance of cost consciousness going down and more about the perceived value of health care going up. Doctors have become the new celebrity, and pharma companies are recognized for playing a leading role in the fight against the virus. We have a golden opportunity to continue to reinforce this value.

And yes, health and wellness is indeed “having a moment.” Almost two out of three people want to make a change in their lifestyle for the better. That’s higher than we’ve ever seen. Pharma has the opportunity to lean in. Get a deeper understanding of what your patients are doing for their health outside of their prescriptions and help them gain more control over healthy choices for their whole self. Those choices will have a direct impact on condition management and you’ve got the opportunity to be a part of that journey. “

christine franklin

Christine Franklin

Executive Director
DHC Group

“The report included a section on mental health – a topic we know Healthline Media has already done significant consumer research around. One recommendation was “no matter your category, make mental health a standard part of your brief. It will force you to genuinely understand your customer. Without it, you’ll hit limits to the health and wellness benefits you can impart.” How have you seen pharma do this well so far? What do you think needs to be done better?”

Brendan McHenry

SVP of Sales & Strategy
Healthline Media

“To be honest, I think this is a huge untapped area for pharma marketers. Mental health drugs have invested in category-specific consumer insights and patient support, but we aren’t seeing drugs outside the category acknowledge or participate in mental health, beyond maybe some psychographic categories on briefs. It’s a big miss, in my opinion, as mental health really is a pandemic within the pandemic.

The data shows that adults are leading very stressful lives, and that number is heavily weighted towards people living with chronic conditions. Twenty-six percent of people with a health condition are very stressed, vs. only 14% without a health condition. We know that a person’s mental state directly affects their drug compliance, their outcomes, and really the overall quality of life they can enjoy. We need to start talking about this, and helping our patients get better. “

christine franklin

Christine Franklin

Executive Director
DHC Group

“You also took a look at shopping and research-buying behaviors of online consumers? Any insights specific to pharma that would help marketers better understand trends in how patients / caregivers are seeking health-related information?”

Brendan McHenry

SVP of Sales & Strategy
Healthline Media

“Virtually every single person purchased (or was planning to purchase) a new health and wellness product in the past year. Overall, vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) (66%) and skin care products (43%) were the most popular health and wellness purchases for U.S. adults. Spending on VMS increases with age, but spending on skin care is fairly steady across generations. Boomers and Gen Xers spent on sleep aids, and Millenials and Gen Z spent on counseling and therapy. Across all purchases, people with health conditions spent significantly more than people without health conditions.

I think pharma already recognizes VMS usage across patients, but two big callouts from the data are that sleeplessness and mental health are big issues commanding real consumer attention and dollars. There are also myriad studies that draw links between these two areas and chronic condition management/outcomes, so I believe pharma marketers shouldn’t feel out of place addressing them. Brands that can help educate in these areas stand to gain equity with their patients, and enable real impact. Also, more tactically, since wellness topics are clearly of interest to people with health conditions, it presents a different way for pharma to find and reach these patients. In fact, we’ve seen wellness topics yield high condition traffic for pharma brands across our sites for years, so it’s something you should be asking your partners about to uncover new opportunities.”

christine franklin

Christine Franklin

Executive Director
DHC Group

“With a 14% increase in respondents who want health and wellness information to be more detailed, where are you seeing the most opportunity for that content to exist in a way that resonates with the consumers looking for it?”

Brendan McHenry

SVP of Sales & Strategy
Healthline Media

“It’s logical that people’s interest in more detailed health and wellness information has increased since pre-pandemic. Collectively and individually our health is under attack, and we realize we need to be more informed. However, we also know from other Healthline Media research that different segments of people have different preferences when it comes to style of health content. Our segmentation studies have shown us that some people want an emphasis on medical science, some want holistic solutions, some want to celebrate what’s good for them and some want social support. We try to design our content to differentially appeal to each segment for the most impact, and uniquely help people take the right next step to move them from intention to action.”

christine franklin

Christine Franklin

Executive Director
DHC Group

“Can you give our readers an exclusive on a more detailed look at the data around health information trends? Any insights specific to pharma marketing that didn’t make the report summary?”

Brendan McHenry

SVP of Sales & Strategy
Healthline Media

“Health has taken center stage, and health information has permeated our news feeds and daily conversations. People are invested and interested. About 80% of U.S. adults report seeing health information frequently in the popular media. Interestingly, people with health conditions are more likely to notice health information in the following channels than people without health conditions: websites, television, emails/newsletters, social media and newspapers/magazines. This list is in decreasing order of incidence.

The good news for pharma marketers is that these are the main channels used today to reach patients and caregivers. We also found that access to health information makes one out of every two people feel empowered and in control of their health and wellbeing. Nowso, more than ever, people are listening, so providing high quality health information to patients should be the utmost priority for pharma brands.”

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