It doesn’t take several years of post-graduate studies and a degree in medicine to describe what it’s like to live with a disease. From a patient’s perspective, the practical wisdom available in an embar-rassing anecdote, or a triumphant description of a breakthrough,can sometimes provide more value than any discussion to be had inside a doctor’s office.
Additionally, direct-to-consumer advertising, for all of its patient-centered emphasis and messaging, doesn’t necessarily affect the behavior of real patients, at least in terms of requesting brands from doctors. Data compiled by Verilogue, a company that records and studies physician-patient conversations, found that DTC advertis-ing drives patients to request specific brands during in-office visits only 3% of the time (out of a study of 12,500 interactions). “Notably, physicians are more likely than patients to reference DTC ads in these conversations,” says Jeff Kozloff, Verilogue’s CEO.