Pharma firms told to boost patient focus

Healthcare PROs have urged pharma companies to target more comms activity at patients.

A healthcare ­comms conference in London heard The Patient Information Forum’s honorary president Mark Duman claim that very little money is being spent on ­patient information.

‘Companies need to ­address and invest in how patients are communicated with,’ he said. ‘They need to start by talking to patients and finding out how they want to be communicated with.’

Debate at last week’s Communications Challenge conference, organised by Healthcare Events, focused on how the internet could be used to improve communications.

Digital media and marketing shop Digital Strategy Consulting MD Danny Meadows-Klue claimed that the internet could be an ­effective tool for pharma companies.

Onxy Health partner Karen Winterhalter argued that pharma companies are failing to embrace online. She blamed the The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry’s (ABPI) guidelines governing how pharma companies communicate with patients.

‘The industry should be able to go online and communicate with patients, but the ABPI’s rules are too restrictive,’ said Winterhalter.

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