Direct to Consumer Medical Marketing: Is it right for you?Lisa Ribaudo
DTC marketing increases both the demand for prescriptions and the containers needed to dispense them.
“Ask your doctor”. “Side effects may include”. These are familiar refrains for anyone in America who has flipped on the TV, listened to the radio or seen a print ad in the last twenty years. Consumers in the United States are constantly inundated with ads on the street and commercials on TV advertising solutions to various medical problems, from prescription drugs targeted at rare conditions, to non-prescription cosmetic cures. While marketing directly to health care professionals makes up the bulk of medical advertising dollars, spending on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising is the most rapidly growing medical marketing sector in US, accounting for 32% of a $29.9 billion market in 2016. That’s money well spent from the point of view of pharmaceutical companies and other medical providers. Individual advertisements, particularly digital ads, are relatively cheap to purchase. While spending on DTC advertising experienced approximately a fourfold increase between 1997 and 2016, the total number of advertisements that consumers were exposed to through major media channels increased at a significantly faster rate, from 79,000 ads in 1997 to 4.6 million in 2016. Consumers have responded accordingly, increasing their demand for themost advertised demands and therapies. One 2005 study estimated that every $28 of spending on direct-to-consumer marketing resultedin an additional doctor’s visit within 12 months.
According to a survey conducted by the FDA, most physicians felt the DTC ads encouraged more detailed conversations with their patients and made patients feel more directly involved in developing their own health management program. This increased sense of involvement, however, likely extends beyond additional trips to the doctor. Thanks to the concurrent rise of internet pharmacies and telemedecine, where patients can consult with a doctor and obtain a medical prescription online, patients can now research and order drugs for themselves without ever leaving home. The prevalence of direct to consumer media campaigns, both through traditional ads and social media channels, has likely also lead to the rapid increase in holistic, non-prescription cure-alls, such as CBD oils and herbal vaping. The size of the cannabidiol market alone in the United States could capture as much as two to three billiondollars by 2023. This presents a tremendous opportunity for independent dispensaries and online pharmacies, who are able to cater to niche tastes and rapidly changing trends. As consumers became more discerning about their medical needs, medical dispensaries who can set themselves apart with excellent customer service and premium products will prosper. Stores such as thevialstore.com offer air-tight packaging solutions that keep medical products in pristine condition while also offering unique colors and sizes that capture customer attention and allow for custom branding. Reusable medical packaging, such as concentrate containers, dropper bottles, and child-resistant push and turn vials, with custom labels provide an easy advertising opportunity for dispensaries and pharmacies that service the medical and recreational medical marijuana communities. TheVial Store offers a range of affordable pharmaceutical packaging solutions, ensuring that packaging and logistics costs don’t outpace rising demand for your own product. Set yourself apart, and save money, by checking out the wide array of medical containers we have in stock.