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Pharma Marketers Should Pay Attention to Nurses

Posted by | 6:26pm on Thursday, December 23, 2010
Nurse holding hand of a patient

nurses have a very favorable attitude to the role of the internet in patient care, and are highly likely to recommend websites to patients 

I admit I’m partial to nurses since my mom, aunt, sister-in-law and cousin are all RNs (registered nurses). My sister is now a Nurse Practitioner, which means she has prescribing power! But outside of my personal interest, why should pharmaceutical marketers pay attention to nurses? A couple of recent studies remind us of their importance.

Nurses Impact Treatment Decisions
A Manhattan Research study, Taking the Pulse Nurses, surveyed 800 RNs and advanced practice nurses (RN who has completed graduate training as a clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, nurse-midwife or nurse practitioner.) They learned 50% of nurses feel that they influence the treatments that patients end up following. With physicians spending less and less time with patients, nurses play an increasingly key role.

Nurses Educate Patients
Nurses strongly support patient education. The Manhattan Research survey also showed nurses have a very favorable attitude to the role of the internet in patient care, and are highly likely to recommend websites to patients – significantly more so than physicians. Brand marketers should learn the type of websites to which nurses are sending their target patients in order to be there with product messages. Pharmaceutical companies can provide comprehensive patient education websites and tools, and offer these as resource to nurses. This is an effective tactic for rare diseases where good information is scarce.

There’s a tremendous opportunity, since a MedTera survey found that of 7,028 respondents:

  • 95% indicated that they are looking for more comprehensive information about disease management
  • 77% said they hadn’t received any written information about their illness or medications directly from the physician

High percentiles of the patients surveyed said specific types of information are “very much” or “extremely” valuable, including:

  • Online resources to help manage a condition (84%)
  • Information on medications and potential side effects (78%)

Nurses Can Boost Adherence
Nurses talking with patients as they are discharged from a hospital are the second most influential voice encouraging patients to stay on their medicines according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care. Pharmacists talking to patients in a store were most influential. The findings were based on a review of more than 40 years of studies published in medical journals.

Nurses are Receptive to Pharma
More than 80% of the nurses surveyed by Manhattan Research have visited the corporate site of a pharmaceutical, biotech or device company in the past year.

So when creating brand marketing plans, don’t forget about targeting the nurses and pharmacists.

(Image courtesy of US Army Africa on Flickr)

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

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4 Pingbacks/Trackbacks

    23 December 2010 at 11:12pm
    #Pharma marketers should pay ...
  • Eileen O'Brien
  • 23 December 2010 at 11:12pm
    Right on the mark RT @EileenOBrien ...
  • ChrisMLindgren
  • 28 December 2010 at 11:12pm
    Read about "Pharma Marketers ...
  • Calli Mudge
  • 08 August 2011 at 10:08am
    [...] continues a pattern observed in last year’s Manhattan Research study of nurses, which we discussed previously. But there are some unique ...
  • Your Nurse Audience is Growing | SIRENSONG
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