DeepIntent Survey Reveals That Pharmaceutical Advertising Motivates Patients to Research Treatment and Medication Options

Findings reinforce the connection between ad exposure and adherence, while highlighting opportunities for marketers to influence patient health

DeepIntent, the leading independent healthcare marketing technology company built purposefully to influence patient health and business outcomes, today released survey findings that reveal new insight into patient sentiment related to pharmaceutical advertising and the headwinds marketers face in trying to deliver relevant content.

Building on research conducted earlier this year, DeepIntent surveyed 1,244 U.S. patients in August 2021 and found that pharmaceutical ads can empower patients to take a more active role in researching treatments. In addition, advertising influences patients’ decision to follow through in taking drugs prescribed by their doctors. After seeing a pharmaceutical ad, patients’ most common action is conducting research, which they state as the most common factor influencing their medication adherence behavior. This finding ranks higher than their previous experience taking the same drug.

However, the research also found that marketers face significant challenges in reaching the right groups of patients with relevant information. Despite the pharmaceutical industry’s success in researching, producing, and distributing multiple COVID-19 vaccines in less than a year, public approval of pharmaceutical companies has remained flat, and nearly half of respondents don’t trust information from pharmaceutical companies. Amid the challenge to capture patients’ attention while overcoming their distrust of ads and the pharmaceutical industry, the research shows several paths to better connect with patients.

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Key survey findings include:

  • More than half (51%) of respondents said an ad was more memorable when relevant to their medical conditions.
  • Non-white respondents were more likely to agree that having seen a pharmaceutical ad made them feel more informed to discuss it as an option with their doctor.
  • One in three patients (37%) report that they have noticed more ads served to them over the past 12 months, with Americans over 55 the most likely to report seeing more pharmaceutical ads (50%).
  • Patients over 55 were the most likely to report online research as a factor in prescription follow-through (40%) and were the group most likely to report that they always took prescription medications prescribed by their doctor (41%).

“The insights from our second patient research report highlight a massive opportunity in the healthcare marketing industry to use advertising as a tool for public health. Over the past several years, the healthcare data ecosystem has been undergoing a transformative change and with real-world health data, real-time programmatic advertising, and modern technologies like artificial intelligence, marketers can engage both patients and providers in a more personalized, effective way,” said DeepIntent CEO Chris Paquette. “We have evidence that more relevant advertising drives real results for our clients and, as we’ve seen with two surveys now, relevant advertising also has the power to improve the lives of patients by educating them about conditions and treatment options. With that commitment to personalization in a privacy-safe way, DeepIntent will continue to innovate, pushing our industry forward and driving positive outcomes for patients and our clients.”

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