Video Has Power for Pharma – When It’s Done Right

Video Has Power for Pharma – When It’s Done Right

At any given moment, a patient with a recent diagnosis and a physician-supplied prescription is scouring the Internet to find out more about the drug he or she is being asked to take. In the process, the patient typically will find a range of information from a number of sources: manufacturers, hospital systems, advocacy groups and other patients sharing their experience in chat rooms and on blogs. Such online engagement has quickly become common practice: the norm rather than the exception. One can only hope that in this vast new world of resources, a patient will find useful information, but that’s by no means a guarantee. In fact, some online resources can leave a patient feeling even more confused or concerned!

In terms of the different types of content available online, video has become king, with eight out of 10 Internet users in the U.S. viewing online video and six out of 10 pharma consumers indicating a demand for health videos. Because of video’s ability to create a more personal connection, video spots in branded or disease education campaigns can be an effective way to encourage patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals to engage and act. The ROI is concrete: 93% of pharma users take action after viewing health information in videos, and 60% interact with their doctor as a result of watching a video.

How then can pharma brands create compelling video content with truly useful information that elevates the patient experience? How do you overcome perceptions that company sponsored sites are self-serving and biased? And how do you manage patient-shared experiences that may not accurately represent the medicine in question? You need to take the right approach.

How to Get It Right

In order to develop video content that motivates action and complies with all regulations, videos must be carefully done. The FDA recently began paying a great deal of attention to video, and pharma companies need to find the best way to communicate through this medium while still adhering to regulatory boundaries. DDMAC is focused on identifying videos that overstate benefits and minimize risks. The most recent letter issued was in response to a patient video on a pharma site for an estrogen replacement therapy. According to the letter, the video overstated the efficacy of the brand by suggesting that it would eliminate all hot flashes and other symptoms associated with menopause. Additionally, it minimized side effects that were documented on the website in text located only underneath the video player.

Where to Start

Really understand your users
Understand the people who take your medicine. Not just patient flow charts and population potential, but the beliefs and behaviors that determine how they engage with their condition and treatments. Recognize that these factors will affect your success and integrate this insight into everything you do. An insight-based mindset will provide a strong platform for getting execution right: videos that are honest, meaningful, authentic and compliant.

Watch for “content shift” in execution
The benefits of any product discussed in a video should, of course, be on-label when delivered by a spokesperson, but this can shift during a poorly managed interview process. Thorough preparation, detailed screening and a highly trained interviewer can go a long way in eliciting responses that are natural yet appropriate from the FDA’s perspective.

Involve your stakeholders
Working in close partnership with the people charged with review and approval is key. It really helps to enhance their insight into the needs of the product’s end users by holding briefings on target patients’ needs and sharing insights from research. Behavioral models that influence how patients engage with medicine and direct involvement in shoot days have also proved to be helpful when working through approval processes.

No games with safety informationbe loud and proud
“Balance” in your video should be as consumer-friendly and natural as the discussion of benefits. Accompanying any contextual balance should be the full ISI, integrated into the video itself as well as on the page. The ISI should not be minimized by distracting visuals and other competing elements. We want to encourage consumer understanding of the facts related to taking medicines, and this requires accurate information to be prominently presented in accessible formats.

Planning For Success

Planning for video success begins sooner than the editing suite. With proper planning and expertise, the integration of risk information within a video is an achievable best practice that will increase credibility, foster understanding and share risk information in a digestible format. Engaging medicine takers through video is an excellent medium for conveying the message that “you are not alone,” which does not have to be expressed independently of the FDA guidelines. Video – done right – brings people together.

Working Together

If the thought of working alongside an experienced patient-centric team on your next video project is appealing, we can help. At PEP, our goal is to consistently deliver authentic and balanced communications that are more meaningful and relevant for the user audience – while also resonating more with HCP teams and with the approval teams charged with assessing regulatory, legal and medical perspectives. We strive to break down the barriers and duplication that exists between classic consumer and HCP communications.