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September 08, 2015
How can pharma companies encourage use of patient services available in France?
By: Vincent Mittoux

Discover the unprecedented opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to become a trusted adviser for French patients in the healthcare ecosystem.

Recently, we surveyed 2,000 patients in France to explore their perspectives on a variety of healthcare services, including information or education, financial assistance, reward programs, physician referrals and nurse support. One of the surprising results of the survey was that fewer than one in five French patients, just 16 percent, are aware of the services available to them.

Awareness is low across all types of services, but it is particularly poor for financial and payment services (eight percent) including guidance on financial help with medical screening and tests, help dealing with payers and insurers, and guidance for better ways to pay for treatment. However, French patients had the highest awareness of services that help them get referrals for or advice on specialists (29 percent.)

Additional services that many French patients are not aware of include:

  • Obtaining information on a specific condition.

  • Getting detailed information about treatment options.

  • Obtaining reliable information on how to better manage a condition and understand if the condition is worsening.

  • Help with ongoing day to day support as the condition progresses.

  • Getting information on which support groups are available. 

  • Help managing appointment schedules to see doctors, specialists, for tests and screenings.

Until now, most pharmaceutical companies have marketed their services directly to the patient, rather than engaging healthcare professionals in the process. On some level, this approach is understandable since patients are the ultimate end user. However, our survey clearly showed that healthcare professionals—doctors in particular, but also specialists, nurses and pharmacists—are viewed as the primary trusted advisors by most patients.

Due to this, healthcare professionals may be best suited to direct and make patients aware of services. When patients hear about the available services from their healthcare professionals, they are much more likely to view the services as legitimate and valuable. Patient services represent a significant opportunity to support both patients and healthcare professionals beyond the in-person consultation window through all intervals of the patient journey.

Pharmaceutical companies can make this happen by enlisting their salesforce who are already meeting with healthcare professionals. Instead of talking primarily about the product, the salesforce can focus discussions on desired patient outcomes and how the combination of the pharmaceutical company’s services and products can help patients achieve those goals.

This re-positioning from providing a product to helping deliver improved patient outcomes provides an unprecedented opportunity for pharmaceutical companies to become a much more trusted adviser in the healthcare ecosystem—and a way of improving patients’ lives by making them more aware of the numerous services available to them.

To learn more, view our global interactive infographic.

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