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November 13, 2015
German patients want healthcare providers to give information to manage their health
By: Eva Wiedenhöft

Pharma companies can support healthcare providers in Germany by delivering patient services that will deliver patient and healthcare value.

When it comes to managing their health, German patients want their healthcare professionals to be the primary source of information on the services available to them. In our survey of 2,000 German patients, we found that 68 percent of respondents reported that doctors are one of their top sources of information. Digital channels were a close second at 57 percent.

Asked if they wanted a single point of contact to help manage their health, 79 percent of German patients said “Yes” and 72 percent reported that they wanted this one point of contact to be with a healthcare professional. At the other end of the spectrum, only 2 percent said they would be happy to have a pharmaceutical company as their one point of contact.

Looking at these results more closely, we found that within the category of healthcare professionals, the majority of patients preferred doctors and specialists as their point of contact (56 percent), but the numbers dropped sharply for other healthcare professionals—10 percent for support staff within a doctor or specialist practice, and just 3 percent for pharmacists or a dedicated patient-care support team.

In the other categories, even though most patients did not prefer pharmaceutical companies as their point of contact, a surprising 19 percent said they would be happy to communicate with their insurance company. This number is significantly higher than in the other countries we surveyed and reflects well on insurers’ position in the German healthcare system.

What does all this mean for pharmaceutical companies?

Many companies are pouring millions of dollars into developing and launching services to patients and assume their work in providing a service is done. However, our survey demonstrates that despite this investment, awareness of services is extremely low and patient needs unmet. If patients get what they’re looking for in a single point of contact to help them manage their health, it will become increasingly important for pharmaceutical companies to rethink how they bring services to market.

Investment needs to shift from not just building services, but in how they market, communicate and coordinate with healthcare professionals. Conversations with healthcare professionals need to shift from products to the overall patient value and better outcomes that can be achieved through the combination of products and services.

Imagine the change in conversations with healthcare professionals if you were to talk about how your company could help their patients improve their health outcomes through a powerful combination of products and surrounding services? Or if you could have discussions on how you could help healthcare professionals identify at-risk patients before they are even diagnosed?

This shift to patient value and outcomes has significant implications to the entire life cycle of a product—and provides pharmaceutical companies a unique opportunity to support both healthcare professionals and patients.

To learn more, view our global interactive infographic.

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