Health Care Marketing Reflection Essay “Markets change, tastes change, so the companies and the individuals who choose to compete in those markets must change. “( Wang, n. d. as cited by Morrison, p. 113). In modern medicine, disease treatment is more importance than disease prevention, as doctors focus more on treatment of symptoms of rather than determining its root cause. This is mirrored in the media by the large numbers of direct-consumer advertisements aimed at persuading patients themself to ask their doctors about various drug.
Direct consumer marketing in the health-care industry is allowed in the USA. The health-care industry includes numerous subdivisions devoted to make available health-care services and products. The health-care industry comprise of health-care equipment and services as well as life sciences, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals. The subdivisions connected with these are: diagnostic materials, hospitals, medical instruments and equipment, diagnostic laboratories, drug delivery, drug manufacturers, nursing homes, home health-care and providers of health-care plans.
Health-care consists of medical practice, dental practice, hospitals, activities of, or under the supervision of, midwives, nurses, physiotherapists, diagnostic or scientific laboratory, pathology clinic, ambulances, nursing homes, or other paramedical practitioners like optometrist, medical massage therapist, music therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, chiropodist, homeopathic practitioner, acupuncture practitioner, etc.
As cited by Berkowitz (2006), American Marketing Association, defines marketing as “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion, and distribution of ideas, goods, and services to create exchanges that satisfy individual and organizational objectives. ”(p. 2). Advertising and promotion did not exist within health care until 1975. American Medical Association (AMA) had within its codes of ethics a prohibition against advertising. The Code of ethics, were revised in 1975 to be less stringent regarding advertising.
In 1982, they removed all restrictions. Marketing involves a number of aspects, Product, Price, Promotions, Placement, Personalization, Peer to Peer, Predictive modeling, all used to generate trades that satisfy both individual and organizational goals. Advertising is the main interaction with the market that notifies, and influences, potential customer of a product to encouragement an outlook or provoke a response. Promotion is the key to the marketing strategy. The appeal of the advertisement is why a customer purchases a service or a product.
Magazines, Television, or the Internet, all are overflowing with health care advertisements. Pick up a copy of the REMEDY magazine, judging by the cover one would say that the magazine is dedicated to health and wellness. As one goes through the pages, half the magazine pages are dedicated to the advertisements of various pills like ORENCIA for Rheumatoid Arthritis( RA), Rituxan for RA, once-a-day SINGULAIR for Asthma, Toviaz for overactive bladder, Zetia for cholesterol, to illustrate few of the advertisements.
The advertisements for Erectile Dysfunction ( ED) drugs like CIALIS, or LEVITRA, let the consumer know that options are available, Lilly USA(2010) say, “With CIALIS for daily use, you can be ready anytime the moment is right” or Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation. (2004-2009) says, “LEVITRA has been clinically shown to help improve erectile function in general population of men with ED. ” Then say, ask your doctor about Cialis/Levitra. Instead of advising the consumer to seek diagnosis and consider other treatment options, the consumer is directed to ask the doctor about the prescription.
It is true that the patients are more willing to discuss their symptoms as they saw those symptoms referred in the advertisements, but this does not improve the patient communication, as most of the patients are only interested in asking for a prescription as advertised with barely any information of the relevant medical facts. The doctors when asked for a specific prescription may give it to the patient, rather than talk more about the condition leading to over medicated and unhealthy society. “Not enough lashes?
Ask your doctor about LATISSE- the first and only FDA-approved treatment that grows lashes longer, fuller and darker. ” (Allergan, Inc. 2010). The commercial featuring Brooke Shields, a celebrity urging customers to use Latisse to grow fuller lashes. Sometimes the consumer does not even look at the side effect; if it’s good for the celebrity it is good for them. Advertisements like these use strategies that generate false impressions, manipulate, and lead on consumers instead of enlightening them about the drug.
Most advertisements are impractical in representing medicines part in attaining health, downplaying drug risks, presenting visual elements to distract consumers like an antihistamine commercial showing a moving buzzing bee as the risk information is read. Various advertisements show people reclaim full control of their lives after consuming the drug. The advertisements do not discourse alternatives to the advertised product, like cholesterol-reducing drugs do not mention that diet and exercise are the best solutions.
Direct-consumer drug advertisements are causing consumers to get medicines based on the success of the advertisement instead of the effectiveness of medicine with little knowledge of relevant medical information. Dangerous side-effects and interactions are not adequately detailed. On the other hand some consumers may not undertake required treatment out of fear, not realizing that all medicines have some side-effects and that they may not be at risk for the potential side-effects.
The advertisements do however help recognize some conditions like fibromyalgia, broadening the conversation between the patient and doctor. Advertisements like for mobile-scooters and latest Diabetes testing-meters covered by the insurance companies, which the consumer may not be aware of helps open options for the consumers. Consumers may not be aware of the various options available for the affordable health-care insurances, seeing a commercial about it can open up options.
The health-care and the pharmaceutical companies seek to develop reliable and stable relationships with their customers, but they do sometimes cross the boundaries of ethical conduct and reflects negatively on the general image of health-care. The current market of health-care products and services have the customer as the central element of all marketing strategies but there is still much room for improvement. References Allergan, Inc. (2010). Latisse. Retrieved from http://www. latisse. com/Latisse. aspx? tate=10 Bayer Pharmaceuticals Corporation. (2004-2009). LEVITRA (vardenafil HCI). Retrieved from http://www. levitra. com/? banner_s=208382770&rotation_s=30493388&kw=p387032505511 Berkowitz, E. N. (2006). Essentials of health care marketing (2nd ed. ). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Lilly USA, LLC. (2010). CIALIS® (tadalafil) tablets. Retrieved from http://www. cialis. com/Pages/index. aspx? WT. srch=1 Morrison, E. E, (2011). Ethics in Health Administration: A Practical Approach for Decision Makers (2nd Ed. ). Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett.