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Know the Costs: Helping Patients Understand Savings Cards

Too often, when we are well-versed in something, we forget that others do not have the same level of knowledge on the subject. For example, you probably know by heart how much money your brand’s savings program saves a patient for their first fill, second fill, and for an entire year. But if you think you’re clearly communicating that information on your Website, you may be wrong. In fact, a close look at healthcare pricing reveals a great deal of confusion:

–    A patient anxious for a diagnosis might not know that she needs to ask her doctor  if a test will cost her extra, only to be surprised three weeks later by the $300 lab bill for blood work;
–     A patient with a new prescription might not know that when his doctor gives him a “Get $35 off of Brand X” rebate, that the $35 is off of $350;
–     A healthcare professional who comes to your new product Website might not know what your savings card is actually saving her patients, because the message is getting lost in all the additional terms and conditions added during that last round of legal review.

Are You Savings Card Savvy?
Prescription savings cards are particularly difficult to decipher. This is an example of a typical savings card promotion on a patient-facing Website:

couponsTake a moment and try to figure out how much this medication will cost for one fill. How about the second fill? What about for a year?

Get 15 days free…okay…that’s not even enough for a month….After that, I have insurance, so I’ll save up to $75 after paying $50 each month….Does that mean I’ll have to pay $25 or $50? Wait, what does that mean “up to” mean?

Believe it or not, this example is fairly straight-forward. We’ve posted some additional prescription savings cards here for you to figure out. Test your own skills and see how others answered: Take the Savings Card Survey.

Helping Patients Know the Costs
Pharma often gets a bad rap for intention and transparency, and the unclear-savings-coupon-on-the-Website situation certainly isn’t helping. So, let’s look at how we can make this better, for you and your customers. From our whitepaper, “Healthy Expectations,” a key opportunity for action is to make affordability front and center.

If you have a savings program for your brand, are you communicating it to your customers as clearly as you think you are? Here are four key check-points to ask:

–    Does my savings program call to action clearly convey the value?
–    Is the registration experience very simple, especially on mobile? (Would I fill it out on my phone?)
–    Do my customers know the overall value of adherence and the cost implications if they don’t take their medication?
–    Do all the legal terms and conditions need to be exactly where they are on my Website? Or did my regulatory team overdo it?

Conclusion
With the entire healthcare system undergoing tremendous changes, patients are going to be more worried about costs than ever before. For brand marketers, this challenge can be turned into a powerful opportunity if savings card programs are made more transparent, easier to read, and easier to find on brand sites.

If you didn’t get a chance before, be sure to test your savings card knowledge: Take the Savings Card Survey .

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Liz Hartley

Liz Hartley

Insights and Strategy Lead at Cadient Group
Liz Hartley was hired as an Account Manager in 2010, where her main function at Cadient was to manage the day-to-day for all account activities and ensure that every project meets client objectives. In 2013, Liz joined the Commercial Strategy and Innovation team as Insights and Strategy Lead, leading insight efforts and working with strategy directors for one of the three Cadient client engagement teams. Prior to joining Cadient, Liz worked as an Account Executive at DraftFCB Healthcare in New York where she worked on a pharmaceutical product launch for healthcare professionals. Liz has worked with clients including Alcon Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cephalon, Medtronic, and Vivus.
Liz Hartley

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