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March 22, 2024 0

The transformative power of artificial intelligence is just beginning to be realized in pharmaceutical marketing. While machine learning and AI have been around for years, it’s only recently that we’ve found ourselves in what I often describe as a technological Wild West. (Interesting sidenote affirming my choice of words: AI summarizes Wild West as “a complex and multifaceted period blending adventure, danger, and the pioneering spirit of those who shape the frontier.”)

Expanding into new territory is always challenging and perilous, especially for heavily regulated industries. With new AI capabilities and tools cropping up regularly and every industry trying to figure out the best way of harnessing them, pharma marketers have been advancing into AI cautiously.

Social media analysis is one of the first areas where the industry began successfully using AI tools. This involves extracting information and deriving insights from user-generated content across all major social media platforms globally. Using AI models enables pharma companies to identify trends with unprecedented scope and speed and gain real-time insights into public sentiment and patient needs.

As pharma marketers continue assessing AI and its significant opportunities, following are some important ways AI can be used to enhance DTC marketing.

  • Getting Personal: Personalized marketing is a key area where AI-based research models provide great value. Using AI tools to evaluate a variety of data – including social media engagement, click-through, and bounce rates – gives DTC marketers a deeper understanding of the patient journey and the touchpoints and issues that impact it. Ultimately, this information can drive more sophisticated targeting strategies and more relevant, personalized messaging. It also helps marketers anticipate market shifts more quickly and be more agile and focused in responding to them.
  • Growing Sentimental: Using AI to analyze unfiltered customer feedback on social media and review platforms gives DTC brands the ability to proactively address patient concerns and urgent issues. For example, a Facebook user posting a question about a new drug may immediately get hundreds or even thousands of comments addressing the query. An AI-powered tool can evaluate the posts in real time, assess opinions expressed, indicate misperceptions, and flag commentaries that require a proactive reply.  AI-assisted sentiment analysis can also identify what social media groups and influencers are developing around a specific disease state or drug. This enables pharma marketers to provide more relevant content, helping to increase conversion rates.
  • Correction Please! AI models are also useful in stopping the spread of misinformation and disinformation. By rapidly evaluating huge data sets and targeting the origins of bad information in real time, AI enables pharmaceutical companies to respond to misinformation both quickly and directly at its sources. This, in turn, can help companies correct the record and establish greater trust in their brands. Imagine if AI had been further developed during the pandemic to respond to the disease and vaccine misinformation prevalent at that time.


While the sophistication and accessibility of AI tools are thrilling, DTC marketers still need to balance traditional market research with AI-led models. Traditional market research generates large volumes of in-depth information, but that data is very time-consuming to analyze and limited in scope. AI-driven research is fast and broad in scope, but still subject to bias and misinterpretation in some areas, e.g., it can misinterpret sarcasm or context-specific nuances, which may skew results. The best approach for DTC marketers is to identify and verify where AI-driven research can most effectively complement traditional research and develop an integrated strategy that optimizes both.

While we don’t know what the next election will bring, we do know that privacy and governance in AI will be on the table. Pharmaceutical companies and their agencies must develop their use of AI within a strong data-governance framework, always asking themselves what the ethical boundaries of AI are and how data privacy and online patient information can be protected. Without this focus on privacy and governance, the industry risks major setbacks and penalties in its adoption of AI. Protecting the autonomy and privacy of the individual remains paramount.

Ultimately, the goal of using AI in DTC marketing is to help consumers better understand their health, the diseases that affect their health, and the options available for preventing, managing and treating those diseases. With imagination, skill, and proper guardrails and compliance, AI could well usher in a transformative new era in DTC marketing.

Sharlene Jenner


March 22, 2024 0

ECG keeps a watchful eye on trends in women’s health. In 2023 we saw a birth rate that stabilized overall, with variability at local levels; unit closures; growing demand for high-risk services; and provider shortages. Will those trends continue in the new year?

Here are five key drivers that we expect to shape women’s health services in 2024.

  1. Consolidation, Closures, and Growing Maternity Deserts

ECG has written on OB unit closures and the resulting maternity deserts, which are largely driven by industry-wide staffing shortages and pressure on health systems to remain financially sustainable. This year, we foresee an increase in provider group consolidation as OB/GYNs seek relief from burdensome call demands. Impacts to patient access will be substantial; limited resources will be focused on the necessary coverage of inpatient services, to the detriment of outpatient care.

Implication: This is an opportunity for providers to differentiate themselves in their markets and serve their communities in new ways, such as reimaginging care team structure/roles, seeking new partners, embracing innovation, and enhancing operational efficiency.

  1. The Rise of Care Teams

As physician recruitment becomes more challenging and financial headwinds mount, successful women’s health programs are approaching care teams from a holistic perspective. To create the most efficient care model, health systems are partnering with obstetricians, midwives, doulas, physical therapists, and APPs to form teams that promote an expanded scope of services to meet patient preferences while allowing each team member to practice at the top of their license. These team-based models offer many advantages, including:

  • Expanded access through greater coverage and schedule availability.
  • More effective and culturally competent care delivery.
  • Increased patient and workforce satisfaction.

Implication: Creating a care model that coordinates and effectively communicates activities across functions and team members is key to overall program success. Identifying governance, span of control, and agreed-upon care standards is essential to ensuring quality is maintained while care models evolve. The consensus-building process is the most critical component to this type of work, so proper staff and provider involvement is imperative.

  1. Investment in Women’s Health

Market fragmentation, enhanced consumerism, and rise in overall demand for women’s health offerings has drawn the attention of private equity (PE) investors. Investment in women’s health services has more than tripled in recent years, and more deals are anticipated in 2024 as venture capitalists see opportunities in areas such as fertility/reproductive health, menopausal medicine, coordinated pregnancy care, and postpartum recovery. Investment drives innovation, as seen by the multitude of new technologies and services emerging in the women’s health sector. Depending on the perspective, specific investments may be considered a welcome addition or additional hurdle for providers.

  • New care models offer opportunities for diversification for systems looking to expand their offerings with fewer resources. Apps, digital patient education, home monitoring, and virtual services augment the traditional patient care experience.
  • Women’s health is becoming an increasingly competitive space. New service provider entrants to the market offer medical services to niche patient populations, potentially siphoning patients who may otherwise have sought services from existing providers and facilities.

Implication: Rapid innovation and technology gives providers an opportunity to differentiate their offerings. Providers should be watchful of the investments in women’s health and consider the impacts to their organizations. As PE investment expands, most health systems will have to make a choice: compete directly with PE-backed companies through targeted alignment, acqusition, and investment in incubator spaces, or partner with PE firms in a structure that maximizes capital investment and the system’s own management expertise.

  1. Focus on Quality and Access

The maternal mortality rate continues to rise, particularly for women of color. In 2022, the White House released a Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, which puts an increased focus on addressing quality and access challenges for maternal care. The report recommends several initiatives—including an expansion of programming, an increase in price transparency, and the “Birthing-Friendly” designation—that will shape the future of women’s healthcare services by holding facilities accountable.

Implication: Strategies to support operational efficiencies (particularly around outcomes) will be imperative to remaining competitive. Providers and facilities should consider targeted investments, establish transparent communication/marketing positioning, and optimize outpatient operations to remain financially sustainable.

  1. Changing Regulatory and Legislative Landscape

Providers face a fluid regulatory and legislative landscape, which will continue to impact access to services as well as the cost of doing business.

  • Reproductive Health: Access and regulations have changed on a state-by-state basis, potentially shifting the provision of services and resulting risk. Structuring meaningful care pathways will help organizations to maintain quality and outcomes while mitigating risks.
  • Malpractice Costs: Costs for malpractice insurance are already among women’s health providers’ greatest expenses, and obstetricians are the most likely of all physicians to be sued for malpractice. While malpractice caps help balance providers’ risk, several states are proposing increases to those caps—which would heighten financial risk for providers. This may prove to be a driver of change among provider groups, adding pressure to consolidate practices, discontinue services, or retire earlier in an effort to reduce risk exposure and expenses.
  • Chaperone Laws: State requirements for chaperoning physical exams vary, but women’s health providers are the most impacted. These laws continue to evolve—as is evident from recent legislation in Oregon and Wisconsin—and have the potential to impact business operations via staffing and workflow adjustments.

Implication: For many providers and facilities, women’s health is a core service—a foundational offering that must be provided regardless of the constraints. The key will be the ability to shift through changes and create operations that will enable healthcare providers to remain sustainable—and potentially grow—in an uncertain environment.

Tessa Kirby


March 12, 2024 0

Career highs and lows sometimes feel random: We often call a success “lucky” and a setback “unfortunate.” In biopharma, we may think of a drug launch that turns out to be a blockbuster as such a lucky break. But possible setbacks lurk all along the drug life cycle: The molecule might not meet its endpoints, or we might hit a snag with approvals or with payer formularies, or the market might be much tougher to penetrate than anticipated. Our minds don’t need to wander all the way to the spectacular ethical and legal failures of the Sacklers, Shkrelis, and Holmeses of the world to understand that, in our industry, you can find boom as well as bust.

However, here’s the truth: Even if you can’t control your successes and setbacks completely, they’re not entirely random either. Our careers have higher peaks and flatter valleys if we pay attention to certain seemingly minor details that could blow up to become major problems. The fear of becoming the next Purdue or the next Turing can sometimes cause some degree of paralysis. But it would be foolish to try and solve business problems by refraining from doing business. More often than not, it’s the omission of regulatory and ethical precautions, rather than the actual conduct of marketing, that’s the problem.

Working with the Consumer

Take patient engagement, for example. It’s a crucial part of any medical marketing plan, and not only because the other strategies are becoming harder to execute—we all know that pharma reps have a harder time getting in front of doctors. But more profoundly, the empowerment of patients in their healthcare decisions has revolutionized the way pharmaceutical companies approach the market. It’s not just about keeping pace with industry trends, it’s about leading the charge in a healthcare environment that increasingly values personalized care. In today’s digital age, patients have access to a wealth of information and a voice through social media platforms, patient forums, and advocacy groups. They are well-informed advocates for their health, often arriving at the doctor’s office armed with research and questions about their treatment options. This shift requires pharma marketers to engage in two-way conversations, where listening becomes as crucial as informing. In this environment, the role of the marketer evolves to that of an educator and facilitator, providing the tools and information necessary for patients to make informed decisions about their care. If you’re a pharma marketer in 2024, whatever you do, don’t ignore the consumer.

But not everybody seems to understand that working with consumers in the pharma industry differs from working with consumers in other industries in important ways. If you let inexperienced marketers implement strategies that might work in other industries, you can expect FDA warning letters, or worse, to land on your desk. Does this mean patient engagement is dangerous or a bad thing for companies or patients? Of course not! What it means is that biopharma marketing requires an approach, expertise, and infrastructure that are specialized. A Patient Ambassador® Program is not like running any other speaker bureau. A patient video is unlike a consumer review, and a patient advisory board is unlike conventional market research. To a layperson, the difference may not be instantly apparent, but regulators can tell what is what and will enforce their rules.

Efficient Compliance

First, the agency handling patient engagement must be familiar with the regulatory rules and obligations that apply. This starts with thorough training. From adverse event reporting to privacy protections, from fair balance to approval processes and honoraria, teams can only be successful in this if everyone receives training on how to handle any given situation. This requirement extends to all members of the organization, not just those directly interacting with patients. These trainings also need to be regularly updated and refreshed annually.

Second, your patient engagement agency also needs to invest in the technical infrastructure that enables team members to efficiently fulfill or even automate their regulatory duties. It can’t work if, for every adverse event, the exact reporting procedure has to be reinvented or rediscovered by someone who hasn’t submitted a report before. It also won’t work if compliance with GDPR is left to individual team members to sort out which piece of data needs to be purged on any given day.

An Authentic Perspective

Third, beyond the rigidity of regulatory compliance, your agency must also understand the softer, yet equally vital, nuances that come into play when working with patients. Your initiative must emphasize authenticity over brand promise. With consumer goods, it’s commonplace to market with a brand promise that’s aspirational and exaggerated: By buying this or that beverage, car, or vacation, you hope to get closer to—or become a little bit more like—the person you see in the commercial. Drugs are no status symbols, and nobody wishes to become a little bit more like a sick person. You’re not interested in being enticed by someone who doesn’t know anything about your condition, no matter how good-looking or otherwise admirable they may be. The perspective that counts is that of people who know what you’re going through. Most of the time that will be other patients or caregivers. Actors and models have no place in this unless they also happen to be real patients.

Finally, the team you put together must treat patients like the human beings they are. This includes being realistic in expectations and anticipating limits of any kind: Mobility, cognition, fatigue, dietary restrictions, vision, hearing, and emotional trauma are some of the factors that commonly play a role. If you expect a patient or caregiver to open their heart (or home) to your team, make sure you enter with respect and leave things the way they were. You don’t want to roll up with a crew truck and run over the patient’s manicured garden (figuratively or literally). You also don’t want to rush patients along or disrespect them with insensitive lines of questioning. You’re not dealing with career talent but with individuals who can provide tremendous value if you allow them to show their true selves.

Setting a Standard

Companies and executives find themselves in very uncomfortable positions if their teams and vendors neglect to take care of important steps like these that keep the organization safe. Incidentally, by safeguarding their reputations and legal compliance, biopharma teams also happen to serve and protect patients’ interests, so it’s a win-win. Nobody wants to be on the front page of the Wall Street Journal for the wrong reasons. Companies that manage to strike the delicate balance between assertive market presence and steadfast legal and ethical adherence do not just avoid the ignominy of negative press—they set a standard for the industry. By fostering a culture of compliance, championing patient-centric approaches, and continuously innovating on engagement strategies, biopharma entities not only propel their brands to the forefront but also underwrite the narrative of their own integrity.

Walking the tightrope of biopharma marketing requires a blend of agility, foresight, and unwavering ethical commitment. Compliance and patient satisfaction aren’t lofty goals, they’re the foundations of success, the cornerstones of marketing excellence. That’s how pharma marketers extend career highs and mitigate any potential lows.

Oliver Portmann


January 30, 2024 0

Welcome to the cookieless era, pharmaceutical marketers! The digital landscape is changing, and it’s time to adapt. With the phasing out of third-party cookies, we are entering a new age of direct-to-consumer advertising. This shift presents both challenges and opportunities for pharmaceutical marketers. Let’s explore how to navigate this change successfully.

Understanding the Cookieless Landscape

Why are cookies becoming a thing of the past? Privacy concerns and user consent are driving this change. As third-party cookies crumble, marketers must find new ways to gather insights and engage consumers.

Innovative Data Collection Strategies

How can we collect data without cookies? It’s all about first-party data. This means direct interactions with your audience. Think surveys, newsletters, and loyalty programs. These methods provide valuable insights while respecting user privacy.

Creating Personalized Experiences

How do we personalize without cookies? It’s time to get creative! Use the data you have to tailor content and offers. Remember, relevance is key to engagement.

Leveraging New Technologies

What technologies can aid this transition? Artificial intelligence and machine learning are game-changers. They can analyze large datasets and predict consumer behavior. This tech makes targeted marketing possible, even without cookies.

Building Strong Customer Relationships

How do we build trust? Transparency and communication are crucial. Be clear about how you use data. Build a brand that consumers can trust.

Adapting to Regulatory Changes

How do we stay compliant? Keep up with changing regulations. This ensures your marketing strategies are both effective and lawful.

The cookieless future is not just a challenge; it’s an opportunity. It’s a chance to innovate, build trust, and create more meaningful consumer connections. As pharmaceutical marketers, you can lead this change. Embrace it, and you will thrive!

Delve deeper into the implications and strategies for a cookieless future in pharmaceutical marketing at the upcoming 2024 #XHSummit, happening from April 16-18 in Boston. This summit promises to be an enlightening platform where industry experts will share insights, innovative approaches, and practical solutions to thrive in this new era of digital marketing. It’s an unmissable opportunity for professionals to stay ahead in the evolving landscape of direct-to-consumer advertising. Join us to discover, learn, and network with the best in the field.



January 29, 2024 0

Brace yourselves for another year of rapid evolution across the digital landscape. That’s the takeaway from talks with eight industry leaders, who see advances in artificial intelligence, personalized messaging and channel optimization shaping direct-to-consumer (DTC) communications in 2024.

Predictions about new and intensifying trends are an annual tradition, but the changes in store for 2024 look more significant than usual to experienced leaders who have seen and driven the transformation of healthcare over the past decade. In the Phreesia report, Industry voices: Trends to watch in 2024, Pallavi Garg, Head of Global Oncology Products and Pipeline Strategy at Takeda, says now is perhaps “one of the most exciting times to work in our industry.”

Indeed, Cassandra Sinclair, a senior health and wellness advertising executive and board advisor, foresees the intersection of science and personalized storytelling fundamentally changing how teams engage consumers, patients and caregivers in 2024.

Brands have the tools to deliver messages at every point in the healthcare journey, from screening through treatment. They also have the power to personalize those messages, particularly at the point of care. As Roz Silbershatz Tomás, who leads the Global Libtayo Core Brand Team at Regeneron, explains, the point of care provides more opportunities for personalization and specificity than other channels, making it a key enabler of tailored, one-to-one campaigns.

“Point of care is a critical space to give the patient precise education on their disease state, knowing that they’re sitting in the doctor’s office, potentially about to make a decision on their healthcare and treatment,” she says.

The proliferation of options and embrace of omnichannel is driving companies to look at the role of each channel “with much more scrutiny,” says Alison Tapia, Senior Director, Performance Marketing and Digital Innovation at Dermavant Sciences.

“Brands are asking more questions to understand whether their strategy is working,” Tapia says. “Some of these critical considerations include: Are we reaching the right people? Are we showing up with appropriate messaging for that channel? Is it impactful? And can we compliantly message in that channel?”

Arielle Chavkin, Group Director of Digital Partnerships at Initiative, anticipates that teams will expand their communication toolkits in greater recognition of the needs and priorities of various patient subpopulations. That awareness makes it important to “truly embrace and plan campaigns based on how the same disease can impact different communities,” Chavkin says.

Social media also can help reach specific communities, but success requires an understanding of the nuances of each platform. Juli LeDoux, Director, Marketing–Patient at ImmunoGen, uses TikTok as an example. “Elaborating on disease states relevant to younger audiences or disease states that might not be considered as highly emotional, such as neurology or dermatology, is key for reaching the largest audience” on the popular short-form video app, she says.

Longer-term trends are building beneath the fast, continual shifts in where people meet online and within the communities they are building. Those long-term trends indicate that patients are, in the words of Meredith Odell, Senior Marketing Director at AstraZeneca, “choosing to share more, learn more and to be their own advocate.”

Artificial intelligence (AI) cuts across all of these trends, and teams are assessing its potential to do more for them operationally, from reviewing content to conducting market research. Over the past year, access to AI tools has become more democratized, observes Alexandra Beneville, Vice President of Content Strategy at Phreesia, and with those tools now more widely available to teams, she foresees 2024 as the year of AI adoption and application.

Nick Paul Taylor


January 16, 2024 0

Digital disruption is forcing a reevaluation of how to connect with patients. Responding to a series of major events—from upheaval at Twitter to the phasing out of third-party cookies—brands are adopting nimbler, more data-driven models that empower them to quickly switch tactics as the operating environment changes and they learn which approaches work best.

Amy Patel, Phreesia’s Director of Analytics, discussed this transforming landscape on a Digital Pharma East 2023 panel that weighed the best ways to reach patients in a world that is “increasingly complex, ever-changing and full of more and more obstacles and challenges,” as she described it.

The phasing out of third-party cookies was a major panel focus. Deprived of a resource that has long been a cornerstone of online engagement, teams now are putting more emphasis on collecting first-party data with consent. Lisa Frankina, Director of Digital Marketing for VIVITROL® at Alkermes, explained how her company works to build trust so that patients feel comfortable sharing their data.

“You want to connect with your audience and emotionally connect with patients,” Frankina said. “What we try to do is amplify the patient voice with first-hand testimonials—a video of someone who has actually been in that position—so that the content is relatable in order to make that authentic connection.”

In the previous, cookie-enabled world, brands could put their materials in front of patients no matter where they were on the internet. Lacking that option today, Natalie Wills, Associate Director of Marketing at Blueprint Medicines, is rethinking how Blueprint can ensure that patients see its content. Some of the new questions her team is asking include: “Where are patients looking for information? Are there ways we can reach patients outside of relying on cookies and data? Where we can put articles out there in the world where patients can find us and come to us?” Wills said.

Brands need a range of ways to connect with patients—and be willing to activate, optimize and switch tactics mid-campaign, the panel agreed. Grace Rodriguez, Head of DTC Portfolio Marketing, iPVU at UCB, described how those necessities manifest at her company.

“Having that nimbleness to really ensure that we are optimizing our spend and reaching those patients, while getting all of the data that we can to really tell that story, is pretty much No. 1 for us,” Rodriguez said. “What are those KPIs per channel, per tactic, per partner? If we’re not delivering on that, then you optimize or you move on.”

The capacity to pivot quickly is reshaping the media-planning cycle, too. The panelists explained that they now continually monitor how different aspects of a campaign are performing and adjust their approach as necessary throughout the year.

“We’ve built more flexibility into our media plans this year than in any year I ever have worked in this space,” said Jack Vance, Managing Director of Data and Activation at SOLVE(D), An IPG Health Company. “Every one of these media plans has a bucket of dollars, and we say ‘We’re going to decide where these go later in the year; we’re going to pick whichever platforms are working really well.’ ”

As Vance explained, a wait-and-see spending model requires brands to frame their definition of success at the start of a campaign, measure how its results compare to that agreed-upon definition and take action if performance falls short of expectations.


Nick Paul Taylor


January 8, 2024 0
As we move into 2024, the direct-to-consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical marketing landscape is undergoing significant transformations. With an evolving regulatory environment and advancing digital platforms, marketers need a forward-thinking strategy to stay ahead. This article will guide you through the forecasted trends and necessary adaptations for your campaigns this year.

Digital Domination in DTC Marketing

The digital realm continues to expand, becoming an ever-more vital component of pharmaceutical marketing strategies. Consumers are increasingly turning to online resources for health information, making digital platforms an essential touchpoint for DTC campaigns. Incorporate interactive and personalized digital experiences to engage your audience effectively.

Empathy-Driven Content

As patients seek more relatable and understanding communication, empathy will be a central theme in content creation. Crafting messages that resonate with the patient’s journey and emotional state can foster a stronger connection and trust between the consumer and the brand.

Regulatory Adaptability

2024 brings with it a wave of regulatory changes impacting DTC pharmaceutical marketing. Staying abreast of these changes and understanding their implications is crucial. Ensure your marketing team is well-informed and agile, ready to adapt strategies as regulations evolve.

Data-Driven Personalization

Utilizing data analytics to personalize marketing efforts will be more critical than ever. Understanding consumer behavior, preferences, and needs allows for more targeted and effective campaigns. Invest in robust data analysis tools and expertise to refine your marketing approach continually.

Collaborative Partnerships

Building partnerships with healthcare providers, tech companies, and patient advocacy groups can amplify your marketing efforts. Collaborative initiatives can provide valuable insights, extend your reach, and enhance credibility. Explore and cultivate strategic partnerships that align with your brand values and goals.

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Consumers are increasingly aware of and concerned about environmental and social issues. Incorporating sustainable practices and demonstrating social responsibility can significantly impact brand perception and loyalty. Ensure your marketing messages and business practices reflect a commitment to these values.

Telehealth Integration

The rise of telehealth presents new opportunities for DTC pharmaceutical marketing. Integrating your marketing efforts with telehealth platforms can facilitate direct engagement with consumers and provide valuable insights into their preferences and behaviors. Embrace this trend by partnering with telehealth providers and creating seamless digital experiences.


As 2024 unfolds, the direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing industry will continue to evolve, driven by digital innovation, regulatory changes, and consumer expectations. By embracing these trends and preparing for the future, marketers can develop robust strategies that ensure success in this dynamic landscape. Stay informed, be adaptable, and focus on creating genuine connections with your audience to thrive in the world of DTC pharmaceutical marketing.



December 1, 2023 0

In a healthcare world rapidly evolving beyond one-size-fits-all solutions, we are at the cusp of a significant shift. Traditional mental health treatments, while effective for some, often fall short for others, leading to a growing interest in alternative therapies. This change is driven by varied and complex reasons, from cultural beliefs and stigmatization to practical barriers like cost and accessibility.

Diverse Reasons for Disengagement from Traditional Treatments:

  1. Cultural and Societal Influences: Many individuals, particularly from ethnic minority backgrounds, disengage from traditional mental health treatments due to cultural stigma, poor insight into their condition, and distrust in the healthcare system​​​​​​.
  2. Gender and Age Dynamics: Younger people, especially males, often face unique challenges like balancing autonomy with family expectations, internalizing stigmatizing messages about mental illness, and concerns about medication dependency​​​​.
  3. Economic Disadvantages and Healthcare Access: Economic barriers significantly impact engagement with mental health services. The cost of medications, particularly for those with limited financial resources like young people and economically disadvantaged women, often leads to nonadherence or discontinuation of treatment​​​​​​​​.
  4. Concerns During Pregnancy: Pregnant women frequently prefer nonpharmacological interventions over antidepressant medications due to concerns about the effects of these drugs on their unborn children and a preference for psychotherapeutic approaches like interpersonal therapy and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy​​.

The Need for Alternative Treatments: Given the diverse reasons for disengagement from traditional pharmaceutical treatments, there’s a pressing need to explore and embrace alternative therapies. These include but are not limited to:

  • Psychedelics and Marijuana: Substances like ketamine and marijuana have shown promise in treating conditions inadequately addressed by conventional medications. However, they require a sensitive marketing approach that respects legal and societal norms.
  • Holistic Therapies: Incorporating holistic practices such as yoga and acupuncture can provide a more comprehensive approach to mental well-being, appealing to those seeking less conventional methods.
  • Personalized Treatment Approaches: Tailoring treatments to individual cultural, social, and economic backgrounds is crucial. This approach can help bridge the gap between traditional and alternative therapies, making mental health care more inclusive and accessible.

The mental health care landscape is shifting towards a more inclusive and personalized approach. By understanding the various reasons behind the disengagement from traditional pharmaceutical treatments and the growing interest in alternative therapies, healthcare professionals and marketers can better address the needs of diverse populations. The future of mental health care lies in embracing this diversity, ensuring treatments are accessible, culturally sensitive, and responsive to the unique needs of every individual.

As we embrace a more inclusive and personalized mental health care landscape, the Xpectives.Health Summit emerges as a pivotal platform for professionals. The summit will cover:

  1. Current Landscape: Delve into the latest advancements in alternative mental health therapies, understanding the evolving dynamics of the field.
  2. Comparative Advantages: Analyze how these therapies compare with traditional treatments, highlighting their unique benefits.
  3. Legal Framework: Gain comprehensive insights into the legalities surrounding the administration of these alternative treatments.
  4. Pharmaceutical Involvement: Explore the role of pharmaceutical companies in researching and developing groundbreaking therapies.
  5. Effective Communication: Master the nuances of communicating the medical advantages and potential risks of these treatments to patients, ensuring informed decision-making.

Attending the Xpectives.Health Summit is crucial for professionals in healthcare marketing, offering invaluable insights and networking opportunities to stay at the forefront of this evolving sector.



  1. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). “Poor insight was identified as a reason for nonadherence…” Link.
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). “Younger age, male gender, ethnic minority background…” Link.
  3. Cambridge University Press. “Over the course of a year, about three-quarters…” Link.
  4. Psychiatry Online. “Individuals with serious mental illness and providers differed…” Link.
  5. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). “Most commonly reported associations of disengagement appear to be…” Link.
  6. BMC Public Health. “Finding the right medication that reduced symptom severity…” Link.
  7. BMC Public Health. “Young people persevered with taking medication…” Link.
  8. BMC Public Health. “Adolescence is also a time of shifting from a focus…” Link.
  9. BMC Public Health. “Increases in psychotropic medication use…” Link.
  10. BMC Public Health. “Six key themes were identified in the data…” Link.
  11. PubMed. “Women disadvantaged by poverty, as well as racial or ethnic minority status…” Link.
  12. PubMed. “Depression during pregnancy is a significant public health problem…” Link.



November 8, 2023 0

Femtech is revolutionizing women’s health care, and it’s about time! This isn’t just another tech trend; it’s a major shift in how women access and manage their health. From period-tracking apps to breast cancer detection innovations, femtech is making waves and transforming lives. Let’s dive into some groundbreaking examples of femtech and see how they’re making a difference. And for those hungry for more, the Women’s Health Business Track at the Xpectives.Health Summit in April 2024 is the place to be!

Innovations in Femtech: A Closer Look

  1. Digital Health Platforms: Apps like Clue and Flo have revolutionized menstrual tracking, offering women insights into their reproductive health. These platforms provide personalized data, predict menstrual cycles, and help in understanding fertility windows, thus empowering women to make informed health decisions.
  2. Wearable Health Monitors: Wearables like Bellabeat and Ava provide real-time health monitoring. They track parameters like sleep, stress, and reproductive health, offering a comprehensive overview of a woman’s health status.
  3. Telehealth Services for Women: Companies like Maven Clinic offer telehealth services specifically for women, providing access to specialists in areas like fertility, mental health, and pregnancy. This approach has significantly reduced barriers to accessing expert healthcare advice.
  4. Breast Cancer Detection Technologies: Innovations like the smart bra, equipped with sensors for early detection of breast cancer, signify a breakthrough in proactive health management, offering a non-invasive method for regular monitoring.
  5. Fertility Tech: Technologies such as in-home fertility monitoring devices have demystified fertility issues, providing women with accurate information about their reproductive health in the comfort of their homes.

Impact on Women’s Healthcare

The advent of femtech has had a profound impact on women’s healthcare:

  • Enhanced Access: Femtech solutions provide women with more control over their health, especially in regions where access to healthcare is limited.
  • Personalized Care: With data-driven insights, women receive personalized healthcare, tailored to their unique needs.
  • Preventive Health: Early detection technologies in femtech encourage a preventive approach to health, leading to better outcomes.
  • Breaking Taboos: By addressing issues like menstrual health and fertility openly, femtech is breaking longstanding taboos and normalizing women’s health discussions.
  • Informed Decision-Making: Access to accurate health information empowers women to make informed decisions about their bodies and health.

Xpectives.Health Summit: A Platform for Further Learning

The Xpectives.Health Summit in April 2024, particularly the Women’s Health Business Track, presents an unparalleled opportunity to delve deeper into these advancements. Attendees can expect to:

  • Engage with Industry Leaders: Hear from pioneers in the femtech industry, sharing insights into the latest innovations and research.
  • Explore Case Studies: Learn from real-world examples of how femtech is making a difference in women’s lives.
  • Participate in Workshops: Engage in interactive sessions, understanding the application of femtech in various healthcare settings.
  • Network with Peers: Connect with healthcare professionals, marketers, and innovators, fostering collaborations that could shape the future of women’s healthcare.
  • Discover Future Trends: Get a glimpse into the future of femtech and its role in evolving women’s healthcare.

Femtech is more than just a buzzword; it’s a powerful movement propelling women’s healthcare into a new era. The Xpectives.Health Summit is the ideal platform to explore, learn, and contribute to this exciting field. It’s not just a conference; it’s a community coming together to shape a healthier future for women everywhere. Join the revolution at the Women’s Health Business Track in April 2024!



November 7, 2023 0

Imagine you’re a patient needing treatment, but the medicine was only tested on a group that doesn’t include people like you. That’s a big problem in healthcare today, as many clinical trials lack participation from diverse groups. This lack of representation presents numerous challenges but also offers opportunities for meaningful change.

Barriers to Diversity in Clinical Trials

  1. Underrepresentation: Black and Hispanic Americans, who make up a significant portion of the U.S. population, are markedly underrepresented in clinical trials. This gap limits their access to new therapies and affects the generalizability of treatment safety and efficacy to non-white patients​1​.
  2. Logistical Challenges: Many potential participants face practical barriers such as lack of childcare, health insurance coverage, transportation, language barriers, and low health literacy. These challenges often lead to a decline in trial participation​1​.
  3. Mistrust and Historical Injustices: Past abuses in medical research have left a legacy of distrust, particularly among certain racial and ethnic groups. This mistrust is a significant obstacle to participation​1​.
  4. Implicit Biases: Unconscious biases among clinicians result in fewer minority patients being referred to clinical trials, even when they are eligible. Such biases often stem from assumptions about patients’ understanding and willingness to adhere to study protocols​1​.
  5. Economic and Institutional Hurdles: High start-up costs and assumptions about the experience of staff at new sites can deter clinical trial sponsors from establishing accessible sites for minority populations​1​.
  6. Restrictive Study Designs: Eligibility criteria often exclude patients with comorbidities, which disproportionately affects minorities, thereby limiting their participation in trials​1​.

Making Strides Towards Inclusivity

  1. Community-Based Approaches: Establishing research offices in minority communities and using culturally sensitive recruitment tools have shown success. For instance, in Washington D.C., such strategies led to a significant increase in black participants in clinical trials​2​.
  2. Patient Navigators: Employing patient navigators who can help identify and screen minority candidates for trials, especially in places where they are receiving care, can be an effective strategy. These navigators are familiar with the system and trusted by potential candidates​2​.
  3. Programs like EMPACT and OWN-IT: Initiatives like EMPACT develop patient navigation programs tailored to minorities’ needs. OWN-IT, meanwhile, focuses on integrating the cancer center with the community to promote trust and participation. For example, in New Haven, Connecticut, the OWN-IT program led to trials promoted by Yale Cancer Center having 50% minority participation​2​.
  4. Expanding Trial Sites to Underserved Areas: Placing trial sites in underserved communities and non-traditional locations such as community health centers can improve trial diversity​3​.
  5. Diverse Investigators and Staff: Having racially and ethnically diverse investigators and staff helps in building trust and ensuring cultural competence in trials​3​.
  6. Data-Driven Recruitment: Leveraging real-world data to identify appropriate patients for clinical trials can enhance the diversity of participants​3​.

Looking Forward

By embracing these approaches, we’re not just ticking boxes; we’re making healthcare better and more effective for everyone. It’s a big task, but the payoff – treatments that work for all patients – is well worth the effort.


  1. American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). “AACR Disparities Meeting: Finding Solutions to Diversify Clinical Trials.” [Online]. Available:
  2. JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Oxford Academic. “Strategies To Boost Minority Participation in Clinical Trials,” Sherrie Flynt Wallington, Ph.D., and colleagues. [Online]. Available:
  3. Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). “Five Key Strategies for Enhancing Diversity in Clinical Trials.” [Online]. Available: