Friday, June 22, 2007

CNN provides a whole new world in pharma product promotion

American entrepreneurship in the field of pharma product promotion never ceases to amaze me. The above is a link from CNN. This is about a pharma and healthcare product communication channel called Accent Health media. The stamp of CNN on the print and other media products of this channel obviously gives it a new appeal.

This is what Accent Health is all about:
11.3 million consumers every month, seeing your message when their health concerns are top of mind.
This is AccentHealth, the exclusive television network broadcast to doctors' waiting rooms nationwide, with health information programming from CNN designed specifically to engage, entertain, and educate patients while they wait to see the doctor.
We offer integrated marketing opportunities, including in-office Health Panels and take-one literature that gives you the ability to deliver your whole message in a trusted environment, at the point of care.

The very interesting part of their healthcare communication approach is the fact that they have launched a WAITING ROOM TV NETWORK This exclusive TV network reaches around 11.3 million healthconscious viewers in 10,800 doctors waiting room in USA. They ensure that the programming (produced by a person of Indian origin - Dr. Sanjay Gupta) is beamed on a 32 inches flat panel TV.
The Accent Health media also offers opportunities for literature printing and distribution to targeted doctors and patients through its customized services.

The Health Panel service from Accent Health media provides a business service of providing educational media, product promotional leaflets, boards and other marketing vehicles to be kept at the waiting room and in the doctor's clinic.

Will Accent Media come to India?

Frankly, I do not know - but with the current boom in cable TV networks, Tata Sky and Dish TV networks it is only a matter of time when such Indian service providers will pick up a leaf from CNN and roll out a similar venture for targeting the patients' waiting room and the doctor's office itself.

In India it is perilous to ignore the chemists

In India the pharma market is OTX (mix of prescription and OTC ie. over-the-counter). In this context it is a serious error to underestimate the marketing muscle of chemists or medical shops. Now with the chemist chain concept picking up it becomes all the more vital to take chemists in to cognizance while formulating a healthcare communication strategy. In case of chemist chains, they are also on the anvil of organizing wellness clinics for the general public. There is a golden healthcare communication opportunity for firms like Accent Health to partner with chemists for mutually beneficial business results.

For companies who own a chain of retail outlets, the distribution system itself provides an opportunity for healthcare communication.

A great opportunity for alternative healing systems

The birth of social media and other communication channels - such as Accent Health - is a great opportunity for disseminating useful information on Ayurveda, Yoga and other healing systems, in the Indian context, thereby empowering people. In fact, the chemists' facilitated healthcare communication network will surely strengthen demand and consumption of products of alternative healing systems.

The Indian pharma market is interesting:

There are an estimated 11 lakh doctors (5 lakh allopathic and rest of other streams). The no. of chemists is estimated to be around 3 lakh.

It would be interesting to see the impact of TV, multimedia, convergence technology, and the Internet on healthcare communication and pharma marketing communication.
(This post was put up from my sister's house at 7.40 pm on Friday (22.6.2007))

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