Wednesday, June 09, 2010

The Bad Case of the PI

In today’s blog, Brandy Gonsoulin, operations and project manager at Stinson Brand Innovation, offers more insight on communication and involvement with the patients – this time with a focus on the package insert.

If you don’t work in healthcare, the first thing you’d probably think of when you see the letters “PI” is the mathematic constant. 

However, if you do work in healthcare, the first thing you’d probably think of is Prescribing Information. And if you work in healthcare marketing, you understand when I say -- the bad case of the PI.

Most who have touched product messaging development in the launch stages can tell you a story or two about PI’s wrecking their timelines.  And if you’ve worked on the development of pharmaceutical sales tools (whether it be a sales aid, leave behind brochure, etc.), then you’re familiar with the conversation, “Where are we going to put the PI? . . .  Guess we need a pocket, eh?”

We’ve been forced to design around them, hide them, make them as small as possible . . . so we build pockets, we fold them down to teeny-tiny sizes, we glue them inside a fold.  And we walk away glad to have complied to FDA rules. And even though they are, perhaps, the most important piece of information regarding a drug, the more we don’t have to have one on materials, the happier we as marketers are.

You probably have a PI in your medicine cabinet right now.  I didn’t start reading them until I worked in healthcare because, face it, they aren’t exactly coffee table reading.

Can we assume that the average patient doesn’t read them either?  Can we assume the same for doctors? 

And if the PI is not being read, then what are we really accomplishing except compliance?

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