September 24, 2020

How Pharma Can Use Anthropology to Help New Patients

woman in hospital holding pills

Being diagnosed with a disease, regardless of the severity or prognosis, is never easy. From finding affordable treatments to figuring out how a home-monitoring device works, to recognizing side effects of new medications and adhering to a regimen, there’s so much to consider. PM360 recently asked several industry experts to share their thoughts on patient on-boarding, starter kits, patient assistance programs, the role of digital health and more. Intouch’s own Jess Seilheimer, SVP of strategic development, suggests taking a page or two from anthropology — the study of humans and human culture — to learn more about patient needs, wants and behaviors.

When people hear the word anthropology, they might think of names like Margaret Mead, famous for her studies of South Pacific islanders in the 1920s, or Edward Sapir, who studied indigenous American languages and considered the language of the Arctic Dene people “probably the son-of-a-bitchiest language in America to actually know.” Both helped cultural enthusiasts and academics understand people and cultures they’d never seen or even heard of … and anthropologists of all stripes continue to do that today. Now, however, anthropology isn’t just for social scientists anymore. In fact, it’s been used in business for some time now. But how can this social science discipline help phrama marketers meaningfully connect with patients and ensure they get — and stay on — the treatments the need? Find out here.