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Pharma marketing

Health Equity: What is it and why does it matter to Pharma?

health equity_what is it and why does it matter to pharma

In recent years, you might have come across the concept of “health equity” quite a bit. You might have even wondered what it is all about. Yet, the real question you should be asking is What is health equity and why should I care?

What if I told you health equity can be both good for you and patients alike while placing your organization in a leading position? 

In this post, I will share with you all about health equity and the way you can make it a part of your brand and communications strategy.

What is health equity?


Health equity is a conception that dates back to the mid-nineteenth century and social medicine theorizations of the time. Since then, it has permeated into contemporary American society. Much of this is due to WHO’s (World Health Organization) creation and its constitution. 

At its core, health equity dwells on the concerns around unfair disparities that determine people’s access to health. Important to remember that the latter is declared by WHO as a fundamental human right.

“…the highest standards of health should be within reach of all, without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” – The Constitution of the World Health Organization, 1946

The disparities talked about in the US are deeply rooted in social, economic, demographic, and geographic dimensions. A practical example of this was the impact COVID-19 had on African American communities across the US. According to Pfizer, these experienced 2.6 times higher cases of the disease. Thus, proving they were more susceptible to contracting COVID. 

COVID 19 impact african american community
Source: Pfizer

Why does this really happen? Factors such as communities’ access to health insurance, as well as working and living conditions, play a determining role. With this, the pandemic just shed an even brighter light on the disproportionate impact of the disease on African-Americans, showcasing the existing health inequities. 

Why is health equity important to pharma marketing?

Advancing health equity is to be a part of a pivotal change in the American Health System and pharmaceutical industry which will turn patient-centric approaches even stronger. But also, more tangible. 

Still not sure? Let me help you envision this. 

By advancing health equity, your company is:

  • Strengthening its credibility and name in the market;
  • Achieving higher success rates;
  • Saving more lives; and 
  • Promoting health universalization. 

How? By using social determinants as effective segmentation guides, leading to a personalized customer experience. Through mostly online tools, your pharma company can 

can follow a patient-centric approach that is tailored to the audience’s needs and interests.

Furthermore, this helps you pave the way for an inclusive communications strategy that will allow your brand to better engage patients with high-quality, added-value content. 

But how does this translate to Pharma overall? Today, pharma and life sciences companies have the power on their hands to advance health equity and, as a result: 

  • Improve patient outcomes;
  • Reduce costs; and 
  • Be more profitably innovative. 

Per se, by making health equity part of their communications strategy and business models, organizations in the field have the power to change the paradigm. Therefore, standing out from the competition as a benchmark for innovation, growth, and adaptiveness. 

A good example of this is Bristol Myers Squibb’s commitment in 2020 to start making health equity a priority. Part of their focus thereafter would be on expanding health equity and clinical trial inclusion. Their commitment then passes by spreading disease awareness and promoting patient education programs that span across different sects of society, regardless of social, economic, geographic, and other factors. 

Using video to advance health equity

In health equity, the overarching goal is to improve access to healthcare, and, by extension, to medical information. Video, particularly explainer videos, has proven an effective digital tool in doing so. 

Today, people watch an average of 19 hours of video online. Part of it is because this is a format that condenses information and turns it not only more entertaining and engaging but also more accessible and retainable. 

For that, medical animations have been gaining popularity in the pharmaceutical industry for their potential to extend reach and make complex scientific information accessible to patients. Additionally, this is a powerful digital tool that turns your knowledge and expertise into on-demand content that can be consumed by anyone from anywhere. 

Why is this effective? At least 80% of US patients use the Internet to search for varied health information, and a further 55% use digital channels to search for healthcare costs. 

So, in a powerful, 2-minute explainer video pharma companies can strengthen their patient education strategies, while effectively sharing information on: 

  • General disease characteristics;
  • Symptoms;
  • Treatment options;
  • Side-effects;
  • …and more!

More on video in pharma and patient education

Top Channels for Patient Education

Explainer Videos: How to Successfully Create Your First

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