Today's consumer still values healthcare professionals but the discussions have changed

More than 8 out of 10 adults have seen at least one or more doctors in the last year, according to the  2013 MARS OTC/DTC Study . There are nearly 20% of consumers who have not seen any type of healthcare professional in the past year, most likely the young/uninsured or underinsured population. The majority of those making and keeping doctor appointments (over 84%) value their healthcare professional, whether it’s their doctors, nurses/physician assistants or pharmacists. Three in four value doctors, 67% value nurses and physician assistants and 62% value pharmacists.

In today’s world, however, the healthcare professional is just one source for healthcare information. Before an adult even steps foot into the doctor’s office, they’re exposed to so many DTC messages in traditional media (TV, magazines, newspapers), through their digital devices, on apps, social media and through support groups. And this is all before they’ve even set foot into the doctor’s offices.  Information is power and the patient is no longer powerless. That means that when they do decide to visit their healthcare professional, they are often armed with information and ready to have an engaging discussion.  

What we’re seeing from our data is the healthcare professional is still the authority on patients’ healthcare and no other source has so far displaced the physician as the arbiter of patient care. So, the relationship is the same as its ever been, however the exposure to many information sources, has had a profound effect on the discussion between patient and doctor.

In fact, patients who initiate discussion with their doctors are more likely to have been exposed to healthcare advertising. 

To find out more, download our new deck filled with insights on point-of-care media.

Kantar Media’s MARS OTC/DTC Study helps agencies, marketers and media make better healthcare media and marketing decisions. It ties multimedia consumption to medical ailments, pharma brands, attitudes and opinions about healthcare and many other data points. A large sample of about 20,000 respondents provides stable and reliable information across categories and brands. Gain insights into category and product usage for 500+ OTC and Rx remedies, detailed information for 70 health conditions, including treatment options and much more.

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