Profiling the American Healthcare Consumer

Americans want to be healthier and live longer lives, but sometimes the reality of life or personal choices defy that desire. Consumer trust in drug companies and attitudes toward prescription medications may also have an impact on health outcomes.

According to Kantar Media’s MARS Consumer Health Study (available on May 2nd, 2017), Americans are facing serious challenges on an array of health issues. Study results indicate that 1 in 2 adults currently feel somewhat or very stressed, nearly 1/3 suffer from high cholesterol or high blood pressure, 25% are considered obese, and only half are participating in preventative healthcare. 

US Healthcare Consumers

It’s not all bad news, however. Many Americans have a strong desire to do better and take a more active role in their health. 53% report that they try to eat healthy foods and 51% say exercise is an important part of their diet and nutrition plan.

When thinking about the role that pharmaceutical companies play in the health of U.S. adults, it seems clear from this study that many companies may be missing the mark when it comes to effectively communicating with consumers. Only 22% of those surveyed trust the drug companies that advertise the medications they take and 28% believe pharma ads make them more knowledgeable. Drug companies also struggle to connect with consumers when it comes to branded drugs. Only 44% agree that Rx is a more effective treatment than over-the-counter drugs and fewer than 1 in 5 consumers think branded medications are worth the cost compared to generics.

It’s no surprise that one of the major hurdles is more about insurance companies than pharmaceutical marketers. 3 out of 4 agree it’s very important that their health insurance provider covers all their prescription needs.  Perhaps if more drugs with high out-of-pocket costs were included on lists approved for coverage by the insurance companies, consumers would feel more positive about Rx and branded Rx.

The positive news is that today’s consumers want to stay informed. Among the entire U.S. adult population, whether healthy or unhealthy, 42% conduct research to be better informed about their treatment options. That’s a substantial number. So while the marketers on both the pharma and insurance side have some work to do if they want to win over the trust of consumers, it may just be a matter of figuring out the best way to communicate the messages.

Kantar Media’s MARS Consumer Health Study is a trusted information source for reaching different patient groups and uncovering deep consumer insights. It provides stable and reliable media and healthcare data that is projectable to the U.S. adult population to better meet the needs of agencies, marketers, healthcare facilities, insurers and media companies. The study contains detailed information including online and offline media.

If you need to reach an audience that is proactive about health or target a variety of key consumer healthcare segments by health attitudes and behaviors, the MARS Consumer Health Study Segmentations are now available:

  • MARS Patient Segmentation - Based on health behavior and attitudes regarding personal health, relationship with HCPs, treatments, prevention activities and health motivators.
  • Sources Valued Segmentation - Based on the value consumers place on various sources for obtaining healthcare information. Channels analyzed for the Sources Valued Segmentation include offline, online, point of care and point of purchase.

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