Philadelphia, here I come …

I’m flying (!! flying!! Ack!!) to Philadelphia tomorrow to participate in Healthline’s Thought Leadership ePatient event, which takes place on Thursday. It brings a few patients, like me, and the people who create pharmaceutical advertising together to meet and talk about what’s working–and what’s not in their efforts to make us comfortable with their products. I’ll be one of a panel of four patients. My specialty is, of course, rheumatoid disease.

PhillyMontage

The idea, as I understand it, is to help pharmaceutical advertisers understand the “patient’s journey” and patient’s needs, taking into consideration what types of technology we use–TV, Internet, tablets, apps, and through which media (blogs, pharma websites, health websites like Healthline)–and how they can reach us more effectively.

I’m looking forward to the event. I think it’ll be really interesting–and educational–on both sides of the room. And Healthline, too.

And, since I’m just one little patient with one little blog, I thought I’d toss some questions out to you, too. They’re pretty much the same one Healthline asked me as we were preparing for the event. I’d love to hear your answers, and I’d really like to share them with the pharma group on Thursday. You can either pipe up here in comments or email me: bluewren56@gmail.com

The questions:

1. What suggestions might you make to pharmaceutical marketers/advertisers who market autoimmune arthritis drugs? How could they do it better?

2. Have you ever visited drug brand websites to get information? If so, when? During what part of your journey? During Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment research?

3. Do you use social media for health information or management support? If so, when and how?

4. Do you feel there is a gap between patients and doctors? Can pharmaceutical marketers help bridge that gap or would you rather get information from a third party, such as Healthline, so you can make more informed treatment decisions?

Thanks, everyone. I think this is going to be a blast. I’ve never been to Philadelphia before, and I may have some free time on Wednesday to do a little sightseeing. I’m bringing my camera so I can do some touristy things. And of course, I’ve gotta try a beer and a cheesesteak.

And while I’m a bit nervous about public speaking–each patient has to give a 10-minute introductory talk about their illness “journey”–I’ve done it before.  I’ll just have keep a bottle of water handy for afterwards, because I always seem to have a ferocious dry-throat-tickle-coughing attack directly after I sit down. Nerves, I think.

Wish me luck! And please do tackle some of those questions, if you would. I’d like to know what you think.