We’ve used a grand title to introduce this article not to shock or stun, but because it’s true. It’s a fact often lost in the controversy surrounding low-quality pharmaceutical products and the occasional scandal. Whilst the media would be happy to demonise healthcare research and pharmaceutical companies as organisations rubbing their hands together at the prospect of profits, this isn’t the case.
The fact is healthcare marketing research has a big responsibility to society. Proper healthcare marketing has a responsibility to each and every person. This is something that can’t be underestimated and you can delve deeper into it here.
What is this Responsibility to Society?
A responsibility to society is a general term. It doesn’t take much to confuse it with something else. In the case of healthcare marketing research, it needs to do the following things to ensure it’s fulfilling its responsibilities:
- All research must be honest and open.
- Research must be conducted in a manner that’s both ethical and morally right.
- The sharing of information.
Honest and Open Research
Anyone conducting healthcare marketing must provide research that is both honest and open. In terms of honesty, this simply means not tampering with the results. Whilst situations where research is directly tampered with are uncommon, there are some cases where things are cherry-picked to form a distorted view.
For example, only publishing favourable results and ignoring the rest would be an example of distorting the true reality of things. This is wrong. It also represents a failure to meet an obligation to society. Spreading misinformation is the worst possible sin in the world of healthcare and marketing.
In terms of being open, this simply means publishing everything about a study. No information should be censored. Again, this contributes to the spread of misinformation by misleading people.
For example, if a new cancer drug was shown to stop the spread of bowel cancer in 8 out of 10 people, any marketer would be thrilled to use this in their marketing materials. On the other hand, bad healthcare marketing wouldn’t mention the fact the other two patients actually died as a result of the drug.
Ethics and Morals
Ethics and morals haven’t evaporated in the 21st century. Dishonest healthcare marketing tactics damage the industry as a whole. They make it harder for people to trust experts in the healthcare industry. It’s why there’s always so much speculation over whether a new product really does what it’s supposed to do.
Whilst ethics and morals are subjective, the first step to fulfilling this obligation is to stick within the law. It’s the easiest guide to stick to. Some healthcare marketing research might involve steering clear of controversial trials involving cruel treatments on animals.
Becoming ethical anywhere in the healthcare industry revolves around being able to report research as it’s seen and use only those studies that have themselves demonstrated a high regard for morals and ethics.
The Sharing of Information
Research doesn’t mean anything if it isn’t used for a good purpose. New breakthroughs aren’t made through research. Good research merely points the manufacturers of healthcare products in the right direction.
To make healthcare research more powerful, it’s important to share it. This is where the marketing comes in. Healthcare marketing research has a responsibility to broadcast research in a full and proper way. Facts shouldn’t be glossed over or ignored. It’s common to see this happening, whether it’s through fliers or social media healthcare marketing.
Although we might see a pharmaceutical company as a machine designed only to make money, it’s on the frontline of human innovation. The products they come up with are responsible for forming the cures of the future for serious diseases. Yes, they have to make money to continue running, but they’re there to come up with real cures.
If a company doesn’t have the right research, they can’t do this. Their business model relies on their consistent success, so what they sell has to work.
Information must spread quickly for the good of other researchers and the manufacturers of healthcare products. This increases the rate at which advances are made and improves public health.
A Two-Way Relationship
Both healthcare marketing researchers and marketers are directly funded by the general public purchasing healthcare treatments. It’s a relationship where both sides give and receive. Healthcare marketing research has a responsibility to society because this is what ensures its very survival.
If nobody funds healthcare, the research dries up and the manufacture of new products grinds to a halt. We can talk of grand responsibilities and what companies should be doing, but what it breaks down to is the simple act of exchanging one thing for another. It’s not much more complicated than this, and it’s why health policy continues to promote this responsibility to society as a whole.