How Over the Counter Medications Benefit from Online Reviews
| By Oscar King
What’s the first thing you check when you want to buy a new OTC medication? Chances are it’s the reviews. You want to see what people think of it, and if it actually works as advertised. This is the norm.
People trust reviews from other people and often make their buying decisions based on their recommendations –once the price issue is sorted out of course. Over the counter medications are popular for a reason: they’re easy to obtain.
That, plus the added benefits of lower price compared to Rx, considerable savings –over $77 billion in clinical cost savings every year- and convenience is why many people prefer them. Have a headache? Just walk into a CVS store near you and buy some acetaminophen tablets. No need for prescriptions or notes from the doctor.
In fact, you can order them from Amazon these days –through their Basic Care store. But this leads to an even more important question: what’s the best brand to get? And to get the answer to this, most people just Google the OTC medication brands and read the reviews. Think about it: we all do this type of research and comparison.
Low-rated medications are generally avoided, and high-rated drugs enjoy good patronage. If you manufacture OTC drugs and medications, you absolutely need good reviews. People need to know about your brand. Of course medical and pharmaceutical regulatory boards don’t condone the blatant request for reviews, but they are necessary in guaranteeing the survival of a brand in this digital age of the consumer.
Global Market Insights’ (GMI) May 2019 report, estimates that the OTC drugs market will exceed $185 billion USD by 2025. Remember that this is just OTC meds alone; not all the drugs produced by the pharmaceutical industry. That’s huge!
And guess what? The brands that will enjoy a slice of this revenue and sales are those with a ton of positive reviews. No wonder retail chains like Walgreens and CVS are working hard at upping their review volume on these medications.
So, when people like you and I decide that we need some Advil and ask around the internet for the best pain relievers, we’ll find the brands they carry. In the near future, we’ll most likely see a lot more pharmaceuticals get into active review generation –albeit, quite subtly.
For instance, they can just put up signage that “encourages” you to leave reviews of your favorite OTC medications on their websites and online stores. Pharmaceutical brands offering powerful OTC meds at a discount can also take advantage of their customers leaving favorable reviews to increase their sales and revenue.
At the end of the day, popular over the counter drugs will enjoy even more popularity, and become household brands that people associate with that condition –e.g. Xanax for anti-anxiety, Advil for pain and inflammation etc.
Great Medium for Information and Lower Exposure to Allergies/Side Effects
This is not so much for the pharma companies as it is for the users –although drug manufacturers can benefit from it too. Consumers who look up OTC meds reviews will find adequate information about allergic reactions and adverse effects. This way, they can decide if the drugs are great for their situation or not.
Pharmaceutical brands on the other hand, can use these review platforms to properly educate people about the side effects too. Truth is when you go through the average drug leaflet, you’ll find contraindications that are bound to scare you –apart from the fact that some of them are hard to understand.
Pharmaceutical companies can take advantage of these review platforms to inform people of the rarity of these side effects, and assuage their fears. And if users have genuine concerns, they can answer their questions objectively.
Most consumers and patients aren’t looking for you to sell them on your medications. They just want to be adequately informed. Engaging them on review platforms often means that they’ll walk away with enough information to take those meds and not have any side effects.
For instance, some drugs are more effective when they’re taken with fatty foods. Now, if you take that same drug with just water and a burger in your belly, chances are it won’t work as quickly because the medium is not very compatible.
Take that same drug with, say, some milk and high fat foods, and its attendant results will be faster. Information is important. And people pay attention to these details a lot because they want to avoid the contraindications as much as possible.
So, use this medium to explain optimal dosing, how the medications works, and how to administer for best results. Even better, pay attention to the complaints and fix the frequently recurring ones.
Inject Some Humanity
For most people, pharma brands, whether big or small, are not relatable. Brands that go out of their way to engage with their consumers and audience on the various review platforms show that not only are they human, but that the care about their customers’ well-being.
The good news is that social media, websites and other review platforms have made these interactions easier than ever. Retail chains like CVS understand this and have even taken it a step further. They have opened walk-in clinics in some of their locations.
While not all pharmaceutical companies will do this, it’s an indication of what’s possible through online reviews. People trust and like brands that they can relate to. In the pharmaceutical industry, this might be a bit difficult to do, but it can be done –with a little ingenuity.
Reputation Studio Can Help
How are your medications doing online? What are people saying about them? Do they think they’re too bitter, too big to swallow, or have too many side effects? It can be hard to get all this information if you’re not actively tracking conversations involving your medications.
The good news is Reputation Studio’s AI-Powered Online Reputation Management software can help you with all these tasks. You can listen in and track conversations in reviews about your brand. You can determine sentiment and intent from these reviews, which you can then leverage for increased revenue and sales.
This enterprise platform is essentially the solution to all your online review problems. You’ll be able to see what people are saying about your brand in realtime, jump into conversations before your brand’s reputation is sullied, and swiftly inform users who need clarification. And with that information at your disposal, you can enjoy an increased bottom line.
If you’d like to see how it works and what it can do for your pharmaceutical brand, get in touch with us today.