Who Buys Healthcare in Global Markets?

Who Buys Healthcare in Global Markets?

A multicultural approach is key to cracking today’s most promising markets.

Pharmaceuticals and other medical treatments don’t make cultural distinctions. Aspirin, for example, causes the same type of chemical reactions in most human bodies, no matter what country the patient lives in.

When it comes to getting your brand into the hands of consumers in different cultures, however, the process can be vary widely from country to country. That’s because the people to whom you market drugs, devices and medical services to in the U.S. are very different from those you’ll encounter in global markets.

To begin with, in many countries you’ll be dealing with government representatives who have very different needs and motivations than the hospitals and GPOs you deal with back home. This may be especially true if your new market has a controlled national healthcare system, in which case you can expect more decision-makers to be found at the national or regional level.

Once you get past the primary gatekeepers of a culture, your audience is also likely to be far more diverse than it would have been 10-15 years ago. In the past, physicians typically made key buying decisions, often with some input from the patient. Today the number of stakeholders has expanded dramatically in many cultures to include nurses, hospital administrators, payers and insurance companies—public or private.

Successful branding in this environment will need to take all of the stakeholder groups who influence the buying decision into account, which will invariably mean some variation to take the best advantage of local opportunities. Having an understanding of how the healthcare system works in each of your new markets, especially when it comes to reimbursement, will be critical to your success.

Our first parathink briefing—Meeting 21st Century Challenges to Global Healthcare Brands—details what’s working for healthcare companies who are moving successfully into global markets, and provides expert tips on how to overcome common challenges. Click here to get your free copy.

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