Tag Archives: Marketing / Communications

Healthcare Companies Sitting On Lots Of Cash…What Will They Do With It?

In the September 8-15 edition of Time Magazine, they have a whole article about data and numbers.  One of the pages is on which companies have the most cash.  Apple is number one and the one you always hear about.  As we’ve all seen, there are lots of rumors about Apple, Google, and Amazon and what they’re doing that is health related. 

At the same time, I was intrigued to see all the health related companies on the list:

  • Medtronic – $13.7B
  • Abbott Labs – $8.1B
  • Merck – $27.3B
  • Pfizer – $48.8B
  • Johnson & Johnson – $29.2B
  • Abbvie – $9.9B
  • Eli Lilly – $12.7B
  • Amgen – $23.1B
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb – $8.3B

You have several other non-healthcare companies which are doing things in healthcare that are also on the list:

  • Walmart – $8.7B
  • GE – $14B
  • Procter & Gamble – $8.5B
  • Qualcomm – $31.6B

If you look at the Rock Health recent report, you can imagine how these companies could leverage all this money to really change healthcare.  They could fund companies.  They could buy companies.  They could invest in orphan drugs.  They could create new technology standards.  They could educate consumers.  They could push technologies like the Internet of Things. 

Medco Tour of Champions

I was surprised to see a full-page advertisement yesterday by Medco in USA Today about their Tour of Champions.  I knew they were focusing on therapeutic resource centers (i.e., pharmacies dedicated to specific disease states like diabetes).  It seems like a great idea.


It was interesting to go to the website – www.tourofchampions.com.  One of my biggest surprises was the fact that they have made their therapeutic alternative tool called My Rx Choices (i.e., telling you lower cost options based on your current drugs) available to the general public.  Now, obviously, it can’t tell you your copay savings, but it may help you identify options.  For example, I put in Lipitor to see what it would offer me.  (see below)


From the website, this is what it says the specialist pharmacists do:

  • Cross-check your current medications with your health history and available lab work to help you stay safe.
  • Understand your overall health, not just treat your condition.
  • Let your doctor’s office know how your pharmacy program works so your doctor can help you save.

Unified Communications

Those of you that know me (or follow the blog) know that one of my key issues is how to improve healthcare communications.  I think this is where we (as an industry) missed the boat.  I used to tease our VP of Call Centers that Dominos knew more about me when I called in than we did.

I was glad to see a blog entry from earlier this year by the physician that leads Microsoft’s healthcare group on this topic.

“Healthcare is a communication intensive business.  Good communication has a profound effect on the quality and safety of patient care.  Communication also has a huge bearing on patient satisfaction.  Yet historically, the options for how we communicate with each other in the healthcare industry have been somewhat limited.” 

Obviously, we have a long way to go.  Many times companies simply give up due to regulatory issues or the challenges of changing behavior.  The reality is that communications are difficult.  It is both an art (i.e., messaging, branding, design) and a science (i.e., linguistics, data mining, targeting, personalization).

Technology will drive a step change in the relationship between patients and providers and insurance companies.  This is the time to jump on board and figure out how to improve.

%d bloggers like this: