You might have heard of a little internet company that dove into the pharma space recently: Amazon. Amazon’s not alone. We’ve found more than 50 companies (mostly smaller startups) that are pioneering new ways to bring value directly to the many consumers who are happy to explore new, online health offerings.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) disruption is nothing new, but legacy brands in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries are barely beginning to figure out their way forward after a surge of DTC activity in the space. Our new report, “Healthcare And Pharma Marketers: Learn From DTCs Going Direct-To-Value,” shines a spotlight on the direct-to-value (DTV) approach these DTC brands are taking, even in a highly regulated space. In this research, we found that:

  • Consumers willing to DIY their health make the health and pharma spaces ripe for disruption. Consumer expectations are rising and do not discriminate based on industry. Empowered healthcare and pharma customers are more than willing to deviate from their traditional providers in pursuit of shorter (or no) wait times, more research and self-education, and convenience via subscriptions and home delivery.
  • More DTCs are emerging in healthcare and pharma as VC money pours in. Consumers spend massive capital on healthcare — up to $10 trillion globally by 2022 — so it’s no wonder that DTCs are emerging left and right to get in on the action. DTCs in the space are finding new ways to deliver value, from telepharmacies and dentistry to vitamins and hair loss. As VC investment and healthcare spending soar, we expect the flow of new DTC startups to increase.
  • DTCs in the space deliver a direct-to-value approach through curation, convenience, and community. Consumers can now personalize their treatment plans with brands such as Care/of (vitamins) or see their unique genetic profile through companies like 23andMe or Consumers turning to Google searches for embarrassing or uncomfortable answers to their health questions are increasingly seeking out DTC offerings for their convenience and discretion. And DTCs are bringing communities of sufferers together, from Curology’s shared acne stories to Maven’s maternal health forum.

What does this mean for marketers at legacy healthcare and pharma brands? Check out our latest research, or set up an inquiry with me for recommendations on how to break out of the legacy patterns of those industries and take a direct-to-value approach.