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  • Stephen Casey, Guest Author

The Need for Medical Marketing Professionals in Cannabis Industry

Due to the volume of news about cannabis in recent years, medical cannabis products have a level of awareness and recognition that is unparalleled in recent medical products history.

Health care providers would have to live under a rock to not know when their state has legalized.

So why does the medical cannabis market only penetrate to less than 1% of the total population of a state when pain patients alone can account for 30% of the population?

This editorial will focus on the rationale for utilizing a traditional medical marketing approach that develops and disseminates scientific evidence as the foundation for awareness and acceptance within the medical community.

What is Medical Marketing?

In traditional medical product markets, there is a long development cycle in which safety and efficacy evidence is generated due to regulatory requirements. This regulatory evidence, research, and outcomes are then compiled into targeted communications. A comprehensive, multi-channel, science-based medical marketing plan is then executed inside the health care community to ensure provider awareness, trial, and utilization.

Over the last decade, pressures on health care have caused medical products companies to turn to integrated medical marketing campaigns to push and pull providers into scientific discussions about their products or services. The end-result of this process is an empowered health care provider more likely to utilize the evidence-based product in clinical practice – i.e. recommend the products to patients.

Why Not Just Market to the Consumer?

Recently, professionals in the healthcare industry made a rather shocking discovery. A study was conducted to determine how much influence direct-to-consumer advertising had on the prescribing of medical products. Although 73% of patients were aware of a product, only 8% requested that product from their health care provider. Of that 8%, less than 7% of the time did a health care provider agree and recommend the product the patient had requested – a vanishingly small number! This research highlights the reason that successful medical product marketing focuses communications directly to the health care provider.

This approach makes sense: health care providers have evidence-based, preferential modes for accessing information on new patient-management strategies and tactics. Providers alone have the training and authority to determine treatment courses or recommend which products will be used by the patient. Therefore, influencing the provider is the key to medical product sales.

How to Market to Providers?

Historically, sales representatives have been the most common way to reach providers. Through sales calls, a company representative provides safety and efficacy evidence as well as free drug samples.

However, marketing compelling scientific evidence to health care providers today requires multiple communication channels. Marketers must create dynamic, relevant content and disseminate it through various provider-accepted approaches such as peer-to-peer programs, scientific publications, and many other communications channels.

Medical Marketing for Cannabis?

Today, providers know little about the patient benefits of medical cannabis, as their training has not prepared them well for utilizing this treatment modality. Therefore, the needs and opportunities for education and marketing are even greater for medical cannabis than for traditional medical products.

At 420 Medical Marketing, we develop, communicate, and deliver scientific evidence using patient-centered, proven strategies to promote and enhance the health of diverse populations. We believe every key player in the medical cannabis industry, from growers/producers to dispensaries, should have a medical marketing component within their overall marketing plan. A 420 Medical Marketing program can transform the cannabis science into practice delivering increased awareness and usage.

Although each state has different regulations about how the industry may promote or deliver cannabis information into the medical market, no state should be against the development or dissemination of cannabis scientific evidence. Several companies have taken an early lead in cannabis market penetration by working some of the health care channels. As they continue to improve cannabis awareness and usage in specific market segments, it will be positively reflected in their sales. To gain faster and deeper market penetration for medical cannabis products, 420 Medical Marketing proposes a comprehensive marketing plan that includes a major medical marketing component designed to gain provider awareness, trial, and usage.

About BioCan Healthcare Marketing, LLC

BioCan Healthcare Marketing ( a Pennsylvania-based medical marketing firm dedicated to the cannabis market. The company is an evidence-based agency that provides strategy development and tactical execution services to medical cannabis companies looking to improve their healthcare stakeholder awareness and usage. 420’s marketing practices utilize proven techniques to develop product awareness, trial, and usage within the health care marketplace. Our focus is on optimizing the medical cannabis patient’s journey through the healthcare system to cannabis treatment. The 420 team has decades of high level strategic and execution experience in health care across a broad range of disease states and therapeutic areas. This facilitates our ability to provide comprehensive strategic and tactical solutions to assist cannabis enterprises in realizing their full revenue potential.

To learn more, please visit or contact:

Stephen Casey

Managing Partner

Michael Caso

Managing Partner

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