Avoid Legal Snags in Your Direct to Patient Marketing

February 9, 2017

Direct to patient marketing is part of the marketing strategy for most medical device and pharma companies. However, there are legal restrictions on what you are allowed to do.

Most medical device and pharma companies employ a legal team to help them navigate legal restrictions and make sure that everything is up to the correct legal standards.

At Mudbug Media, we’ve helped several companies with direct-to-patient marketing, and have found that every legal team interprets the law differently. A strategy that is approved by one legal team may be halted by another.

This is why it’s important to get your legal team on board early on in the process and continue to check in with them. Failure to do so may mean that your project comes to a screeching halt or gets shut down completely.

Clients Consulting a Legal Consultation Advisor

Working with Your Legal Team

It’s important to get your legal team involved in your plan as soon as possible, just as it is with the other departments in your company. You have to get everyone on board and sell them on your idea. Your legal team can help to guide you along the way. This will help you adjust the strategy as you go, so that changes are smaller and minor rather than a major overhaul of your project.

The key is to come up with a strategy and outline what you plan to do. You can then present that strategy to your legal team, and they will tell you if it is possible within the legal boundaries. If you keep your legal team informed every step of the way, it will save you a lot of time and help you get your project implemented faster. It’s much easier to make changes as you go than to have to scrap something you’ve been working on for months if the legal team disapproves.

Camera Focus on Steel Pen with Legal Advisors in Background.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Work with Legal

If you don’t get the legal team involved from the start, you’ll have a much harder time getting your project off the ground, especially if they find something legally questionable about your campaign. Even if you think you understand the legal boundaries, different legal teams will interpret the law in different ways, and some are more cautious than others.

You need their approval to implement your ideas and launch your direct to patient marketing campaign, so getting them on board from the start is the best strategy to help you accomplish that. I’ve worked with companies who didn’t get the legal team on board early on, and what happens is that the project takes much longer to complete, there are many rounds of revisions, and the timeline for launching is significantly delayed, if it happens at all.

It all goes back to the concept of not putting yourself on an island. If you isolate yourself from the other departments within your company, you’ll have a more difficult time getting everyone on board when it’s time to launch. Interacting with your other departments and selling them on your ideas from the start will help you stick to your desired timelines, and everyone will understand the value of what you’re trying to do.

Separating yourself from the rest of the company won’t help you accomplish your goals in direct to patient marketing. I cannot stress this enough: get the legal team on board, get the C-suite on board, and get the sales and marketing teams on board. You’ll put yourself in a much better spot in the long run.

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