Real World Evidence Substantiates the Audience Quality of Inspire’s Membership

By Odin Soevik

With spending on direct-to-consumer digital advertising at $343 million in 2017, pharmaceutical companies want to know that their money is spent to reach the right patients and caregivers at the right time.1

Reaching a quality audience has been the challenge for online advertising. But now, companies have access to Real World Evidence (RWE), from electronic health records to patient claim records and other “big data” extraction. RWE is being coupled with marketing strategies to determine audience quality.2

Recently, a digital agency for a major brand purchased Inspire Promote: Display Banner Ads and Activity Summary Emails. They did a comparison between Inspire’s audience and a group of other publishers. Utilizing RWE, the agency rated an Inspire community as highest in audience quality in the initial two months of their campaign, compared to other publishers.

The Patient Journey: The Advanced Breast Cancer Support Community on Inspire

The Advanced Breast Cancer Support Community on Inspire was in the news recently when member, Judy Perkins, became the first metastatic breast cancer patient to experience a durable regression through immunotherapy. [see her interview here] Judy turned to Inspire when first diagnosed with metastatic disease, sharing her patient journey and discussing treatments and side effects with other patients.

Started in 2010, the community has grown from 477 members to over 28,000 to date.

Postings by members to Inspire’s platform have increased from 350 posts in its first year to over 25,000.

Eighty-three percent of community members have opted in to receive promotional emails. This interest in learning about treatment options can be found throughout their postings.

This community shares information about treatments, side effects and the experience of being a cancer thriver. They actively request support.

“Just saw a post on Facebook about Holly Kitchen [link added]. She is a Cancer thriver that is not doing so well. She has small children and it looks like the treatments are not working anymore. The reason for my post is I was diagnosed __ months ago and I am doing pretty well on ____[treatment]_____as well as ___[treatment]___. But it’s only been __ months! Holly was diagnosed in 2012 so she had 3 years. 3 years! That’s not enough for me. I am a very upbeat person but I am genuinely scared for the first time since I got the news. Please tell me success stories of thrivers with stage IV BC with bone mets. I need to hear some happy stories.”

Here is one of the many responses.

“My first diagnosis was at Stage 4 and the…doctors thought they were sending me home to die. That was seven years ago this month and I’m still going strong. There has been some progression and it’s not all been fun and games but I’ve had seven Christmases with children and grandchildren and can still enjoy life. Please don’t get discouraged, there is life after diagnosis.”

Another answered.

“There are a lot of women on the board who have done very well with bone mets only…You are absolutely right, three years is NOT ENOUGH. we need more research. “

On their journey, Inspire patients are actively engaged in finding treatments and discussing what works for them.

“I will be starting __TREATMENT___on __DATE___. …Has anyone ever been through this type of treatment? If so, what are the side effects?”

She received about 20 responses like this one:

“You do have to take care of your hands and feet, because _[treatment]___will dry the skin in extreme ways if you don’t. I used to soak my feet in a washtub during my morning shower, then slather them with _[brand]___Moisturizing Creme to hold that water in before I put my socks on….Also, I needed__[treatment]____ to keep my stomach settled the days I took the pills, and did better if I did not have big, heavy meals — lighter ones, more times a day if needed, worked much better.”

They also discuss clinical trials as a treatment option..

“I am in my very first treatment since being diagnosed as metastatic from the start….and it is a clinical trial. Someone asked me recently why I would enter a clinical trial instead of trying tried and true treatments first. So I think there is a misperception that clinical trials are a last resort after you have tried everything else, and that just isn’t the case at all.”

A Clear Choice

A digital advertising spend makes sense as patients and caregivers conduct online research throughout their patient journey. In fact, patients who research online before seeing their physicians are 35% more likely to ask their doctors about medications they have seen in a DTC ad, than average patients.1 For this reason, the choice of platform for the advertising is critical. A segmented platform, like Inspire, allows companies to reach patients at the time they are making critical medical decisions. Ad messaging resonates and is more relevant to patients and caregivers seeking support from each other during their journey on Inspire.

Members of the Advanced Breast Cancer Support Community on Inspire are a quality audience according to the recent report. With Display Banner Ads and Activity Summary Emails, part of the Inspire Promote product line, the digital agency and the pharmaceutical brand could reach the right patients and caregivers at the right time. Read our case study to learn more.

See our case study, “Inspire Surpasses Other Publishing Platforms in Audience Quality”

Download Case Study
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Inspire offers a trusted community to patients and caregivers.  Our goal with this blog, this website and our content is to provide the life science industry access to the true, authentic patient voice.  In so doing, we support faithful operationalization of patient-centricity.  Take a look at our case studies, eBooks and news outlet coverage.



2 Haimowitz, I. & Kemper, W. (2018). Applying Real-World Evidence Data for Measuring Pharmaceutical Digital Media Programs. Journal of the Pharmaceutical Management Science Association. 6(6). Retrieved from