Dec 08, 2023



How To Empower Patients During Health Condition Observances

Whether it’s heart disease, diabetes, or general health and wellness, we’re sharing how pharma marketers can create impactful campaigns around health observances that resonate and drive action. 

While early detection, targeted therapy, and destigmatizing conversations around health conditions are vital steps toward effective treatment, it all starts with awareness and prevention. That’s why health observances throughout the year raise awareness for specific conditions and remind consumers to stay on top of their wellness. However, with the sheer number of official awareness days, weeks, and months, how do you ensure you choose the right ones to highlight?

As a pharma marketer, you’re uniquely positioned to empower patients with the confidence and resources they need to take proactive action toward better health. To help you out, we’ve compiled a few major upcoming observances that you can build impactful pharma campaigns around to keep patients actively engaged with their health and your brand top of mind.

See the full 2024 Observance Calendar below!

American Heart MonthWorld Obesity Day, Diabetes Alert DayNational Minority Health MonthAsthma Awareness MonthMen’s Health Month,
National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
National Dry Eye Awareness MonthPsoriasis Awareness/Psoriasis Action MonthBreast Cancer Awareness Month, National Eczema Awareness MonthNational Diabetes Month

February: American Heart Month 

Heart disease has been the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S. since 1950. But did you know that 80% of the conditions caused by heart disease—such as high blood pressure, coronary artery disease, and more—are preventable with early education and action? Awareness can go a long way in boosting preventive health habits, correcting diagnoses, and developing successful treatment plans—and marketers have the resources to make this a reality.

Consider using campaigns to embed educational data and remind patients to keep up with their annual appointments. Highlight the importance of preventive exams, which can help spot warning signs of more serious problems and encourage them to learn more about risk factors for chronic conditions like heart disease. For patients already living with the disease or who’ve been recently diagnosed, pharma marketers should provide resources and branded treatment options to help guide patients toward better health.

March: World Obesity Day 

World Obesity Day is a global effort to confront and address the escalating health challenges of obesity. Childhood obesity is expected to increase by 100% between 2020 and 2035, and 1.9 billion people around the world will be living with obesity in 2035.

Forces outside a person’s control, such as biological and environmental factors, often drive this disease. Those living with the condition face a greater risk of other chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and certain cancers. Obesity is also a risk factor for complications of COVID-19.

Unfortunately, efforts to address obesity are challenging due to misconceptions, such as weight stigma—the assumption that obesity is tied to a person’s willpower. Such misunderstandings can hinder individuals from seeking necessary medical care, especially as treating obesity extends beyond losing weight—it’s also about improving overall health. As such, marketers can correct these biases through education and destigmatizing the topic:

  • Acknowledge the condition’s complex roots in marketing campaigns.
  • Connect patients with proper treatment to help them achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Connect patients to online communities where those with similar interests and stories can share their thoughts and experiences.

March: Diabetes Alert Day 

Diabetes Alert Day is observed annually on the fourth Tuesday in March by the American Diabetes Association and serves as a one-day “wake-up call” that focuses on the severity of diabetes and the importance of knowing one’s risk.

Although 37.3 million Americans have diabetes, 1 in 5 remain unaware of their condition. What’s more, approximately 96 million people ages 18 or older have prediabetes—a condition in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes—but more than 8 in 10 adults living with it don’t know they have it. Additionally, half of women with gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a severe disease, but the sooner patients know they’re at risk, the sooner they can take steps to prevent or manage the condition. As such, marketers should prioritize patient education—whether it’s through brochures, social media, or webinars—and make sure to address not only the physical but also the mental health impact of diabetes. In fact, research from Phreesia found that 37% of respondents worry about their diabetes frequently, and 42% reported their condition negatively impacting their mental health. As with many chronic conditions, diabetes not only takes a physical toll on patients, but a mental one that often goes unaddressed. Ensuring that your messaging touches on both aspects will help consumers resonate more with your campaign.

April: National Minority Health Month

National Minority Health Month focuses on health disparities that affect people from racial and ethnic minority groups and encourages action through health education and early detection. Marginalized groups frequently report that their symptoms are downplayed or misdiagnosed, especially as most medical literature and research have historically focused on symptoms and treatment of white cisgender men. 

Everyone deserves doctors who understand how race, ethnicity, gender, and culture are linked to health, and it’s no secret that patients prioritize doctors who listen to them and can fully understand their experiences. Plus, an Adobe report found that 61% of Americans value diversity in advertising and 38% of consumers are more likely to trust brands that market with diversity in mind.

As doctors work to foster inclusivity and improve both quality and access to care, marketers too can ensure their brand is attuned to the unique needs of diverse patient groups by:

  • Mentioning if your brand’s treatment was specifically developed with a certain community in mind.
  • Insisting on diverse casting for all video content.
  • Placing condition or treatment information in the relevant social context.
  • Performing ongoing gap analysis to highlight opportunities for more inclusive marketing.
  • Informing prospective consumers on how your brand can uniquely benefit them.
  • Ensuring all marketing materials are available in several common languages, like Mandarin, Spanish, and Arabic.

May: Asthma Awareness Month

Nearly 26 million Americans—including 20.7 million adults and 4.8 million children—have been diagnosed with asthma. One in 10 women across ethnicities have asthma, and almost twice as many women than men manage this respiratory disease. 

As prevalent as the condition is, asthma is greatly influenced by where someone lives, and it also affects racial and ethnic groups differently. Having affordable and accessible healthcare, clean air, and economic stability all impact a person’s ability to manage and control asthma. 

One study by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH) found that compared to white people:

  • American Indians/Alaska Natives are 41% more likely to die of asthma, as children within this demographic are often exposed to secondhand smoke from commercial tobacco.
  • Hispanics/Latinos are 2x more likely to visit the ER for asthma, with more than one-third of Hispanic/Latino people lacking a regular doctor who is culturally competent and able to help them manage their asthma.
  • Black children are 5x more likely to be admitted to the hospital for asthma. Black adults also have the highest rates of obesity among any other demographic, which is also a risk factor for asthma.

When crafting targeted healthcare campaigns, consider how the disease disproportionately affects specific populations and destigmatize conversations around them. Help patients access inclusive condition information more easily and connect them with culturally sensitive doctors who can create treatment plans or prescribe medication tailored to their needs.

June: Men’s Health Month

According to a Healthgrades study, 56% of men reported they’re more concerned about the quality of their healthcare now than before the pandemic. However, only 42% of men said they were the primary decision-makers and managers in their homes when it comes to household healthcare. If you’re attempting to reach men and address conditions that commonly affect them, it’s good practice to have at least some of your marketing strategy aimed at women, since they’re often the ones influencing the care and lifestyle of their families and are involved in selecting doctors, making appointments, reviewing and completing appointment guides, and filling prescriptions. 

While more men are going to preventive health appointments than not, some remain unaware of recommended routine care and health screenings for their age group. Even when they are aware, men still avoid or delay preventive care due to fear of receiving bad news, high out-of-pocket costs, forgetfulness, or concerns that their health concerns aren’t serious enough. 

For any condition that impacts men, consider using this month to urge them to take action. Pharma marketers can motivate men to take action by leveraging empowering educational content. Healthgrades PatientConnect Hubs feature medically-reviewed editorial content—in both patient and physician voices—to give patients the information they need to see a doctor and begin treatment. Remember, it’s important to supply comprehensive and timely physician data and convenient scheduling tools in addition to addressing educational gaps. 

June: National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

Migraine affects more than 42 million Americans, but half of this population remains undiagnosed. Further, approximately 400,000 experience cluster headaches, which are considered one of the most painful conditions a person can have. Those experiencing migraine symptoms tend to withdraw from daily life, and they may hesitate to identify themselves as a migraine patient due to the stigma and lack of compassion surrounding the symptoms.

Marketers can provide educational resources to combat the stigma. In addition, partnering with patient influencers can offer authentic insights and motivate others to seek care. Similarly, you can encourage patients to share their healthcare journeys through testimonials, blogs, and social media posts to build meaningful connections with each other and your brand. Creating engaging social media content—including interactive health challenges and live Q&A sessions—amplifies patient engagement and education and positions your brand as a trusted resource.

July: National Dry Eye Awareness Month

Nearly 16 million Americans have dry eye. This condition occurs when there’s not enough tear film produced in the eye, the tear film is not draining properly, or the tear film is not the right quality for maintaining the eye’s health. Although dry eye can cause damage to the cornea when left untreated, it remains an under-recognized and under-diagnosed condition.

Certain medications can increase a person’s risk of dry eye, including diuretics for high blood pressure, beta-blockers for heart issues or high blood pressure, antihistamines, sleeping pills, anti-anxiety and depression medicines, and heartburn medications. Women are also twice as likely to experience dry eyes than men. As with the other conditions listed so far, education and awareness are critical, and marketers can amplify the message through targeted campaigns that speak directly to those at higher risk of dry eye.

August: Psoriasis Awareness/Psoriasis Action Month

Over 8 million people in the U.S. and 125 million worldwide live with the physical and emotional impacts of psoriasis. Awareness of the condition is crucial to breaking stigma and misconceptions and enabling patients to get diagnosed and treated sooner.

There is increasing evidence of racial and ethnic minority disparities in how psoriasis patients receive diagnosis and treatment. Challenges may be linked to gaps in education and the lack of diversity in the current dermatology workforce. Racial and ethnic minorities also remain inadequately represented in clinical research for psoriatic disease.

So, what can marketers do? Remember, education is power, so consider hosting educational events such as webinars and informative campaigns to help individuals understand the condition better—including its triggers and available treatment options. Early diagnosis and treatment of psoriasis leads to better management of the condition and improved quality of life for patients.

October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month 

Breast cancer is a progressive disease. Thanks to advances in early detection and treatment methods, it has a 99% 5-year relative survival rate when caught in its earliest, localized stages. Even so, breast cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer among American women each year—30% of newly diagnosed cancers in women are breast cancer, and approximately 13% of U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer during their lives. 

According to a recent survey by Healthgrades, 55% of women skipped or delayed preventive care in 2022. The good news is that overall, women are aware of the health screenings they should get for their age—they just need a nudge toward action. When they postpone preventive care, such as mammogram screenings, women forgo appointments that could save their lives. 

Early detection is key to staying healthy and limiting the progression of any symptoms, and marketers can connect women with the right doctors and treatments for them. A recent Healthgrades survey found that how well a doctor listens to their needs is a leading factor that determines how satisfied women are with their primary care physician. Therefore, appeal to women as care receivers by motivating them to care for themselves, providing them with content that helps them prepare for doctor discussions, and stressing the importance of preventive care in your messaging. 

Brochures about mammograms and general women’s wellness exams can also reinforce the importance of recommended screenings. In addition, consider a big media push this month to remind women to schedule their necessary appointments.

October: National Eczema Awareness Month

Approximately 16.5 million adults and 8 million children in the U.S. have eczema, with nearly 6.6 million adults reporting having moderate-to-severe symptoms. However, everyone experiences the condition differently, meaning it’s easy for others to overlook and/or downplay it.

As with all other conditions, expanding educational resources is crucial to help people better understand eczema. When marketers resolve common misunderstandings around the condition and shed light on available treatment options, they can enable patients to secure the therapy they need and live their best lives even with eczema. 

November: National Diabetes Month

As mentioned earlier, millions of people already live with the physical and mental impacts of diabetes, and many more still remain undiagnosed and unaware.

When left unchecked, diabetes can damage the eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart—and is even linked to certain cancers. However, patients who promptly manage their diabetes following diagnosis have a better chance of preventing health complications associated with diabetes.

While awareness campaigns around diabetes may be common, pharma marketers can stand out by providing easy access to educational content and resources that acknowledge patient experiences and mental health concerns surrounding the disease. 

Amplify Your Messaging With Healthgrades

As America’s leading platform for connecting doctors and patients, Healthgrades can help maximize the impact of your pharma marketing and provide individuals with the confidence they need to make better-informed decisions regarding their health. Take advantage of our Advertising Solutions for Life Sciences to reach even more qualified patients right before they talk with a doctor about their health condition.

Connect with low-funnel consumers through medically-reviewed editorial content in our PatientConnect Hubs as they engage with highly-targeted condition and treatment-related information. Embedded appointment guides help patients confidently discuss possible treatment options, including your brand, with their doctors.

Our Guided Physician Search (GPS), a doctor directory tool, is integrated into every PatientConnect Hub so consumers can make an appointment when your brand is top of mind. This doctor directory can be fully incorporated into your to encourage doctor-patient connections and close the loop for customers interested in your brand. 

Extend your reach even further with Healthgrades PatienTarget without sacrificing scale or efficiency. You’ll reach your target audience across major television networks and platforms—at the key moment between appointing and the actual appointment—and find qualified patients who have already connected with a specialist on Healthgrades. Our proprietary predictive modeling will broaden your reach to the people most likely to treat your target condition in the near future.

For compounding benefits, our HG360 solution integrates both consumer and HCP marketing efforts to help your brand identify and efficiently market to only the doctors most likely to be visited by a self-qualified patient. Whether a consumer visits condition-related content, searches for care for their condition on, or researches a physician on your website, we flag all the healthcare professionals they view and launch an engaging, multi-touch branded messaging campaign to these high-value doctors.

Contact us today and maximize the impact of your pharma marketing by advertising your brand on the #1 site for connecting doctors and patients.