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Hispanic Healthcare Journey Webinar Series: The Rx Path to Treatment with a Spotlight on Diabetes

11/03/16 . Carlos Gutierrez

Earlier this month, we revealed findings from our new Hispanic Healthcare Journey study where Felisha Lewis, VP of Healthcare Custom Insights at Nielsen joined me to highlight the Hispanic OTC Hispanic Path to Purchase. Today, we’re back with part two in our webinar series to unveil our prescription findings: The Rx Path to Treatment.

Here are some highlights:

Proactive Patients:

Overall, we found that Hispanics are proactive when it comes to managing their health, particularly among patients suffering from chronic conditions. Hispanic patients are consistently more likely than non-Hispanics to actively look for health information. This behavior was reflected among patients suffering from diabetes and high cholesterol, and becomes even more pronounced among those suffering from more burdensome and symptomatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and COPD.

 Spanish is Essential for Comprehension:

We know that Spanish is strong and enduring among Hispanics, and the study shows that this is especially true when it comes to healthcare communications. Two-thirds of Hispanics prefer resources that allow them to receive information in Spanish (62%), and nearly half of Hispanics feel that information gets lost in translation if they speak to their healthcare provider in English (48%). The importance of Spanish also extends to DTC advertising. Fifty-seven percent of Hispanics find it easier to understand ads for prescription medications when they are in Spanish, and 52% have a more favorable opinion of brands that advertise in Spanish.

Brand Loyal:

According to the study, Hispanic patients are engaged with DTC ads, pay attention to brand messaging, and ask health care providers for their preferred branded treatment. For example, among diabetes, high cholesterol and rheumatoid arthritis patients, Hispanics are more likely to ask their doctor about a brand after seeing it advertised. Additionally, 39% of Hispanics are willing to actually challenge their doctor if they are not prescribed the brand of medication they ask for, compared to 25% of non-Hispanics.

 A Spotlight on Diabetes for National Diabetes Awareness Month:

Given the high prevalence of diabetes among Hispanics, and as November is National Diabetes Awareness month, we highlighted the diabetes journey portion of our results. According to JAMA, Hispanics are twice as likely to suffer from diabetes compared to non-Hispanic whites (23% vs. 11%); however, only half of Hispanics have been diagnosed. This aligns with our study findings that Hispanics tend to be less aware of the risk factors and less likely to recognize the symptoms of diabetes. These factors may contribute to the lower diagnosis rates, as well as the delay in Hispanics getting diagnosed (12-month delay vs. six for non-Hispanics).

Once diagnosed, Hispanics are more likely to say their diabetes is currently well controlled. However, this perception does align with their reality – Hispanics’ average blood sugar levels at their last doctor visit were higher than the recommended norm. This may be due to the fact that while Hispanics are more likely to recall having discussions with their doctor about their medications, including talking about how to use the medication and treatment goals, half did not understand what their doctor communicated. This again, reinforces the need to have information available in Spanish to ensure message comprehension.

Stay tuned for a recap of our final Hispanic Healthcare Journey webinar: The Retail Opportunity.

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