Magazine article Drug Topics

Exploding the Myths about Seniors

Magazine article Drug Topics

Exploding the Myths about Seniors

Article excerpt

Life expectancy increased from 47 years to almost 76 nears in the vast century. In the year 2020, life expectancy is projected to be 78 years.

The mature (55-plus) consumer market is growing. While policy makers grapple with the social implications of these changes, the practice of pharmacy is uniquely positioned to benefit from the aging trend.

If your pharmacy's response to these changing demographics is to merely examine workflow issues, you've missed the mature consumer market and made life easier for your competitors. Less than 5% of the elderly move annually compared with 20% of the general population. Mature consumers prefer to remain in place. They are here in your market. Reaching seniors requires providing products and services that meet their needs.

How well do you know your aging consumers? Answer the following statements as either true or false.

*Mature consumers are more homogeneous than younger consumers.

*Mature consumers are more price conscious than younger consumers and place more emphasis on price than quality.

*Mature consumers prefer older spokespersons in advertisements compared with younger consumers.

*Mature consumers are more concerned about the location of a pharmacy, whereas baby boomers value the availability of specific brand names

*The 65-and-over age bracket has the lowest percapita discretionary income.

Overcome the myths

All of the above statements are false. To reach the mature market, you must first overcome many cultural myths. Seniors are more heterogeneous than any other age group. Unfortunately, they are often treated by businesses as being alike. As one ages, one has more life experiences that make one uniquely different from other individuals one's age.

Older consumers are more concerned with the quality of a product than price. When a product's quality is standardized, then price becomes more relevant. Our profession has failed at consistently promoting the quality of generic pharmaceuticals compared with brandname drugs. Last year, the generic dispensing rate fell, and many new brands became available. Consumers flocked to the new brands, which are reinforced by physician sales calls and, increasingly, direct-to-consumer ads. Many consumers perceive brand products as having higher quality. The cost of a failed generic-substitution program in reaching the mature consumer is not lost sales but reduced margins.

AARP and Madison Avenue promote the use of older consumers in advertisements. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.