Browsing Google News for stories involving regenerative medicine frequently brings up local news stories featuring doctors and clinics that offer procedures like stem cell and PRP injections. One particular story, recently appearing on the Fox 31 Denver website, is a good example. The story was a combination of news and marketing. And by the way, that’s not a bad thing.
It seems that those who are hypercritical of the regenerative medicine industry have a lot of bones to pick. One of them is marketing. Critics characterize regenerative medicine marketing as the modern-day equivalent of selling snake oil at the county fair. It is remarkable that such critics believe regenerative medicine marketing is bad but have no trouble with hospitals that market their cancer treatments, cardiovascular services, and so forth.
Let’s set aside hype and just look at marketing for what it is intended to accomplish. Viewed in the proper perspective, it’s easy to see that regenerative medicine marketing isn’t bad. It isn’t any different than any other kind of medical marketing. Below are three reasons in support regenerative medicine marketing.
1. Marketing Gets the Word Out
The vast majority of regenerative medicine procedures in use right now involve either stem cell or PRP injections to treat osteoarthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, hair loss, and the effects of aging in the skin. Some clinics offer procedures for other issues, but they are in the minority.
Here’s the thing about marketing: it gets the word out about PRP and stem cell injections. It lets patients know that they have other options. If you were an osteoarthritis patient whose doctor was convinced your only course of action was joint replacement surgery, the chances of him informing you of stem cell injections isn’t very high. But see a story on the news and it’s an entirely different ballgame.
2. It Raises Regenerative Medicine’s Profile
Regardless of how you personally feel about regenerative medicine, there is no denying that marketing raises its profile. Think of it in terms of the cola wars of the 1980s. Though it’s a crude comparison, it works.
Back then, Coca-Cola and Pepsi were the two biggest names in cola. They battled back and forth in the arena of marketing for years utilizing TV and radio ads, jingles, full-page newspaper ads, and even billboards and bus ads.
Even if a person had never tried either product, both brands would be recognized just from the marketing. If that person were given the choice between Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and two unknown brands, chances are he/she would have still chosen either Coke or Pepsi.
Marketing raises a product’s profile. That’s what it does. The practice is not suddenly bad because we are talking about regenerative medicine.
3. It Keeps Business Going
The third reason is also the most important. Regenerative medicine marketing is not bad for the simple fact that it keeps business going. Before you gasp, understand that the healthcare industry in this country is a business. Private practice owners are business owners. Hospitals are businesses as are clinics, diagnostic labs, and so on.
Apex Biologix is a Utah business that supports regenerative medicine with equipment and supplies. They would not exist if regenerative medicine was not a business. Marketing helps to keep all of these businesses operating as usual, the end result being a set of treatments that can benefit certain kinds of patients.
It is intellectually dishonest to go after the regenerative medicine industry because practitioners market their services. Marketing is common throughout healthcare. If it is good for one segment of the industry, it’s good for all.