Prescribed Addiction

Our research into how people responded to government changes relating to drugs of addiction like Codeine was a textbook example of how social listening is able to reveal things you:

  1. Weren’t looking for
  2. Didn’t expect to find and
  3. Potentially wouldn’t have uncovered using traditional engagement methodologies.

Health Issues Centre was commissioned to consult with consumers about the impact of rescheduling codeine to prescription-only in 2018.

Common sense told us that consumers were likely to say, “We don’t like that it’s going to be harder to get our pain medication but we understand why the government is doing it.” And by-and-large, that’s exactly what people said.

But when we began to engage people via our Social Listening Platform, the conversation became much richer and some different themes began to emerge. Along with the expected fears about access, withdrawal and about being treated like an addict or a criminal by pharmacy staff, something quite unexpected popped up.

People were saying, “I don’t want to stand in the middle of the pharmacy and be interrogated by a 17-year-old shop assistant about my private prescription details in front of a crowd of people.”

What emerged as an unintended social consequence of a good policy was something as mundane as this: pharmacies needed a private space to talk to people – and sometimes the only private place they had was a broom closet.

So the biggest issue wasn’t medical or psychological, it was architectural.

Our Social Listening Platform demonstrates that while consumers may not not know all the answers, they certainly know what the right questions are. And when you ask the right questions it can completely reframe the conversation.

Find out more about how our Social Listening Platform can help change the conversation and provide more valuable consumer insights to support your project/organisational needs.

Our work on Prescribed Addiction

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Our work

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