Consent Matters

Marketing consent challenges for European-based pharmaceutical companies

Consent Matters
Written by
Sule Hogburn
Published on
March 13, 2023

Data is essential to all marketers - we use it to ensure that we are reaching the right audiences with our messaging, and to better understand what Healthcare Professionals (HCPs) want/need so that we can communicate with them more effectively. At the same time, increasing regulations, technology advancements and growing privacy concerns are creating a significant challenge to European-based pharmaceutical companies digital engagement strategy.

Post COVID-19, the pharmaceutical industry understands the value of digital engagements, and having consent plays a huge part in its ability to connect and communicate with HCPs in a more personalised and compliant manner.

Today, I want to share with you some key considerations and challenges when it comes to obtaining marketing consent from HCPs.

Compliant with GDPR

One of the biggest challenges for pharmaceutical companies is ensuring that their marketing consent processes are compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy laws. Companies must obtain explicit consent from HCPs for the use of their data for marketing purposes, and this consent must be obtained in a transparent and straightforward manner.

Balancing Privacy and Marketing

Another challenge for pharmaceutical companies is balancing the need for privacy protection with the desire to reach HCPs with marketing messages. Companies need to find a way to obtain consent from HCPs while also respecting their privacy rights and avoiding intrusive marketing tactics.


Building and maintaining trust is critical for obtaining marketing consent, but it can be challenging for pharmaceutical companies that are subject to strict regulations and scrutiny. Companies need to be transparent about their data practices and ensure that they are using data responsibly.

Opt-out Rates

Despite efforts to obtain consent, some HCPs may still opt-out of marketing communications. Pharmaceutical companies must be prepared for this and find ways to continue reaching HCPs through alternative channels.


Personalising marketing efforts can be challenging for pharmaceutical companies, as they need to ensure that they have the right data and insights to create targeted, relevant communications. Companies must strike a balance between personalisation and privacy and ensure that they are using data in a responsible manner.

Building the digital bridge

It's clear that by being transparent about your data practices, balancing privacy, building trust, and finding creative solutions to these challenges, pharmaceuticals can increase the chances of obtaining the consent needed to reach HCPs with the right marketing messages.

This is an exciting time for pharmaceutical digital marketers. Regardless of where you are in your consent or outreach journey, the experienced Health Team at Loop Horizon can help you future-proof your adoption of a scalable consent framework for your 1:1 digital engagement in 2024.