Pfizer adds healthy-eating app to Lipitor marketing arsenal

Pfizer ($PFE) is going mobile with its Lipitor co-pay offer. The drugmaker teamed up with EatingWell magazine to develop a mobile app, dubbed Recipes 2 Go, and a sister website, The mobile app hooks into Pfizer's Lipitor co-pay card offer with a feature that makes refills easier.

The free app--available for Apple and Android devices--offers healthy recipes, plus exercise tips and portion-control advice. It also stores a copy of the Lipitor co-pay card, where users can input their card numbers, so they'll have the info on hand for refills. It's the sort of lifestyle-support app that some diabetes drugmakers have begun to offer--and that some experts say will be necessary in the new pharma zeitgeist.

"Taking a cholesterol-lowering medication like Lipitor is just part of the equation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle," Pfizer's Greg Reeder said in a statement. "The healthy recipes from our partnership with EatingWell give Pfizer another innovative way to educate patients on the importance of managing cholesterol."

And the mobile app is part of Pfizer's Lipitor marketing equation. The app has a page dedicated to the Lipitor co-pay card, with a gateway to sign up if users haven't already. On the "Lipitor for You" website, the drug's logo is front and center, sandwiched between an "Eat Smart" menu and an "Exercise" menu. Links to all the safety info are up top, and safety summaries are ever-present--along with a box promoting the $4 co-pay card.

Healthy lifestyle apps are a natural side dish for drugs that target heart conditions, cholesterol and diabetes, because diet and exercise are always recommended alongside drug treatment. Patients don't necessarily follow through on that recommendation--and it remains to be seen whether apps can make a difference--but adding them on is a step toward the more outcomes-focused future that industry experts have been talking about.

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