HCP’s to pharma “tell me something I don’t know”

  • HCP’s are increasingly becoming frustrated with pharma sales people because they “detail” information that is readily available online.
  • Most HCP’s go online first thing in the morning and go to HCP sites like Medscape.
  • Millennial physicians use mobile devices more than Boomer physicians.
  • Even with the medical and scientific information online many physicians complain that the data released by pharma companies doesn’t “tell the whole story”.

Yesterday I had the chance to attend, online, some qualitative research with physicians who were paid for their time.  The objective was to determine if pharma sales people were still effective and to rate their value in providing clinical information.   In summary, there is a LOT of room for improvement.

Key Findings:

1ne: Pharma salespeople too often provide rehearsed information that is readily available online.   This was consistent through all eight sessions across all physician specialties (PCP, Oncology, Endocrinology).  Most said that they don’t have time for pharma sales people and that the data presented is often one-sided.

2wo: Specialty physicians said that MLS pharma people add real value and because most have advanced degrees, they can talk to them like a peer. They also said that they have developed good relationships with MLS people. When asked what could make them better the consensus was “employ MLS people who have worked in healthcare”.

3hree: Physicians really like Medscape because it provides a quick snapshot of updated medical news.  However, for “deep dive” medical information the choice is “up-to-date”. Physicians really like Medscape because it provides a quick snapshot of updated medical news.  However, for “deep dive” medical information the choice is “up-to-date”.

4our: Millennial physicians rely more on mobile devices while Boomer physicians still like PC’s (laptop).  However, more Millennial physicians said they are using laptops because they are lighter and easier to read than some mobile devices.

5ive: The most consistent comment was on the “quality” of pharma data.  Oncologist, for example, complained that pharma sales people repurposed the same information they had seen from trade events like ASCO.  When probed the pharma sales people didn’t have adequate responses frustrating HCP’s.

Finally, we had some time to talk about trade ads in medical journals.  Again, the news was not good.  A vast majority said they skipped the ads because “they aren’t telling me anything I don’t know”.

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