QUICK READ: Recent research from Zoom Rx saying that digital interactions with HCPs are myopic and don’t apply to the heavily segmented HCP audience. The future of reaching HCPS is both on and off-line depending on the product, health condition, and specialty.
Zoom Rx recently polled HCPs and found 78% of physicians want to maintain some contact with pharma reps. The most desired information doctors now want is about patient assistance programs, with 49% saying they want pharma reps to provide that information.
Where to start? First, this data is not my specialty and is generalized. To me, it has no value and doesn’t mean anything. I reached out to three HCP marketing people at different pharma companies and asked them for their feedback on this survey. They all said the same thing “our salesforce is not paid to hand out information on just patient assistance programs.”
Then there is this nugget from Zoom Rx “face-to-face visits are garnering positive prescription intent—17% higher than before the pandemic began”. Again, we don’t have a breakdown by speciality or understand the importance of handing out product samples which is shown to drive prescribing behavior.
So is the future of HCP marketing digital?
There is no one answer across all specialties and conditions but I can target and measure digital interactions online a lot better than offline. Here are some options..
1ne: Medscape – Still number one with physicians. Most doctors sign on in the morning and see a snapshot of what’s happening by their specialty. Medscape will do a list match to target doctors and tell you how many have been reached with your branded messages.
2wo: Up To Date – Up to Date has 54 doctors on staff and more than 430 journals hand-searched and reviewed. Up To Date is used worldwide and has is targeted at physicians who want to understand medications and patient outcomes.
3hree: DMD – DMD can precisely target HCPs using your product website and email. Using their AIM technology a physician who visits your product website will see only relevant information based on his/her needs. DMD’s Audience Identity Managersm (AIM) reports real-time data about your website visitors, without requiring a login.
4our: Healthcasts – A social network for HCPs to interact and share clinical experiences. They advertise 3.7 questions answered but mining the data for use can be tricky.
5ive: Doximity- Doximity is the largest community of healthcare professionals in the country – with over 70% of U.S. doctors and 45% of all NPS and physician assistants as verified members. Reaching doctors can be effective, but it has to be non-promotional, and it’s difficult to draw the line from conversations to prescribing behavior.
6ix: In-House – Some pharma companies are developing in-house digital solutions to reach HCPs, but it can be costly, and getting physicians to use it can be a challenge. Some companies are simply using Zoom to reach doctors, but measuring interactions can be difficult.
There are a lot more, but IMO Medscape continues to set the bar for reaching physicians. The idea that in-person interactions cannot be replaced by digital is myopic. Changes are coming to healthcare, and pharma needs better ways to reach and measure physicians. The future is more like digital for some specialties and in-person for others.