QUICK READ: If pharma wants to reach HCP’s they have to get more creative and create online HCP portals that really add value and help them manage patient outcomes during this time of transition.
Reaching HCP’s online is going to be a challenge. Right now there is a lot of “noise” and HCP’s are tired of going to sites that don’t really add value. As one thought leader told me “my email inbox is flooded with correspondence from drug companies and I just don’t don’t have the time to read them all”.
Years ago we created HCP portals but most were done wrong. They were designed to pick what marketing teams wanted them to know and they, therefore, didn’t add too much value. It’s time to get creative and get it right this time.
First, the site has to contain information THEY want not just information YOU want to share. This means access to data involving clinical trials as well as data on potential new drugs. Second, you need to help them through this transitional period in healthcare. How can they reach patients who are afraid to come into the office? Are patients likely to cut back on your drug if it compromises their immune system? Which drugs can be prescribed without an in-office visit?
Then there is the site itself. Please don’t ever develop a site without conducting usability studies. The biggest complaints I heard from physicians on pharma sites was that “it was hard to get to the information they wanted quickly”.
HCP only sites should also allow for integration of MSL’s. A physician should be able to video conference with an MSL on THEIR schedule not yours. HCP’s should be able to reach out to MSL’s via email integration as well.
The bottom line is that you’re going to have to spend money and time to get it right. Don’t think that the pandemic will pass and everything will go back to normal. It won’t. You need forward thinking digital marketers who can test various ways to reach your target physicians. Be prepared to fail until you get it right but make no mistake it’s time to think digital.