What's Your Digital iQ

Putting technology and trends to work for healthcare marketing

#DigPharm Quotes: Patient Engagement


“Patient engagement is the blockbuster drug of the century.”

Doug Elwood, MD, director of Global Medical Information Strategy and Innovation at Bristol-Myers Squibb, set the stage for his presentation on “Understanding the Digital Landscape Through the Customers’ Eyes” by sharing a September article featured in Forbes titled “Patient Engagement is the blockbuster drug of the century“.

For a great read outlining the major shift in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry – specifically how physicians and brands can shift to achieve success – I highly encourage you visit the Forbes article.

…and for even more insights and trends in marketing in a Post-RX world, GSW Worldwide’s Leigh Householder is presenting this topic at 11:40 a.m. in Track C. You can also view and download her presentation here: Power Shift to the Patient: Best Practices for Marketing in a Post-Rx Marketplace.


5 Ways Pharma Can Partner with ePatients Online


In a dual presentation by Boehringer Ingelheim’s John Pugh and Type 1 diabetes thought leader and ePatient Kerri Sparling shared their tips for how pharma can best partner with thought leaders, ePatients, and other advocates online. Below is a summary of their discussion in 5 quick hit tips.


#DigPharm Quotes: ePatient Communities


“You should not build new communities, you should come to where we are.”

- Kerri Morrone Sparling, ePatient (@SixUntilTime)


#DigPharm Stats: Physicians & Mobile Websites



5 Trends Affecting Promotion to HCPs – Implications for Pharma Marketers

Today’s pharma marketing environment presents many challenges and ever-changing dynamics. As regulations, physician preferences, and technology continues to change rapidly, the pharma marketer has many trends to take into consideration.
  • Price pressure on payers
  • Restrictions to access by payers
  • Regulatory/legal risk aversion
  • Decreased sales rep access
  • Decreased reimbursement to docs
  • Adoption of EMR
  • Interaction with consumers via social media
  • MD use of mobile devices

Study: Pharma executives expecting to shift spend from physicians to payors

In a recent study of pharma executives, it’s evident that most are expecting to decrease their spend on physicians (32% decrease) and key opinion leaders (12% decrease) and shift their spending to payers (47% increase) and key accounts (32% increase). This is definitely causing a shift in the type of marketing activities. Among the top activities that pharma execs are expecting to increase their spend on is:

  • Innovative pricing strategies (59% increase)
  • Payor collaborations (59% increase)
  • Pharmaceutical studies (55% increase)
  • Direct-to-consumer (48% increase)

Consequently, pharma execs are preparing for a shift in the way their reps spend time on their core product. As time with physicians continues to decrease, strategies are shifting to the areas in which physicians spend time. Consider this:

  • 99% of physicians have a computer or laptop
  • 84% of physicians have a smartphone
  • 54% own a tablet

The research backs this up too. Physicians are shifting their preference to digital channels for information. In fact, in a recent Manhattan study, physicians are believed to be 2X more likely to seek out a digital channel for information than a print piece. Google has data to support this notion also.

  • 84% of physicians use search engines for professional purposes (94% turn to Google specifically)
  • 39% visit portal websites specifically intended for physicians
  • 7% seek out pharma/biotech product websites
  • 7% seek out pharma/biotech corporate websites

But, physicians still want to see reps

While physicians are becoming more digital active and prefer digital interactions, we’re not at the end of the road for the in-person pharma sales rep.

  • 79% of primary care physicians prefer in-person dialog with reps
  • 74% of specialists prefer in-person dialog with reps

And while physicians are seeking out information online, they don’t have quite the same sentiment when it comes to computer-based, remote detailing by a rep.

  • 23% of primary care physicians prefer computer-based, remote detailing
  • 28% of specialists prefer computer-based, remote detailing
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