Digitisation Trends in Pharma

DigiPharmaX has been celebrating Digital excellence in Pharma since 2016 through the first & only India’s digital awards platform. This has placed DigiPharmaX in an unique position which has afforded both a bird’s eye view & an in depth understanding of Digitisation trends in Pharmaceutical Industry.

We will be sharing the collective wisdom here & also delve into exciting advancements in digitization & digital health, covering both global and domestic markets.

We are very excited about the digital future of Indian Pharma. Hope you join us in shaping this together!

E - Detailing in Pharma

The clarion call to ‘Go Digital’ has been sounded by the head honchos of top Domestic & Multinational companies and the time has come to create the Digital road map for execution. The logical step is to conduct an in depth research on physician’s expectations from E detailing or the Tab format. Research* shows the physicians have increased expectations from E Detailing; associating the medium with Innovation and Interactivity. Being familiar with digital experiences from consumer durables, FMCG brands & their ilk, they are looking forward to a more interactive experience from the Pharma brands with Pad detailing vis-a-vis traditional paper detailing. But something is holding back several pharmaceutical companies who simply migrate paper detailing to an online format without affording anything more.

As an industry we have become entrenched in the mind-set of communicating a brand story and are still reluctant to relinquish control to the physician by encouraging true dialogue. We know message recall and a clear brand positioning are important, however we also consider physician engagement and how well a representative addresses physician’s information needs. Good reps are doing this already and tablets could provide a more sophisticated tool to better support this conversation. Used in the right way, Tab detailing will also encourage other reps to adopt a similar approach.

Research* also reveals that 60% of physicians prefer to receive product information digitally - Pad detailing, Webinars, E Mails & secure social media accounts. Only 35% preferred receiving new information directly from the representative. The study also showed that only 16% of physicians preferred medical sales pitches to be delivered on paper. This essentially means physicians prefer to receive information through digital media which includes Pad detailing.

Tablets can be used to more easily tailor calls to individual physicians’ areas of interest, needs or patient demographic. They also provide greater scope to encourage interaction by supporting a more natural conversation and to enliven debate through the use of quizzes or games. Involving physicians in the call in this way has been demonstrated to greatly increase interest. In fact the simple act of handing the tablet to the physician has been shown to lead to a four-fold increase in the clinicians' likelihood of having a satisfactory experience with a resultant impact on his/her prescribing decisions, according to analysts at Manhattan Research**.

Research regarding the size of the Tab screens reveals it is not a primary challenge, its the content & the interactivity or innovation provided in the brand messaging which attracts & holds the attention of the physicians. It is well known that tabs offer the opportunity to present content is animation, video formats, sometimes several videos in a page too if the situation demands it. Having a page which is a reference bank & linking these references to the respective brand pages where the reference has appeared, opening the reference to the exact page in the article & e mail the reference then & there to the doctor (with prior permission from the medical team) is just the beginning. Conducting impromptu or planned surveys & quizzes post the call or even within the brand detailing brings in the much desired interaction & provides feedback not afforded by the traditional paper detailing.

The benefits of Tab detailing goes much beyond detailing per se. Sales pitches need not be a stand alone event restricted to face to face detailing with an I pad/Android pad/Laptop. . They are a vital part which needs to be combined with Multi Channel Closed Loop Marketing (MCLM) which will be discussed in detail in my next blog post.

Digital Age promises exciting times ahead... We just need to be brave enough to embrace them.

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