The Doctor Won’t See You Now

US Pharma reps think they have it bad?  Then they should spare are thought for their poor beleaguered colleagues on the other side of the Pond!

According to an article in the industry journal PM Live,  time-pressured doctors in the UK are increasingly refusing to see pharmaceutical sales reps altogether.

A study undertaken by in April 2012 surveyed more than 1,000 General Practitioner’s (GPs). They found that 52% of GPs did not see any pharmaceutical sales representatives in a typical week, while 26% saw only one pharma sales rep during that period.

Lack of time was the most common reason cited by GPs for not seeing pharma sales reps (38%). Other reasons included a practice “no-see” policy and a perceived lack of reps’ impartiality.

At the same time, they learned that doctors are turning to digital channels for independent product information. Nearly a quarter (23%) of the GPs surveyed said they preferred to find their own product information via independent online resources. said its findings follow earlier studies it conducted that show only 3% of doctors think online pharma resources are credible. Worse still 42% said they never visit pharmaceutical websites.

This research would appear to be in line with other trends among healthcare professionals.  European doctors’ use of iPads and other mobile devices is increasing and US pharma execs expect to increase their future spending on digital marketing channels.

SRxA can help Pharma companies to navigate the promotional maze and get the best bang for those pharma dollar bucks. Contact us today to find out more.

What Women Want…

…aside from a great body, a good man and killer shoes! Today we’re talking health, and women’s health in particular. We all know that health is the most searched topic on the internet so it’s hardly surprising that approximately 34.5 million women aged 40-59 go online each month.  and that 56% of them say they frequently use online sources of health information.  However, this doesn’t automatically mean they believe what they find. Internet giant Yahoo! and internet marketing experts Digitas Health partnered to thoroughly understand this group of women as people, not just as patients. They interviewed and surveyed thousands of women across America to better understand how they think and feel about their life stage, their health and caring for others with health conditions. According to the results of the  Yahoo!  / Digitas Health survey, just 21% of women aged 40-50 strongly agree with the statement “I trust the health info I find online.” Some other major insights emerged.

  • 66% of midlife women pointed to “no hidden agenda” as one of the attributes they strongly value in online health information
  • 67% said that they strongly value “information that is easy to digest and understand”

Pharmaceutical marketers take note! Women in this age demographic are a critical audience for advertisers based on their tremendous spending power and because roughly 3 out of 4 have at least one health condition. clearly there is room for improvement. “Two-thirds of the women we spoke to strongly agree that they need to understand the pros and cons when making decisions about health,” says Amy Janis, Senior Manager of B2B Market Research for Yahoo!  “It’s not that these women feel that brands have some ‘hidden agenda’; it’s more that they want companies to have ‘her best interests in mind.” It turns out what women want is: factual and prescriptive information that delivers emotional support and confidence to help her feel like she is making the right decisions. So what does this mean for pharmaceutical marketers? According to the study authors,  they need to :

  • Be honest and strong
  • Be everywhere she is
  • Be in the content she cares about
  • Be present emotionally
  • Be specific to health styles

SRxA’s Word on Health believes that given consumers’ cautious attitude toward the health-related material they find online, direct-to-consumer marketers must make transparency a priority in the material they present on the web. It’s time to set aside overt commercial agendas and ensure that the data provided is consistent with the type of unbiased health information they would receive from their healthcare professional. The industry also needs to recognize that patients and consumers are unlikely to base their healthcare decisions based solely on the information provided on one site. As such it makes sense to provide links to other credible health information online and hyperlinks to help people navigate and understand complex medical terminology. Better still, pharmaceutical companies can partner with independent third party specialist healthcare consultancy organizations, such as SRxA, to write credible peer-reviewed copy that talks directly to their target audience. For more information contact us today.