DTC Marketing Blog

I just discovered a blog this morning on DTC (Direct to Consumer) marketing around pharma. I read a few of the posts which seem to provide a good perspective on some of the recent things going on in the industry.

One that stuck out at me talked about the effectiveness of sales reps.

75 percent of pharma rep sales calls don’t involve a face-to-face meeting with a doctor, according to research by Leerink Swann & Co.

I never worked for big pharma doing detailing, but I had a brief chance to try it when I managed a small sales force detailing physicians on generic drugs, mail order, and electronic prescribing.  The reps seemed to have decent access to physicians especially once they built a relationship with the office staff and understood his/her busy times.  Of course, we were bringing a new topic to the table and in some cases were partnering with the local healthplan.

One of my biggest takeaways from that was that it takes at least 7 times (with the same message) to make an impression.  The physician is so busy and has so much information coming at them that this is a long-term strategy.  I am honestly surprised the industry hasn’t moved to online detailing or even “books-on-tape” type of detailing where the physician can get the information they need at the time they need it.

It was also interesting that some places were beginning to charge pharma or the reps for  access to the physician.  It would be interesting to really sit back and understand how reps can help physicians improve the safety, adherence, and wellness of their patients.  That is in everyone’s interest assuming the market will bear the correct price for value-added therapies [which I think specialty drugs prove out given their ability to price the drugs at a 10x+ multiple of normal oral solids].

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