Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Doctors Say Most Pharma Sales Details Are "Stale" 

Doctors Say Most Pharma Sales Details Are "Stale"  | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |

Despite the pharma sales force making great strides towards “digitizing the field” with tablets and other technologies – a new study from DRG Digital’s Manhattan Research finds that the content reps are showing in details is often old news. Physicians who see sales reps say that over half of the time (51%), the reps show them information they have already seen through their own research or in previous meetings.


The ePharma Physician® study of 1,814 U.S. practicing physicians across 25 specialties found several key missed opportunities in the field.


Details are not evolving in step with physicians’ reliance on digital for info:

  • The “stale detail” phenomenon is even more prominent among certain specialties. For example, medical oncologists who see reps say that 68% of the time, their reps show them info they’ve already seen, and dermatologists say the same of 62% of details.
  • Today’s physicians are now adept at finding clinical info online, as they need it – and reps that focus too much time on basic product and promotional info risk boring them with info they already knew. 74% of physicians use search engines weekly or more, and 52% use pharma digital resources regularly, with product-related info being the most accessed website resource.
  • Reps must evolve their details to stay relevant and provide utility to docs, and showing non-promotional resources on tablets can help. 63% of physicians agreed that in-person meetings with sales reps are more valuable when resources not related to the product are shown.
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It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors

It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
From shady business deals to the lust for fame, television doctors are among the last people we should trust when it comes to health advice.

Though many of television doctors’ pedigrees are, in fact, impressive, it doesn’t exclude them from succumbing to the power trip that is the cult of celebrity.

The most recent example is Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose shilling of various ineffective weight loss supplements ultimately landed him in a congressional hearing that has cost him a fast-vanishing reputation. For Congress to call upon Dr. Oz is to essentially ask that a publicist be present and willing to issue a statement for green coffee.

Lucky for us, Oz somehow has a conscience and basic understanding of how the law works, forcing him to come clean. He further shamed the empire he’s built with statements made on the record against the exact things he’d been uttering on television. It’s a testament to the fever dream haze of celebrity that Dr. Oz’s defense lies squarely in the ability to prop up his audience, even through pseudoscience. To say that Oz is using a white lie to better the public would be letting him off too easy, however.

Pharma Guys insight:

Remember, Dr. Jarvik, the erstwhile "real" physician that Pfizer hired to recommend Lipitor in its TV ads back in 2007? Since he was outed as an unlicensed physician (read the story here), the drug industry has been reluctant to use real physicians in TV drug ads (the exception is that Restasis doctor, the sight of whom drives me to flip the channel). 

There are, however, fake doctors portrayed by unknown actors in drug commercials and there used to be famous TV doctors -- e.g., Dr. Geiger played by Mandy Patinkin -- starring in TV drug ads. Haven't seen any of those lately.

You might like to read this: 

While Real Doctors Prescribe Placebos, Fake Docs on TV Prescribe Drugs Off-Label
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Are Doctors Wary or Weary of Getting Drug Info from Pharma?

Are Doctors Wary or Weary of Getting Drug Info from Pharma? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News |
According to a new study from M3, you have an average of about 20 hours a week to capture a doctor’s attention while they’re online.  However, recently, the question hasn't been whether or not doctors areonline, but how do we reach them while they’re online.  Results of the M3 survey show that above all else, credibility may be the biggest factor in getting physicians attention. 

The study, which surveyed just over 1,000 general practitioners, shows that while doctors are spending time online and looking for a variety of information, many are weary [sic; I think the proper word is "wary," although HCPs may be growing tired of of the information being shoveled to them by pharma] of obtaining that information through pharma companies.  While two-thirds of respondents expressed at least some interest in relevant pharma products, a whopping 85% indicated that they prefer independent sources for their information.  In addition, 56% specified that a rep meeting would not be preferable to acquiring information online. 

More “anti-vendor” sentiment can be found in terms of where doctors are spending their time online.  Almost half (45%) said they never visit a device company website when sourcing information while 33% indicated the same for pharma company websites.  Consequently, 59% visit the website of a government body at least bi-weekly in obtaining this information. 

But what can pharma companies do to present themselves as more trustworthy?  Even hard data can often be manipulated and many have a hard time trusting statistics.  Certainly “unbiased” sources of information such as third party reports could be used to a degree.  Respondents also showed some openness to case reports with 39% citing them as useful. 
Pharma Guys insight:

Quoting Any Yeoman on the LinkedIn discussion of this survey:

"Not sure their unwillingness to visit pharma sites is that closely linked to their level of trust in the industry but more a desire to find impartial information and reviews about the products they buy and use. It's exactly what I do when I am planning a significant purchase.

"The doctors polled in the M3 survey are users of so they have a familiar and trusted platform to engage with pharma-sponsored and 3rd party content. Not all doctors have access to, or use, this facility so the results are not entirely representative. 

"However, the M3 report indicates that many doctors prefer concise information via independent platforms and if these platforms continue to provide the information why are doctors going to change their habits? What can Pharma offer that will catalyse a change in this behaviour? Why bother trying?"

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