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The Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Traditional channels still tops

Written by: | | Dated: Saturday, April 11th, 2015

Traditional channels remain the dominant form of HCP interaction in 13 major pharmaceutical markets, according to research by Cegedim Strategic Data. The company’s Global Promotion Audits showed varying levels of digital penetration across major markets – led by 34 percent in Japan and 24 percent in the United States – but in all cases the percentage of healthcare professionals’ traditional versus digital interactions favored the former. CSD’s analysis was conducted using data from the company’s Global Promotion Database. Data is collected from syndicated promotion audit panels for each of 13 countries – the United States, Japan, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Russia, China, Belgium, Canada, and Poland. The study includes physicians from primary and secondary care disciplines. Traditional channels remain the dominant form of HCP interaction for each of the countries analyzed. Penetration of digital channels varies among the 13 countries studied, ranging from 34 percent in Japan and 24 percent in the United States to just 2 percent each in Brazil, Italy, and Russia, and 1 percent in China. Emailing is the predominant digital channel in 11 of the 13 countries analyzed. The exceptions are Japan and China, where online automated detailing represents the main digital channel. “Japan has led the way in the use of digital but, very notably, this has not been in the context of significant sales force cuts” says Christopher Wooden, VP, CSD Global Promotion Audits. “In contrast, there is a sense of urgency in many mature markets due to resource limitations – and this is spurring digital development, accompanied by inevitable trial and error.” Country level analysis in the CSD study reveals that digital channels have the most positive impact on prescription intention in Canada, where 55.6 percent of digital interactions lead HCPs to indicate a positive intention to start prescribing or increase prescribing of the promoted brand. Meanwhile, France sees the least impact, with just 17.1 percent of digital interactions leading to positive prescription intent. Overall, at the country level, traditional channels generally have a greater positive impact on prescription intention when compared to digital channels. “Marketers are under pressure to leverage the use of digital channels but still face head winds in terms of technology and culture – both internal and on the customer side” Mr. Wooden says. “These study results validate assumptions that personal selling remains the superior means of influencing prescription behavior.”

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