The current health constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic are a real headache for medical promotion and pharmaceutical delegates. Several problems have arisen for face-to-face medical visits by health professionals almost forbidden or restricted, no attentive listening from overloaded doctors, very few constructive exchanges for the doctor/medical visitor couple, services over-solicited by COVID-19, etc.
Today, more than ever, pharmaceutical companies must change their tactics and reinvent the medical visit. It is a matter of finding a consistent solution in order to juggle with partial or total containment / decontainment.
Adapting and anticipating are the key words of this period of uncertainty. Everything is going very fast! Industry players have to adapt every day to an increasingly innovative technology. Using it to optimize the digital channels available to them.
In this article, we will see why and how medical promotion/visit and pharmaceutical delegates must reinvent themselves. The survival of the industry and medical promotion is vital. Several solutions are presented in order to help industry players to see more clearly and organize promotion.
1- Ensure a good targeting
Above all, a good targeting of doctors and their needs is essential, both in virtual and face-to-face environments. An efficient preparation of the remote medical visit, either by videoconference or by telephone is essential to its success.
A segmentation of physicians according to their adoption of products, their needs, their objections in previous visits is more necessary than ever.
The physician will have an attentive ear if the visit responds well to a need he or she has previously expressed.
2- A real opportunity to help him in the realization of his project
Transform the doctor’s reluctance to receive a medical representative into a real opportunity and help him in the realization of his project that is close to his heart. Some experts have a need for recognition and visibility among their peers. Thus, organizing webinars with them can remove this reluctance and transform it into real project management, and not “pure” product visits.
3- Creation of a website for his department or his office
Some doctors have at heart the realization of a website. Today with the various digital tools, the execution is simple once the specifications are established with the health professional. Here again this will create an even closer relationship and will remove all restrictions.
4- Propose organizational assistance
Offer help in organizing staffs with clinical cases, for example between hospital doctors and local town doctors. Several solutions exist on the web where doctors will be able to exchange clinical cases even remotely. After their working day and from the comfort of their living room or office, they optimize their precious time.
5- To exchange on common problems between professionals
Organize virtual round tables between specialist colleagues in order to exchange on common issues or specialist – generalist meetings. Several platforms such as Zoom or Spotme offer a varied choice with possibilities of voting, evaluation, Q&A etc. or brainstorming sessions with virtual whiteboards and virtual post-it notes.
6- Publish the results of clinical studies by suggesting them to create a “landing page”.
This page will be able to present the study details and results in a clear, concise and accurate manner. Then, peers will visit the landing page through the support of a Community Manager who will be able to publish on social networks.
7- Present real life studies or Real World Evidence data
which are much more relevant to physicians than clinical studies because they present their experience with the product. This can be sent to physicians by email or published on the company’s website.
8- Include services for patients
Applications can be created, recommendations for the use of medications, or the practice of sports with this or that pathology, etc. can also enrich manufacturers’ sites in a friendly manner in order to attract an increasingly varied audience. The doctor will be able to recommend them to his patients and this will be part of his therapeutic education.
9- Prepare recorded interviews with experts
on a specific issue of interest to a targeted audience can be another form of medical information that will compensate the lack of face-to-face meetings.
10- Propose help in organizing webinars
either for physicians or patients. Here again, several solutions exist such as Livestorm, Zoom, WebEx and many others.
Always keep in mind the concerns of the practitioner and accompany them with this journey.
Certainly this pandemic period is unprecedented in its complexity. Nevertheless, it should not be forgotten that enormous opportunities for constructive interactions exist. All that is needed is to transform the needs or barriers expressed by physicians into opportunities or services.
Helping them and saving them time will further strengthen physician-delegate relationships.