Pharma Cracks the COVID Code
by Michelle Whitlock
You may have missed a recent glimmer of good news amid the ongoing pandemic gloom. In August, Accenture released the results of a survey with 720 healthcare professionals (HCPs) around the world concluding that pharma has improved how they engage with HCPs during COVID-19 and are reaping the relationship rewards.
Specifically, the HCPs surveyed said that pharma companies are stepping up and providing more and better education in critical areas such as helping treat patients remotely, managing their conditions during the pandemic, offering information about where they can access labs, infusion or imaging centers, and how they can more easily access and afford treatment. Surprisingly, 61% of HCPs reported that they are interacting with pharma sales reps more during the pandemic than they did before, and the majority (88%) are eager to learn about new treatments and receive relevant information for their practice.
61% of HCPs reported that they are interacting with pharma sales reps more during the pandemic than they did before
The survey also detailed how the sales representative-to-HCP engagement model has upended, probably permanently. Before the pandemic, HCPs report that approximately 64% of meetings with pharma reps were held in-person. During the pandemic, meetings shifted to 65% held virtually—and a whopping 87% of HCPs want either all virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings even after the pandemic ends.
87% of HCPs want either all virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings even after the pandemic ends.
Our team worked side-by-side with our pharma clients during the early months of the pandemic as they scrambled to transition from in-office to virtual (or no) sales rep meetings. We partnered with savvy clients to understand changing HCP and patient needs and develop value-added insights and shift to resources that support the changing state of play. A number of our clients were prepared for the shift to virtual engagement because they already had digital detailing platforms that were able to support virtual meetings, as well as e-mail helpful HCP resources directly to practices. As a result, practices were able to get critical information in areas such as access specifics, patient savings, coordination of benefits, billing and coding, re-treatment, etc. despite nationwide shutdowns.
We partnered with savvy clients to understand changing HCP and patient needs and develop value-added insights and shift to resources that support the changing state of play.
So, job well done to our clients and to the broader industry for our rapid response to the COVID-19 crisis and the push to help prescribers and patients achieve better outcomes during the pandemic. The resulting feedback from HCPs is positive, but their message is clear: we have raised the bar and there is no going back. All of us must continue to push for increasingly relevant insights and interactions with HCPs that put their needs and the needs of their patients first.
Want to learn more about how the pharma industry is evolving in light of COVID-19? Check out our POV on how personal data and digital health technology are being employed to combat the pandemic.