The availability of data on physicians' prescription patterns will improve detailing effectiveness in the US. Prescribing data now reach medical representatives within a week of their collection. The data can be delivered in a variety of formats, most usefully via the Internet.
Pharmaceutical sales representatives use the data to improve call prioritization, decision-making and time allocation, resulting in higher return on investment (ROI) from detailing and brand success for the company.
Datamonitor's new report, Personalized Physician Marketing: Using Physician Profiling to Maximize Returns, reveals:
Datamonitor's primary research with US pharmaceutical sales representatives found that up to 80% of physicians are unwilling to prescribe a new product until it has an established post-marketing safety record. At a minimum, reps spend 25% of their time detailing new drugs to conservative physicians who will never prescribe them within the first year of launch. By targeting sales efforts and detailing to early adopters, who are at least 75% more likely to prescribe a new drug, reps can increase the number of detailed physicians who prescribe a new drug by over 10%.
Reps can also use prescriber profiles to identify physicians who write a large volume of prescriptions. Ensuring that the physicians targeted for detailing are both high prescribers and early adopters improves the number of specific prescriptions written per physician by more than 20%. This increases the total number of prescriptions written for a drug by over 30%, simply by identifying the most profitable physicians to detail.
The revenue benefits of profiling can be translated directly into profit growth. If 60% of a US company's revenues are derived from the US, a 30% growth in US prescriptions corresponds to 18% global revenue growth. Crucially, this growth is achieved without additional investment in the sales force, beyond the cost of the profiling data.
If R&D, cost of goods sold (COGS) and general and administrative (G&A) expenses increase proportionally to sales, 18% sales growth would result in the profit margin increasing to 28% (assuming that R&D takes 20% of sales, COGS takes 30%, selling 20% and G&A 5%). This is a 3 percentage point increase from using physician profiling effectively. The ROI benefits could be even greater than those resulting from revenue growth, as the detailing effort is more efficient.
Pharmaceutical companies must collect proxy information on individual European physicians to compensate for the lack of profiling data
In Europe, the Data Protection Act prevents data pertaining to individuals from being sold and, therefore, prescriber profiling services are illegal. This means that the profitability of detailing in Europe will decline significantly compared to the US as the use of profiling in the US becomes more sophisticated. However, pharmaceutical companies can increase European sales by using proxy data in lieu of prescriber profiling.
Although data on individual physicians' prescribing patterns is not available in Europe, regional breakdowns, which show the prescribing rates for different drugs by locality, are available. These can be broken down to the post-code in which the drugs were dispensed. Pharmaceutical companies use these data to identify specific territories where their products are likely to achieve a high uptake.
However, the key to effective detailing in Europe is maintaining meticulous records, and ensuring their communication throughout the sales force. When visiting European physicians, even for a standard detailing visit promoting a mature product, reps must identify and document which products physicians prefer to use and when, what their prescribing rates are for different diseases and how quickly they adopt the use of new products. These records must be stored centrally on a company's intranet, facilitating wide access to the records. When a product launch approaches, reps can consolidate the information recorded by all detailers of specific physicians to build a prescriber profile of the key physicians in their area. Although this is not as easy as buying prescriber data, it should enable the ROI of pharmaceutical companies' detailing activities in Europe to keep pace with that in the US.
For further information on this press release, please contact Elisabeth Overend-Freeman at firstname.lastname@example.org . Personalized Physician Marketing: Using Physician Profiling to Maximize Returns is available from Datamonitor, priced at $3,800. Datamonitor is an independent market analysis firm that publishes a wide portfolio of strategic business information. Datamonitor has expertise in the following industry sectors: Automotive & Transport; Consumer; Financial Services; Healthcare; Industrial; Medical Devices; Technology. Datamonitor can be contacted at (212) 686-7400, or visit www.datamonitor.com.
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