Can Pharma and Telehealth Partnerships change the game?

Can Pharma and Telehealth Partnerships change the game?

September 26, 2020 Gubba Group

Pharma marketing is an area where one-on-one interactions reigned before the pandemic. But, as the coronavirus outbreak severely curtailed physical interactions, almost overnight, it became essential for the pharma industry to embrace newer ways and approaches to communicate with its key audiences – prescribers and patients. 

So, as pharma marketers redraw their plans to cope with the new normal, we are witnessing a burgeoning romance between pharma players and telehealth and/or physician-only platforms. 

What are the causes and implications of this development? 

These alliances signal paradigm shifts in pharma marketing such as: 

Changing behavioural patterns

Traditional models of marketing are getting replaced by newer ones supported by digital technologies. But, what’s interesting is that this trend is likely to continue long after the pandemic subsides.

A report released in early June by Indian Pharmaceutical Alliance (IPA) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), highlighted how imperative it is for pharma and healthcare companies to engage with prescribers through digital avenues. The report also revealed that “with restricted access becoming the new normal, 70 per cent prescribers are willing to continue engaging with healthcare companies through digital mediums and 60 per cent prescribers are inclined to continue virtual interactions with salespersons.”

As the traditional model of communicating face-to-face in doctors’ clinics was severely disrupted, Doctors in India are open to adopting digital mediums and the acceptance level is considerably higher than a lot of countries across the globe. Hence, there will be a rapid movement towards ‘on-demand’ platforms which will allow doctors to access the information they want, at the time and frequency they want. That is when digital will truly play to its potential for the industry.

A shift towards tailored and targeted strategies

The ‘one-size-fits-all approach’ is gradually seeing a decline and drug makers are looking to tap into critical insights about customers, prescribers with differentiated strategies.  

As physicians access the platform on a daily basis to manage their practice, teleconsult etc., it is possible for the pharma companies to customise the solution to provide relevant information to the physician through the platform. This includes resources like medical data about relevant therapy areas, articles, journals and brand information. 

Ushering evidence-based marketing for measurable returns 

A deepening understanding that relevant data and tools can result in a much higher return on investment for pharma companies is another reason for these mounting partnerships. 

The need to be at the point-of-care (which is shifting to online now) and the need to have more scalable, cost-effective, measurable (data-driven) and personalised means to improve brand adoption and business are the key drivers of these growing collaborations. 

For pharma players, to drive an effective behaviour change among doctors, a critical mass is important. At the same time, digital platforms are also operating as standalone entities in the absence of a unified platform, losing on monetisation opportunities available via network effect. 

The benefits of contextual advertising/marketing is huge just for the reason that targeted platforms always provide better results. We are witnessing 3x click-through rates, 5x increase in the number of impressions and fruitful conversions for the pharma brands on professional physician networks.

How will this trend evolve? 

The collaborators of this trend, be it the pharma players, digital platforms or those who are working towards facilitating these partnerships, are buoyant about its growth.  

This can be viewed as an opportunity to work with patients, hospitals and HCPs to form new partnerships and fundamental collaborations. By fostering an innovative, cohesive partnership, telehealth platforms can well be one of the most viable tools for pharma firms to build and enhance patient trust.

Nevertheless, most pharma companies, as well as telehealth platforms, are wary of divulging the names of their partners in these collaborations. Gubba Pharma Cold Storage believes that the reluctance and the caginess are spurred by a deep-seated need to guard business intelligence. This indicates that there are likely to be several more developments in this sphere.  Life of a life saving drug can go dead with improper preservation. Pharma Cold Storage at Gubba preserves the vitality of pharma and biological drugs and hence ensures product integrity conditions for your drugs. Gubba Pharma Cold Storage is a research based company with a robust refrigeration system and technology and  supports you in nullifying your losses due to product compromise from temperature fluctuations.

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