EU docs rely on reps. Here’s three ways pharma can better support them

July 27, 2016

Author: Kelly Pinola, Digital Healthcare Analyst

While access to physicians is a growing problem for pharma reps in the U.S. and E.U., European physicians continue to rely heavily on reps for medical information. In fact, more than half of EU5 physicians said that pharma sales reps will always play a helpful role in their practice, according Taking the Pulse® Europe 2015. It is crucial that pharma companies optimize their sales details in Europe to ensure that the engagement is meaningful for physicians and impactful on prescribing behavior.

Think about the type of meeting you are going to have:

Tablets are a key resource for reps, and a significant investment for pharmas. We’ve really drilled down on tablet meetings in our healthcare professional studies to understand how pharmas can maximize their return on that investment. There are several tactical considerations to weigh when planning sales details: the type of meeting, the length of time you have, and where the product is in the lifecycle, as well as the specialty group you are selling to. For example, planning will be different for an unplanned meeting, which tends to be most effective in the 2-3 minute range, than for an appointment meeting, which is most effective in the 5-9 minute range.

Say something valuable, particularly for mature drugs:

Most sales meetings concern mature drugs -- EU5 physicians reported that 61% of the time they see a tablet rep, they are meeting about a drug that has been on the market for more than two years. When meeting with a pharma rep to discuss a mature drug, physicians are significantly less interested in completing activities related to product information (which they have likely heard in previous meetings).  Instead, pharma reps should focus on other information and services, such as journal articles, patient education or case studies, during these meetings to better engage physicians. These activities may also have a positive impact on prescribing as they are among the most influential activities completed on a tablet during an in-person sales meeting.

Be a partner, not a salesperson:

When planning sales calls for any drug or treatment, it is important to remember that physicians want pharma to act as their partner rather than simply selling to them. Reps should steer the meeting’s focus to areas that will be most valuable for the physician. Follow-ups and emails with links can be used to share any additional product related information.

DRG Digital analysts can help you plan more effective rep meetings - contact digital@teamdrg.com to learn more. 

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