A version of this post initially appeared on the Practice Fusion blog.
In the last 2 years alone, Big Pharma has cut its sales force by 10% to 92,000 and some experts predict the number could drop by another 15,000 in the next 2 years.
That will save $3.6 billion for the pharmaceutical companies, who know all too well that results from the investment it has made in its sales force are way down.
In fact, just 37% of drug reps who visit physician offices are able to place drug products in the sample drawer, and a only 20% speak directly with a physician.
Nearly a quarter of all physicians practice within a group that bans reps altogether.
That one reason why Big Pharma has become so excited about ePromotion, a term encompassing 3 relatively new techniques by which drug manufacturers can doctors about their products, even in the absence of Sid the Drug Rep.
The ePromotion troika includes virtual details, which include video and audiotapes, text messages and email (but no live communication), video details, which include live chat or telephone-assisted Internet sessions in which physicians can speak directly with a representative, and virtual events which include CME events, webinars, conference calls and panel discussions.
Big Pharma’s enthusiasm will likely grow as it digests the results of a new survey showing that doctors’ attitudes toward ePromotion are becoming increasingly positive.
SDIHealth concluded this after completing its Annual Study of ePromotion, the 8th such iteration of the poll.
The Study revealed that 67% of physicians expressed a positive attitude toward ePromotion, up 5% from the previous year.
73% of the surveyed physicians felt ePromotion was at least as effective as face-to-face promotion by drug reps, a jump from 68% the year before.
The average time spent per doctor, per ePromotion activity was a robust 18 minutes.
With each year, “we have seen acceptance toward ePromotion among physicians increase,” said Jason Fox, Associate Director at SDI.
“The results of this survey underscore a growing opportunity for the two groups to interact more regularly.”