Pharma Industry News Update: 16 May 2017

Former Lilly President Praises Sales Reps

[From] Alex Azar, who recently served as president of Lilly USA, spoke at a recent industry conference about the so-called “demise” of the pharma sales rep.

Azar believes that in many instances the sales rep position is still the highest ROI tactic for many brands. The problem, Azar says, can be access.

“Access [to doctors] is getting worse, but it’s not as bad as some suggest, especially if you are an established pharmaceutical company,” he said.

Meanwhile, Azar touted non-personal communications with physicians, such as peer-to-peer videos, direct mail, email, etc. He said Lilly was able to convert 18% of those who never saw a rep from its bottom tier to its top tier of advocacy.

“That tells me it can work, but I don’t think it can replace the rep,” Azar said. “Sales reps don’t just do short sales,” he said. “They build relationships over the long term and add value over time.”

More here…

This topic was covered in a recent issue of Pharma Industry News Update on Linkedin:

 Also read:

How to Regain the Trust of Physicians:
Dial Down Promotion & Dial Up Education

[From] DRG Digital – Manhattan Research’s Taking the Pulse® U.S. 2017 study asked 2,784 U.S. physicians across 25+ specialties about their use of emerging technology, how they find information and make decisions, and what they want from pharma companies. The aim of the study is to help marketers refocus their digital efforts on what works and plan more effective multichannel campaigns.

Lead analyst Kelly Pinola comments, “Pharma needs to dial down the promotional messaging and lead with valuable educational resources in order to regain physician trust. The good news for pharmas is that there’s an opportunity here for them to differentiate themselves as truly user-centered organizations, since this is a problem we’re seeing across the industry.”

More here…

What is Digital Transformation?
Execs Don’t Know, But Say They Need It!

[From] “If you put 20 [executives] in a room and ask them to define ‘digital,’ you are guaranteed to get 20 different answers,” said Anand Eswaran, corporate vice president of Microsoft Services and Microsoft Digital.

According to eMarketer’s latest report, “Digital Transformation 2017: Disrupting ‘Business as Usual,'” most executives believe that digital transformation is necessary, although it is not always obvious what digital transformation is – or how to approach it.

29% of respondents said digital is synonymous with the work of IT, 14% believe digital is about customer-facing technology activities and another 14% said digital refers to all investments the company makes to integrate technology across the business. The only thing clear from this survey is that there is no consensus.

More here…

Further Reading: