A study conducted from July – August 2015 by EPG Health Media, publisher of epgonline.org (a website for healthcare professionals) found some “significant gaps and imbalances” between how healthcare professionals (HCPs) and pharma industry professionals (Pharma) view the value of medical content delivery channels.

Keep in mind that the results are based on a very limited number of survey participants, which include 216 HCPs and 137 pharmaceutical industry professionals (66 pharmaceutical professionals and 71 service providers).

I selected a few channels to look at (mostly digital) and replotted the data in the following chart, which shows the percent of respondents (HCPs v. Pharma) who consider that the channels have moderate or significant value for HCPs.

Click on image for an enlarged view.

What are the key takeaways from this study?

No surprise that professional social networks are top of the list of valuable sources of content according to HCPs and pharma professionals. It’s also no surprise that pharma professionals think rep visits are much more valuable sources of medical information than do HCPs. HCPs believe medical apps may be important content sources, but not as valuable as pharma professionals think they are.

The are some devils in the details, which may be gleaned in the following chart that includes all the data.

Click on image for an enlarged view.

Whereas 81% of pharma respondents believe general social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook have some value for physicians, only 52% of HCPs think so.

33% of HCPs believe that professional social networks have no or limited value, but only 15% of pharma professionals agree.

For what it’s worth, according to EPG Health Media, ‘Digital’ currently accounts for approximately only 15% of “pharma marketing activity.” I assume “activity” means “budget.” I’m not sure what’s included under ‘Digital,’ but I am sure EPG hopes pharma will spend more on advertising on its professional network (epgonline.com). The pharma industry, however, may be more interested in following the lead of Merck – owning HCP professional networks outright. For more on that, read “Physicians Interactive Gobbles Up Univadis – Both Owned by Merck/MSD“.