It’s unanimous: something needs to change in pharmaceutical detailing. But where to begin?

During a recent meeting with a representative of a pharmaceutical multinational company, we analyzed the results of a survey. It centered on the channels and the modality of approach which physicians consider the most interesting.

The survey core question appeared to be: “what is your preferred channel to receive pharmaceutical detailing?

The results were interesting, but presented a bias just as relevant.

In the first section of the survey, the accent was heavily on direct promotion. Traditional face-to-face detailing, shared or syndacate, service team, phone detailing, all presented together on the same level, appeared to be the physicians’ favorites models.

In the same survey, the second group referenced to contacts made during conferences and symposiums.

And last, a little haphazardly put together, web advertising, commercial info on magazines, and companies websites.


Since the answers are, more or less, always the same, the surveyors could probably have spared themselves the expenses, and just asked us humble operators.

But what really does affects prescriptions? What kind of detailing actually influences the prescribing habits, changing  both the perception and the attitude towards a drugs? Which channels physicians truly privilege?

We have surprising evidence, and there’s a discovery I would like to share with my readers, so brace yourselves: there’s a great difference between “talking to” and “talking with”.

It’s not a matter of how, when, where, trough which channel or media. The crux of the matter is that the relationship has to be two-sided, the physicians need to be engaged.

If a phone call delivers unidirectional communication, it can only  be useful for a rapid broadcast of information. To influence prescriptions,  it’s imperative that the physicians is actively engaged, and gets involved in a prescription project.


Real phone-detailing, rather than a generic call-center interaction

As for e-detailing, the web, as it’s always the case, can be used in two different ways: advertising – that has little to no effect – or to build a relationship, socialize, and, by engaging with customers, turn them into advocates. This can’t be done by self-contained company websites.

The better approach for face to face, therefore, it’s not simply to deliver the drug’s facts and figures but to tell a story that the physician can relate to . The rep isn’t a sample-dropping mercenary, but a trusted and competent narrator.

The focal point can’t be the channel. It’s the relationship.

So if you are looking for a provider for pharmaceutical detailing or marketing? Choose the one who can guarantee the most stable relationship, with the highest number of contacts, through  the most effective approach.