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Balancing the World of Innovation: Stay True to the Product with Medical Experts

role of medical experts

The Great Digital Transformation has brought pharma into the place where often it remains only to guess what is behind words about another big transformation, dramatic shift, or new normal.

Thus, at all times, amid periods of stagnation or great innovations, medical experts help companies not to lose the truth about their product and its essence.

When it comes to the proper use of new technologies, they are the single source of truth in pharma. Their role and rich clinical experience are credible sources for the protection of patients’ safety.

To send this message around, we held a dedicated session at the recent Next Webinar – to show how the dramatic shift towards omnichannel that occurred in the healthcare industry has made medical experts permanently change the emphasis of their work; how integral they are for the life sciences community and how they fit in such a rapidly developing environment.

What has changed for medical experts?

They say pharma too often throws the words “digital transformation” around. However, these people don’t understand that each business industry is individual and has its own evolution path. In the sense of digitalization, pharma has been behind for a long time, with many regions on the map where even in our days, sales reps were presenting information to HCPs exclusively on paper booklets.

That was until a “small incident” that shook our planet a year and a half ago forced pharma to reconsider old canons. Now even the regions with severe budget shortages have at least the grounds of a digital strategy in-places. And despite previous efforts, in our opinion, it was a true moment when the Great Transformation started.

2,500 companies around the world participated in the recent survey conducted by Twilio. 74% of healthcare decision-makers from the US, UK, Germany, Australia, France, Spain, Italy, Japan, and Singapore reported they had sped up their digital transformation as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. According to ABI Research, the overall digital factory revenue will exceed US$4.5 billion in 2030.

This great transformation is mostly associated with personalization, the rise of omnichannel – and the technology developments that enable all of these.

Omnichannel has become an evolutionary link in the lifecycle of pharma’s digital transformations as the approach to maintaining a consistent value-based dialog with the target audience. A recent study found out that the companies using omnichannel marketing strategies retain 89% of their customers, compared to only 33% of customers in companies with a weaker omnichannel marketing strategy.

The role of medical experts in the world of omnichannel innovation

Such a rapidly changing environment has modified the role of medical experts and, in a way, significantly expanded it. Both external and internal medical experts today are balancing innovation and accuracy of medical data during a product launch, providing tech-driven support to stakeholders, and making all messages aligned.

Internal medical experts:

  • Company Employee
  • Immersed in specialization
  • Formed installations
  • Limited by time resource

External medical experts:

  • You can connect an entire team with large resources when you need them. 
  • A broad view of the problem
  • Have an understanding of Best Practices after working with other companies

These two groups include both highly specialized specialists and generalists with knowledge of all branches of medical science.

They help find new ideas for promotion while their advanced skills in the search and analysis of medical sources of information provide a larger array of data to be worked out. The pharmaceutical company also gets transparent and relevant information based on medical and economic analysis to demonstrate the value of therapeutics at the market scale – the benefits that the market will get if it’s going to accept and promote the drug in a certain territory.

It is statistically proven that the information the doctor hears from the Rep during eDetailing has an impact on the prescriptions process. According to the iPhysicianNet study, there is a 58% increase in the volume of prescriptions with eDetailing programs. A medical advisor with both medical and marketing experience has a deep understanding of prescription making. They help to prepare materials for each stage of the prescription process, as a result, making the number of long-term prescribers grow.

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However, as it turned out, the work of medical experts is not limited to this, and their role in pharma’s omnichannel transformation is, in fact, unique.

Misinterpretation or a broken telephone

Channels are the foundation of the omnichannel approach. As your strategy grows stronger, you overgrow with more channels – and this is the first case when it’s worth involving a medical expert – to avoid a so-called ‘broken telephone’.

Under a broken telephone, we mean a common case when the product message may get distorted traveling from one channel to another. For example, when you have just two channels, there is a slight chance to distort the message. But when there are more channels, it becomes more difficult to achieve the integrity of the message (see figure 1).

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Figure 1

This is where the medical expert may step in and make sure that your messages remain consistent and compliant at every step of the promotion.

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Explicit advertising

In a bid to present the best side of the product, marketers can sometimes go to extremes, giving a rather distorted “portrait” of the medication. For example, let’s take a look at the properties of an ulcer disease product based on which you can extract 4-5 key messages. Each of them can be presented in varying degrees of scientific or emotional form. At these transitions, the marketer can get carried away and attribute the wrong properties to the drug or simply present them incorrectly. (see figure 2)

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Figure 2

That’s why medical experts work in close collaboration with the marketing department, keeping an eye also on the correctness and scientific accuracy of the product messages.

The creation of omnichannel content is very specific due to the large amount of such content needed and a whole conglomeration of channels where it must circulate. This process may only be faster with well-coordinated teamwork guided by the experience of medical experts. They can provide:

  • Adaptation of content for omnichannel and CLM
  • Quick and inexpensive production of new content
  • Finding of new medical articles and sources
  • Offering additional opportunities for positioning
  • Finding new advantages, selling points, potential indications, etc.

The team of medical experts also participates in the tactical planning of omnichannel campaigns, deciding on a digital mix (online + offline promotion) plan, customer journeys, communication channels selection, and social media planning.

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Medical marketing – a single source of truth for marketing strategy development. The involvement of medical experts may also be significant cost savings going through rounds of obligatory regulations and approvals. Content is going through fewer approval stages and there is no need to involve KOLs to approve marketing materials. The approval of the material is faster since everything is done carefully and as medically correct as possible.

Whatever changes happen around, the most important thing is to be true to yourself and what you are doing. No matter how important it is to move forward, in the end, you don’t get determined by the level of innovation, but by the quality of the products you offer to the audience. 

Contact us to take advice and assistance of professional medical experts, which perfectly balance innovation and product quality when it comes to omnichannel communication building. 

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