I'm going to be leaving Philadelphia later today completing my time at Digital Pharma East 2010. I'd like to thank the organizers for asking me to be on a panel talking about the interface of pharma with physicians. The topic of this panel was similar to the discussion at Digital Pharma West this past summer.
It was a very good discussion with interaction from the audience. The bottom line is - as of right now - even though docs are using mobile and smartphones a lot, physicians are not on social media. The question kept keeping up as far as, "How can docs access pharma in the internet space?" The answer is that you just can't, because docs are not on social.
One point that was brought up was putting technology into the physician workflow. For example, putting things like pharma links into something like the EMR. In addition, wouldn't it be nice for me to see in the side bar whether the med I'm considering is on formulary or not on formulary. How about putting a link in my EMR side bar - that I can click - to get my patient a voucher for the med - instead of me trying to keep track of all the voucher cards or coupons in my office right now.
In my opinion, there is nothing that pharma can do directly that will get physicians on social media (at least right now). What I see in the future is pharma putting resources into a strategy that has worked in the past. The "Ask Your Doctor" about this med - The direct-to-consumer marketing strategy that has worked before - In addition to pharma exploring how to utilize the E-patient movement and patient advocates (Do you hear that E-patients?) - This means utilizing Consumer Directed Health Care - I see pharma pouring resources on these strategies instead of trying to get docs to access social.