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Trust Matters: Healthcare Providers Changing Preferences in Pharma Engagement

October 2, 2023


By Ann Poorboy, Senior Product Director, Healthcare Provider Engagement, Mercalis

healthcare professional on phone and screen with patient

In today's constantly changing healthcare landscape, pharmaceutical companies face an ever-growing challenge: how to effectively engage with healthcare providers (HCPs) and deliver information that is both valuable and trustworthy. Recent survey findings from Graphite Digital, discussed in a report by Nick Paul Taylor on Sep 28, 2023, reveal a striking revelation—HCPs are increasingly skeptical of digital content produced by pharmaceutical companies. This skepticism stems from concerns about data manipulation and a perceived lack of objectivity.

The survey, conducted among consultant-level HCPs specializing in oncology and urology across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, paints a clear picture of HCPs' shifting preferences and the importance of trust in their interactions with pharmaceutical companies.

The Trust Deficit: A Troubling Reality

A staggering 80% of HCPs participating in the survey expressed skepticism about the digital content produced by pharma companies. Their concerns revolve around the cherry-picking of data and a sense that the provided information lacks objectivity. While most HCPs acknowledge that pharma companies won't publish entirely inaccurate data, they believe that the data often requires careful interpretation and scrutiny.

One respondent aptly summarized this sentiment, stating, "They will often provide clinical trial information, and although I think the data is correct, it’s presented in a way that is maybe skewed. If there were endpoints that weren't favorable to the drug, they may not be there."

This growing distrust in the information provided by pharmaceutical companies gives rise to a sense of frustration among HCPs. Many voiced their concerns about the absence of a centralized location containing all the information they need. Pharma websites, they argue, offer only a partial view of products, making it challenging to access comprehensive assessments of results through scattered journal papers.

The Changing Landscape of Engagement

The survey highlights a crucial shift in the preferences and behaviors of HCPs when it comes to engaging with pharmaceutical companies. It's important to note that the importance of digital content varies by geography. In the United States, where personal interactions between pharma reps and HCPs have rebounded post-pandemic, some HCPs report multiple in-person visits per week.

However, not all in-person engagements are welcomed with open arms. Many consultants react negatively to in-person visits when they perceive pharma reps as patronizing or outdated, relying on scripted presentations with basic medical information. In this regard, the survey suggests that offering HCPs the chance to explore information online at their convenience may be more effective.

Conclusion: The Path Forward

As pharmaceutical companies navigate this shifting landscape, it is essential to recognize the significance of trust in their interactions with HCPs. The concerns raised in the survey serve as a clear call to action for the industry. To address these challenges and rebuild trust, pharmaceutical companies should:

  1. Prioritize Data Transparency: Ensure that data presented to HCPs is transparent, objective, and comprehensive, with no manipulation or cherry-picking.

  2. Centralize Information: Create accessible, centralized platforms that provide HCPs with a comprehensive view of products and clinical trial data.

  3. Adapt to Preferences: Acknowledge the growing preference for remote engagement and provide HCPs with digital tools that empower them to explore information independently.

The pharmaceutical industry must evolve in response to the changing preferences and concerns of healthcare professionals. By focusing on transparency, accessibility, and digital engagement, pharmaceutical companies can rebuild trust and forge stronger, more meaningful partnerships with HCPs in the pursuit of improved patient care.
In the spirit of innovation and evolution, we are excited to share that TrialCard has undergone a transformation, recently rebranding as Mercalis. At Mercalis, we understand the vital role that HCP engagement services play in fostering collaboration between pharmaceutical companies and healthcare professionals. With our commitment to staying current with HCP preferences, we are reengineering our processes to deliver information in a clear, compelling manner that not only respects their trust but also makes HCP adoption seamless and effective.

As Mercalis, we embrace the opportunity to reinvent ourselves continually, ensuring that our solutions align with the ever-changing landscape of healthcare, and we look forward to empowering both our pharmaceutical partners and healthcare professionals in this exciting journey ahead.

Remote contract pharmaceutical sales have emerged as a game-changer in the industry, offering a myriad of benefits that enhance efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and overall effectiveness. Mercalis has been a pioneer in this field for over 20 years, consistently delivering exceptional results. Our remote sales model empowers pharmaceutical companies with access to a diverse pool of highly skilled sales professionals, regardless of geographic constraints. This approach significantly reduces overhead costs, travel expenses, and allows for rapid scalability. Moreover, remote sales enable a more tailored and flexible engagement with healthcare professionals, fostering deeper relationships and better understanding of their evolving preferences. Mercalis remains dedicated to leveraging this proven approach to drive success for our clients, ensuring that they can navigate the ever-evolving pharmaceutical landscape with agility and excellence.

Ready to revolutionize your pharmaceutical sales strategy and enhance your engagement with healthcare professionals? Contact Mercalis today to experience the benefits of our remote contract pharmaceutical sales expertise. With over two decades of industry leadership, we are committed to delivering tailored, cost-effective solutions that drive success for your pharmaceutical company. Don't miss out on the opportunity to reinvigorate your sales approach and build stronger relationships with HCPs.

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