In-person and remote meetings between doctors & pharma companies now standard | MD Analytics Inc.

In-person and remote meetings between doctors & pharma companies now standard

By Rahim Shah, VP Client Services

January 9, 2023

Since its initial onset, COVID-19 has had a significant impact on how physicians interact with pharmaceutical companies. Government restrictions forced companies to quickly adapt and move to more remote forms of interactions. While in-person interactions are once again a viable option for communication, will they return to pre-pandemic levels? MD Analytics has been monitoring these trends over the past few years and we have recently interviewed 50 Canadian GPs and 90 Canadian specialists in our latest survey on the topic.

Before the onset of the pandemic, about 3 in 4 interactions between physicians and pharma companies took place in-person. During the earlier pandemic months, this proportion was reduced to only about 1 in 10 interactions, due to province-imposed restrictions. At the same time, web-assisted interactions, phone calls and email contacts became much more common, and over time accepted, as companies were trying to maintain their visibility levels.

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What about today? Well, in-person interactions are not yet back to pre-pandemic levels. As of October 2022, a little less than half of physician-pharma interactions took place in-person – a far cry from where it used to be.

Moreover, physicians do not anticipate things to change much moving forward – they seem to have gotten used to this new mix of interaction formats and to appreciate the benefits of these different channels. Even if it were completely left up to them, physicians would only prefer to have a little more than half of their interactions with pharma in-person moving forward. That said, this is not a black-and-white issue – some physicians would prefer mainly in-person, others would prefer mainly remote and most are somewhere in the middle.

This reinforces the importance of maintaining an updated CRM database with as much information as possible about physician preferences.

Key takeaways

  • Is the total number of physician-pharma interactions back to pre-COVID levels?
  • How has the format of physician-pharma interactions changed since COVID?
  • Will physicians want to go back to more in-person interactions in the foreseeable future?
  • How would physicians prefer to interact with pharma companies moving forward?
Infographics may contain select findings from our Independent Studies. Contact us to find out if your organization qualifies for a complimentary presentation with access to the full report.

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