Pharma Leaders of Digital Media | MD Analytics ULC

Pharma Leaders of Digital Media

By Rahim Shah, VP Client Services

January 15, 2024

While social media and digital tools have been playing an increasingly significant role in the personal lives of HCPs for many years now, use of these channels in a professional setting is less clear. That being said, the importance being placed on these tools and channels by pharmaceutical companies is immense as it has become apparent that relying on the sales rep alone to communicate key product related information is not likely to result in success.

Pharmaceutical companies have been investing heavily in digital means of communication and have consistently been looking for the most effective channels to promote, communicate and educate HCPs on their products and therapeutic areas.

Which pharmaceutical companies are seen as the leaders in the digital space, and what is contributing to this distinction?

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MD Analytics interviewed 290 physicians, in the US and Canada, to better understand how physicians are currently using digital tools and social media in a professional setting, which channels they feel are most appropriate for professional purposes, and which pharma companies are seen as the leaders in the digital space.

While in-person sales rep interactions have increased relative to the pandemic, physicians are accepting fewer than half of the invites that they receive. As such, it has become important that pharma companies have a variety of digital avenues to aid with the communication of brand related information and education. While some companies have made significant inroads with their digital offerings, the use of pharma-owned portals/applications between physicians and industry remains relatively limited. Physicians are spending an average of two hours a day online for professional purposes, but mainly visiting websites, with some use of social media, podcasts and other digital media. At this time, Sermo, LinkedIn and Instagram are being used most often for professional purposes and are seen as the most appropriate sites that pharma should be using to communicate with physicians.

Pharma leaders of digital media are emerging – AstraZeneca among GPs and Resps, along with Pfizer (Derms), Novo Nordisk (Endos), Janssen (Gastros), BMS (Hems), Novartis (Oncologists), and AbbVie (Rheums). HCPs mention having a strong online advertising presence, a website with strong content, and positive online interactions with the company as contributing to having the best online/digital presence.

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