Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
Time-pressured GPs in the UK are refusing to see pharmaceutical sales reps and turning to online channels to conduct product research, according to a new study.
Doctors.net.uk surveyed more than 1,000 GPs in April this year and found 52 per cent of GPs did not see any pharmaceutical sales representatives in a typical week, while 26 per cent only saw one pharma sales rep during that period.
Lack of time was the most common reason cited by GPs for not seeing pharma sales reps (38 per cent), but other reasons given included practice policy and a perceived lack of reps' impartiality.
At the same time the UK online doctors' network said doctors are turning to digital channels for independent product information.
Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of the GPs surveyed said they preferred to find their own product information via “independent online resources”.
The research would appear to be inline with more general trends among healthcare professionals for content consumption and interaction.
European online physician networks continue to see significant growth, a trend that has been particularly pronounced in the UK – along with Germany and Scandinavia.
Meanwhile, European doctors' use of iPads and other mobile devices is increasing, and in March a survey by Booz & Co found European and US pharma execs expects to increase their future spending on digital marketing channels.
Doctors.net.uk said its findings follow earlier studies it conducted that show only 3 per cent of doctors think online pharma resources are credible and 42 per cent never visit pharmaceutical websites.