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Maximising ROI from mature brands

There are gains to be made even after patents expire

Online Physician CommunitiesNews that Eli Lilly and Co has forecast a drop in 2014 profits and reduced its sales outlook because of generic competition to its Cymbalta antidepressant and Evista drug for osteoporosis, underlines the challenges that pharma companies face when patents expire.

While pharma companies will naturally look to drive growth through the launch of new medicines, our experience shows that there is much to be gained from continuing to engage with doctors throughout the product lifecycle and even after patent expiry.

With mature brands that have a reduced sales force activity, digital channels can provide a cost-effective way of extending and lifting the long tail of sales for mature or established brands. This can be achieved by enabling pharma companies to research the views and needs of target doctors in the relevant therapeutic areas and deliver tailored messages to them.

These messages can be conveyed in a variety of formats ranging from pure promotional materials, such as e-details, to educational tactics, including sponsored research papers, case studies and arm's length education, provided of course that they meet the ABPI Code.

The granular measurement and evaluation services offered by independent online networks can measure doctors' response to such resources and enable subsequent content and messages to be adapted, if necessary, to ensure they meet doctors' evolving needs and preferences.

One of's recent mature brand campaigns was for an established pain relief product for which the manufacturer wanted to raise awareness and increase coverage of GPs. The digital campaign, which reached 5,448 unique GPs against a target of 2,500, was newly integrated into the multi-channel mix to complement sales force activity.  

The value of the approach was evidenced by the post campaign analysis. It found that following the three-month campaign, which was based on insights gathered from research, the objectives and KPIs were far exceeded with a substantial increase in the coverage of GPs. The client was impressed by the results and subsequently commissioned further brand campaigns.

For more information on, please call Tim Ringrose on +44 (0)1235 828400, or email You can also follow on Twitter @doctors_net_uk

13th February 2014

From: Sales, Marketing



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