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Its 2018... Should Pharma Still be Scared of Digital?


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One of Pharma's biggest fears when it comes to adopting digital and new technology, is fear of regulations and compliance. To see how much of an issue this really is, breaches of the ABPI code of practice were analyzed over 2017 & 2016, across all channels. The results are interesting...

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Its 2018... Should Pharma Still be Scared of Digital?

  1. 1. Its 2018…Should Pharma still be scared of Digital? Gary Monk January 16th 2018
  2. 2. Introduction • The biggest barrier to digital adoption in Pharma is ‘Regulatory, legal and health care compliance issues' • How grounded in reality is this fear? When Pharma 'do digital' do things go wrong? And if so why? • To answer the above I analyzed almost 80 breaches of the UK ABPI code of practice, adjudicated by the PMCPA over the last 2 years, identifying the type of breach and the ‘guilty’ marketing channel
  3. 3. Number of breaches 11 2 3 2 8 22 During 2016 and 2017 39 Pharma companies breached the code. Most companies had only one breach but there are a few ‘repeat offenders’ with one company having seven One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Number of companies per volume of breaches
  4. 4. Email 30% Website 30% Online Journal 13% Online Advert 13% Ipad Detail 3% Social Media 7% Electronic Exhibition advert 3% Sales Management 22% Sales Force 20% Representative item 2% Printed Promo Materials 20% Print Magazine 2% Print Journal 15% Patient Leaflet 2% Letter 4% Meeting 13% Of all cases 61% were Non-Digital versus 39% Digital Digital (39%) Non-Digital (61%) 60% of all digital cases were related to either Email or Website breaches 55% of all non-digital cases were related to the sales or in person meeting channels
  5. 5. Representative conduct 3% Promotion to the public 5% Promotion outside of licence 3% Poor Quality 1% No email permissions 1% Not correctly certified 4% Outdated Information 5% Missing information 5% Misleading information 58% High call rate targets 5% Excessive Hospitality 4% Disparaging competitor 3% Behaviour of 3rd party consultant 3% Regardless of channel, digital or non-digital the biggest issue was misleading information 58% of all cases were related to the provision of misleading information, when adding outdated or not correctly certified information this number hits 72%
  6. 6. Other Reasons 33% Misleading information 67% Misleading information is a major issue across digital and non-digital There was no evidence in the case reports that the higher percentage of misleading information in ‘digital’ breaches is to do with the complexity of digital, e.g. less space, differing formats etc Digital Non-Digital Other Reasons 48% Misleading information 52%
  7. 7. All Other Channels 97% Social Media 3% Social Media breaches have almost unicorn status Social media is one of the most feared digital channels yet there were minimal breaches related to it over the time period. These breaches were not even due to active use, rather a 3rd party placing assets without permission on video sharing sites Breaches related to social media
  8. 8. Non-Digital Breaches 69% Digital Breaches 31% The % of digital breaches almost doubled in 2017 vs 2016 This is interesting but probably not that relevant or statistically significant. Again the biggest issue Pharma face is not Digital versus Non-Digital but ensuring their internal processes and culture lead to the right information being shared! 2016 2017 Non-Digital Breaches 41% Digital Breaches 59%
  9. 9. Summary • Digital channels are not the problem, it is Pharma internal processes and culture that lead to the dissemination of misinformation, regardless of the medium used.
  10. 10. Don’t be scared, say hello! @garymonk