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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20581

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Electronic Source

Burns M
Report profiles cardiologists for market insights
Pharmalive 2013 Aug 29
http://www.pharmalive.com/report-profiles-cardiologists-for-market-insights


Full text:

A new report from Cegedim Relationship Management provides a profile of cardiologists with information such as demographics, social media profiles, and pharma promotional spend on cardiovascular drugs in 2012. According to Cegedim Relationship Management, cardiologists are the primary source of influence when it comes to recommending treatments and preventive methods for cardiovascular disease. As the number of U.S. cardiologists has increased steadily during the past four years, it is vital to understand this group of healthcare professionals to target them more successfully.

According to the report, there are nearly 31,500 cardiologists practicing and prescribing nationwide. The southern states have the highest concentration of cardiologists; almost double the number of physicians in the western states. This year, the number of practicing cardiologists in the United States increased by more than 16 percent compared to 2010. This growth is reflective of consumer awareness of heart disease and demand for examinations, consultations and preventative treatment.

“This report is the first in a series of six that are designed to offer comprehensive market insights of office-based physicians,” says Jack Schember, director of marketing, SK&A, a Cegedim company. “The market profile of cardiologists was released in July and will be followed by a profile of endocrinologists scheduled for September and oncologists scheduled for December. As more patients enter the healthcare system, physicians are becoming busier and more difficult to engage. These reports will provide accurate and updated demographic and profile data that will help industry stakeholders gain a better understanding of the behaviors of physicians, including where they practice, their size, ownership, affiliations, digital behaviors, preferences, and policies. The data for the reports were derived from Cegedim’s ongoing telephone research of U.S. physician practices for its commercial database known as OneKey.”

In addition, the report covers physician usage of social media channels. About 26 percent of cardiologists are online and participating in social media. Cardiologists who are online have a strong presence in blogs, with 83 percent reading, writing, or commenting on blogs. Given the difficulty in reaching low-access and no-access physicians, email has gained favor as a communications channel, according to the report. Cardiologists, however, are less likely to be receptive to email than their colleagues. According to OneKey’s Email Performance Archive for 2012, cardiologists rank at the bottom of the list of those physicians with whom they are most often paired in practices. The annualized open rate for cardiologists in 2012 was 4.10 percent compared to pediatricians who were near seven percent. The average open rate for all physicians in 2012 was 4.5 percent. “The emails received by cardiologists are most often sent by companies offering products, services, and training,” Schember told Med Ad News Daily.

Regarding personal and non-personal promotion mix, cardiovascular drug manufacturers favored detailing and sampling over other promotional channels. Advertising was the least utilized promotional channel, according to the report. “In the Cegedim Strategic Data Promotion Audit data for 2012, ‘advertising’ refers to product ads placed in traditional print journals which have always been a minor component of the promotional mix – especially in the U.S. where DTC advertising plays such a major role,” says Jerry Maynor, business development director, Cegedim Strategic Data. “The big change that we see in this channel is the continued move to online advertising both for traditional journals as well as web sites and physician portals. These online activities are being tracked in Cegedim Strategic Data’s audit beginning in 2013 and are expected to become an increasingly important marketing channel through the rest of the decade.”

Detailing was the top promotional channel, accounting for more than half of total promotional spend. More than 10.2 million details were presented to prescribers during the four quarters of 2012. “We typically see channel mix vary by specialty based on the importance of the educational relationship between the sales representative and the physician,” Maynor told Med Ad News Daily. “Drugs with complex mechanisms of action or dosing requirements require more information to be delivered during touch points, so it’s common to see a greater emphasis on detailing and meetings with specialties like cardiology and oncology. This would contrast with less complex drugs where the need for a physician to have the ‘experience of use’ might lead to more emphasis on samples, for instance.”

 

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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963