Reshaping pharmaceutical marketing: from doctors database to access map

The doctor database is only a company asset if it is qualified, correct, certified and above all allows the right doctor to be identified.

Why is it that the doctor database, which might seem like a commodity, is so important and the object of attention of pharmaceutical companies? What makes the doctors database a central asset in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and therefore Pharma Multichannel in Italy management? What I could not explain to my auditors until recently was that the aggregate set of doctors' directories had value and, therefore, that an annual capitalisation was legitimate.

The answer is simple: the medical database is a company asset if it is qualified, correct, certified, has correct privacy processes and is, above all, constantly updated. It only has value if the data collection processes comply with the law and its value is in relation to how 'deep' the information is.

In Merqurio we have an evaluation and control tool for the doctors' database that monitors over 300 values every week. Let me give you a few examples: master data completeness (by single field of the entire database), relations with facilities (by type: public, private, public and private), age clusters (by specialisation), traceability (email, telephone, mail), updates (by type, channel, change), update sources (internal, telephone, remote pharmaceutical sales rep, CSO, editorial staff, Dottnet)... All this by month, week, specialisation, category, data type, channel, etc. We monitor: types of privacy updates, types of consents, date of last consent.

The challenges posed by national and international legislation on the acquisition and management of doctors databases are increasingly complex and stringent, fortunately. An enormous effort and a cyclopean commitment of structures and people is required to update the list of doctors: it is necessary to have the health facilities where they work, the relative and precise information on specialisation, cultural and scientific interests, prescriptive orientations, number of patients, type of hospital activity, position in the nodes of the network of influences, participation in conferences, digital behaviour, email, accessibility to Non Personal Promotion (NPP) information modes, and more. In terms of both the accuracy of the data and the compliance of collection and management, privacy legislation must be respected in every respect and it is better if the process - as we have done in Merqurio - is certified and integrated across the various functions of the Pharma Multichannel in Italy, in a single data platform.

It is not possible to ask doctors every time how they want to receive the message, so a wide and complete doctors database is needed to know, before and during the project, through which channel and which form the doctor will want to receive the message in the best way. The adequacy of a doctors database that allows targeting validation analysis, before and during the message delivery phase, is an essential prerequisite for achieving the best results with maximum efficiency, helping to build maps that remain for future development. This is valid in the Pharma Multichannel in Italy, but it is also true with front-end pharmaceutical representative activities, where saving man time - thanks to a continuous targeting review process - creates a strong added value: having your network always visit the right doctor.

Entity doctors database

The data structure of healthcare facilities, with all the professionals working there and their roles, is yet another doctors database to be taken into account. This archive - from time to time called "market access" or "stakeholder" or "payers" - contains the information, structured in a tree structure, of all public and private health facilities, from national to local, with their dependencies, structures, operational units and doctors working there. The data also includes: the pharmaceutical services of the asl and hospital companies, regional councils, councils and health departments. In addition, this further database contains information on the participation of the same specialists in commissions, committees and decision-making bodies concerning pharmaceutical expenditure. The value of this data, which is constantly updated, is very high and allows the networks in the field to act in a "surgical" way directly on all those who matter.

Network of relationships
There is still one database, that of opinion leaders and influencers. This contains the influence graph, with those who influence and those who are influenced by them in the context of specific therapies or pathologies: a doctors database created with a desk analysis accompanied by field checks and surveys on numerous samples.

Pharma Multichannel in Italy preference
The doctors database, moreover, is an asset that the multichannel provider must necessarily have in order to be able to respond to the requests for visits that the client may make: to visit doctors who have not been visited by making a double-match between the client's database and the universe; or doctors who have, in addition to a specific specialisation, also a professional interest in a pathology (e.g. diabetes among internists); or doctors who have a professional interest in a pathology (e.g. diabetes among internists). or doctors who have, in addition to a specific specialisation, also a professional interest in a pathology (e.g. diabetes among internists); or again, to be able to have e-mails acquired as required by law and with specific consent for scientific information on behalf of third parties; or finally, to be able to know the times of receipt and acceptance of remote pharmaceutical representative. In our personal experience, therefore, we have created several databases, separated by content: that of HCP doctors and health care professionals, that of digital and web uses, that of stakeholders, that of relationship maps, of pharmacies, each of which is perfectly interconnected with the others on the basis of a constantly updated unique identifier.

Information on age, location, specialisation and prescribing potential is still necessary, but it is no longer sufficient to define the right target group to intercept the real interests and opportunities of individual doctors.

Intercepting doctors on their needs, attitudes and preferences
Today, intercepting doctors' preferences requires additional information: channel preference and therapeutic interest. In addition, as has been done for years in other more mature sectors, it can be very helpful to define buyer personas or customer personas. Merqurio has made its own classification on this, called medical personas ®, adapted and modelled on the specificity of the medical class.
Although the preference of doctors for in-person visits remains very high, according to the doctors during the interview, the acceptance of and interest in so-called non-personal promotion channels has grown strongly and has stabilised at well over 70%.
The combined set of information to be had on the medical class, in order to be able to build an operational strategy today, is much broader: all companies are now asking themselves how to combine the activities of their networks in the territory with all the other virtual, remote and digital promotional activities.
It is therefore necessary to define, for each individual doctor, which are the optimal touchpoints.

Salvatore Ruggiero

Salvatore Ruggiero

Salvatore Ruggiero nasce a Napoli nel 1964, si definisce un imprenditore seriale. Oggi a capo del gruppo Merqurio, di cui è stato anche fondatore. Sposato con Giuseppina, ha due figli e nel tempo libero, tra un'escursione e un'altra, tra un film ed un altro, è alla ricerca della ricetta dei biscotti perfetti.

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