RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • We surveyed 720 healthcare providers (HCPs) globally on how operations and needs changed during COVID-19 and the effects for patients and pharmas.
  • COVID-19 is driving lasting changes in what HCPs need and value.
  • Pharma companies are starting to redefine their relevance and HCPs are seeing the benefit.
  • Virtual engagement with pharma field reps is here to stay and will require new ways to create meaningful connections.


Healthcare providers are operating in a new landscape

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the daily operations of healthcare providers (HCPs) to more virtual interactions with both patients and pharma companies – and with lasting impact. Both HCPs and patients see great value in more virtual interactions. In addition, HCPs have seen pharma companies change what they communicate about beyond just product information. The services they offer are much more helpful than before COVID-19. Now is the time for pharma companies to redefine their relevance.

The survey results are from 720 healthcare professionals located in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, China and Japan with participants identifying themselves as one of the following: General Practitioner, Oncologist, Immunologist or Cardiologist.



COVID-19 has changed how HCPs operate

HCPs had fewer in-person visits during the first few months of COVID-19, and a shift to remote care where possible.

  • 78% of HCPs saw a decrease in the number of patients visiting their practice during COVID-19
  • 36% of patients asked to have treatment remotely
  • More than 60% of HCPs value self-administration methods for patients and tools for remote monitoring

HCPs see greater value from pharma

HCPs are seeing pharma companies diversify their communication beyond product information and are finding more value in additional support services.

  • 82% of HCPs have seen pharma companies change what they communicate about, to include support that meets their most pressing needs

Virtual engagement is here to stay

As physical access is limited with no end in sight, the relationship between HCPs and pharma sales reps will require new ways of creating meaningful connections. More than 40% of HCPs said they are restricting who can enter the office for professional reasons (no pharmaceutical reps) with 28% planning to implement permanently.

87 percent of HCPs want either all virtual or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings even after the pandemic ends

Sales reps have shifted from in-person to virtual meetings with HCPs

Before COVID-19, 64% of meetings with pharma sales reps were held in person. During the pandemic, this shifted to 65% of meetings held virtually, consistent across therapeutic areas:

Sales rep meetings with HCPs have shifted from in-person to virtual meetings

Sales reps are communicating now more than ever, but struggling to be relevant

Most HCP’s are interacting with sales reps more than before COVID-19, however they want sales reps to have a better understanding of their needs and expectations now and after the crisis.

Even as engagement shifts to digital modes, the sales rep’s human connection remains highly valued

Now is the time for pharma to reinvent its relevance

Express empathy

Recognize the unprecedented human impact today and tomorrow. Understand implications of delayed treatments, cost and mental health challenges.

Expand support services

Give practical support to deliver close patient care. Provide instructions for in-home care and details about lab testing locations and care sites.

Rethink messages

Create messages that drive more impact i.e, the ease of administration and the ability to maintain adherence without visiting a physical facility.

Create partnerships

Build relationships with digital health innovators to deliver new solutions that enable the healthcare provider to continue to support patients.

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