Tag Archives: medical reps

Part II – Why pharmas don’t do social networking

If you understand how pharmaceuticals are sold, this is not surprising.

What is surprising is that a lot of people seem to think it’s just a question of time before pharmaceutical companies like GSK get into social media.  I claim that a fashion trend doesn’t make a business case. The buzz of social media and Twitter in 2009 reminds me of the buzz on virtual worlds in 2008.

There are 3 fundamental reasons why  consumer-side social media is not a good fit for pharmas and they all relate to how prescription drugs are sold:

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Changes in pharma sales

Poland is leading the way in Europe with a new law enacted as of December 1, 2008 that prohibits medical representatives from visiting doctors during business hours.  Reps are a good source of spoon-fed science for docs, not to mention the free samples and perks at conferences.  However – over 90,000 doctors in Poland have quickly adjusted to a new reality and the big pharmas like GSK, Roche, Schering-Plough / Merck have accepted that times are a changing.

Current sales indicators of how many face to face visits a rep made are not going to cut it anymore. The question is – what next?

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