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Pharma Should Pay More Attention to Pharmacists

Posted by | 10:31am on Wednesday, November 21, 2012
female pharmacist on Siren Interactive blog, SirenSong

More than three-fourths of pharmacists would like access to online patient education materials from pharma 

With doctors pressed for time, other healthcare professionals such as nurse practitioners, physician assistants and pharmacists are increasingly providing patient education. The Manhattan Research study Taking the Pulse Pharmacists 2012 surveyed 752 U.S. pharmacists and offers interesting insights.

About two-fifths of pharmacists said that they spend more time providing care and support for patients than they did two years ago. For pharma companies it’s important to note that this includes providing recommendations for a pharma website or app to their patients. I was curious about how pharmacists learn about these resources. The response from Manhattan Research Principal Analyst Shawn Dimantha was, “The main channels are self-discovery from information seeking on products (search engines, direct website entry), continuing education sourcing (pharma sponsored) and sales reps (who make visits to or call pharmacists).”

Pharmacists want online resources
More than three-fourths of pharmacists would like access to online patient education materials from pharma. “The key question is how to educate patients appropriately. This includes pushes for educating patients about the importance of adherence, financial options, dosing/administration and other types of initiatives,” notes Dimantha. “There are some emerging online channels for pharmacist specific patient education materials being developed by pharma. Examples are Merck, Baxter and Stick2theScript, which is a coalition of pharmaceutical companies and pharmacy associations to promote adherence.”

Sixty-four percent of retail pharmacists would like to receive patient assistance or vouchers, from pharma companies, via their electronic health systems.

This data confirms the opportunity for pharma marketers to target pharmacists with educational information for patients. The study shows that the digital channel has become an integral part of the practice of pharmacists too.

(Image courtesy of Galeria Uninter on Flickr).

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

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