How to Maximize Medical Reprint Investment in Wake of the Sunshine Act and Other Industry Challenges

Over the last few years the commercial landscape in our industry has changed significantly.  We have to work harder and smarter at communicating client brand messages.  HCPs need a more personalized experience, catering to their media consumption habits. They want to receive information on their terms based on their preferences, through preferred channels.

Two of the most impactful changes to the reprint industry have been the continued decline in HCP access for sales reps and the implementation of the Sunshine Act guidelines.  These changes have had a major impact on Medical Reprint distribution over the last few years.  However, one thing we have not seen change and which continues to be an imperative resource to HCPs: Clinical Content.

Reprints continue to be among the most valued resources for prescribers. In fact, through the CMI/Compas annual study, 2015 Media VitalsTM, which accesses promotional and media preferences of 25+ HCP Specialties, we found that more than 90% of HCPs still value reprints today.

One of the most effective tools in influencing HCP behavior is clinical trial data. Physicians are researching this information, they want to receive this type of unbiased content and credible data.  Unfortunately, in wake of the Sunshine Act pharmaceutical companies have shied away from the distribution of medical reprints; thinking the Sunshine Act has affected the willingness for physicians to receive or accept reprints, when in fact it has been quite the opposite!

CMI/Compas 2015 Media VitalsTM found that for 79% of HCPs their willingness to receive medical reprints has not been impacted by the reporting requirements of the Sunshine Act.

As one physician we interviewed explained, “I don’t have a lot of time, and I need to keep up with as much information as I can. It’s worth it to me to get relevant studies from sales reps and emails from pharma companies, because that helps keep me up to date.”

Harnessing the Power of Content Marketing

We understand the concerns and complexity Sunshine Act has brought to the industry, especially around the distribution of medical reprints. Pharma needs to look for solutions that capture individual content engagement, all while staying compliant and adhering to publisher guidelines.

Medical reprints are a viable and cost-effective way to engage and educate physicians. Content consumption overall is on the increase. Physicians are proactively following medical developments, treatment options, and so much more. In fact, medical journals ranked #1 as a top source for helping HCPs stay abreast of this information, which is critical to their practice. Chantal Kolber from Wolters Kluwer, presenting at 2015 Digital Pharma East, explained that when a medical journal has a reprint opportunity, engagement increases 180% and has a 100% increase in time spent.

When considering a medical reprint 2015 Media VitalsTM study reports that physicians particularly look for topics and findings that are novel and/or relevant to them. The source publication is also one of the most important considerations for HCPs when selecting a medical reprint to read.

Disseminating Clinical Content to the Right Audience Through the Right Channel

With fewer opportunities for direct HCP contact it is extremely important to market your Clinical Content campaign by leveraging a distribution model that will engage HCPs, similar to purchasing advertising space. CMI/Compas is creating  integrated content plans that allow for distribution of clinical studies through non-personal promotional media channels –providing further reach of brands’ clinical data and utilizing reprints to increase brand presence.

This more targeted approach to disseminate medical reprints ultimately gets the right content in front of the right physician based on their channel preference. More importantly, incorporating medical reprints into your overall brand strategy provides for a more cross-channel approach to increase reach and brand awareness through clinical content and real brand data.

Pharma needs to begin taking a customized approach that measures engagement with analytics for all clinical content, which results to a better ROI. Creating a strategic content plan ensures content is reaching all audiences through every preferred channel based on physician preferences, which may include sales force, direct mail, conventions, digital advertising, brand websites, e-mail blasts, and/or polybagging with HCP journal subscriptions/preferred journal distribution lists. The ultimate goal is to create a content strategy and distribution plan that utilizes all available channels to reach prescribers.

Here are just a few brief examples on how to leverage non-personal promotional channels to help you reach audiences and gain exclusive engagement with clinical studies:

Clearly content is still king. In today’s industry in order to get this critical information in front of physicians, brands need to find better solutions that encompass the most impactful channel mix -ensuring their content is reaching target audiences.