Reprint Purchasing – New Era, New Strategies – Best Practices

The pharma content landscape is undergoing a sea change and we as an industry are tasked with finding more strategic ways to meaningfully interact with healthcare professionals while remaining compliant. HCPs have access to content through more channels than ever before. There is no shortage of valuable content – but the question remains: how to buy wisely and effectively to make the most impact? Combining what we have learned from our annual industry research and our experience with pharma, we have taken a retrospective look at how best to engage while making the most of your budget.

Best Practice 1: Know Your Audience

Understanding your audience has profound implications for your marketing strategy and beyond. Knowing how prescribers want to receive and use clinical information is vital to ensuring that your pivotal data is delivered in the most effective way. Having access to the proper tools that give insight into the channel affinities of your target audience will allow for more meaningful engagement. Does your doctor prefer a personal copy of a key study? Or are they more inclined to access their information from an online community or resource? How about from their peers? Knowing your audience and how best to reach them has the most impact when developing your content strategy. It is also very important to understand which HCPs on your target list are not being called on by reps. Creating a strategy and content deployment plan, specifically for any no see/low see doctors will ensure your pivotal studies and clinical trial data gets in front of all valuable physicians.

Best Practice 2: Content Planning

Knowing what types of content your HCPs are looking for is key to your planning success. It continues to prove true that one of the most effective tools in influencing HCP behavior is brands’ clinical trial data. While the reprint landscape continues to evolve and more and more physicians are turning to non-personal touch points to retrieve information, it is crucial to integrate pivotal studies into your overall media strategy. This allows for a more cross-channel approach to increase reach and brand awareness through clinical content and real life brand data. You should also expect your agency to work closely with publishers to know what studies are publishing and when, as this is paramount to the planning process. Once the recommended content has been accepted, creating a strategic content plan will ensure your crucial content is reaching all audiences through the most impactful channel mix.

Best Practice 3: Leveraging Global Scale

Global brands oftentimes have minimum budget and limited numbers of HCPs within certain therapeutic areas. Aggregating is the best way to create savings by combining several small orders into one bulk order to achieve a lower unit cost. Aggregating maximizes local budget, making it possible to meet publisher minimum quantities and disseminate data in the format that the HCPs prefer. The lowest possible per unit price can be achieved by setting up an aggregated order window. Using this method presents a buy opportunity to affiliates within a therapeutic buying group.
Consolidating is a strategic method that should be utilized when planning for conference season, staggered launches and iPad marketing campaigns. With the highest concentration of HCPs residing in the US and US pharma purchasing the largest quantities, marketing teams are able to leverage these larger orders so global counterparts can benefit. These opportunities allow for smaller international markets to disseminate key pivotal studies worldwide.

The above chart represents a real global aggregation in which a US Regional Brand Team needed to purchase 15,000 copies of newly published pivotal data which included a 21 page supplementary appendix from a premium journal.  The required supplement resulted in a 40 page reprint that would not be purchasable within local global budgets.   Compas opened a global request window to coincide with the US’ delivery timelines, leveraged the US’ large quantity and contracted one bulk order saving the client $64,179 in upfront savings and an additional $25,272 in Compas incremental leveraged savings.

Best Practice 4: Conference Season Preparation

Ramping up for conference or convention season is always good practice. Reviewing your Top 5 previous clinical data purchases, including publications for new indication approvals and disease state updates, will allow you to provide a more targeted publication list or a possible compendium for your booth handouts. This will ensure that the attendees are armed with the most significant information you are looking to discuss. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box in terms of distribution at conferences. There are a ton of different ways you can get your content out & seen, such as speaker forums, door drops, follow up direct mailers, eBlasts, etc. When creating your annual media strategy, pre-planning corporate aggregation purchases to align with conference season preparation will also maximize cost benefit brand-wide.

Best Practice 5: Physicians Payment Sunshine Act

We understand the need for HCPs to stay current on medical information and breakthroughs; clinical trial data is an imperative resource that keeps HCPs abreast of this information. However, we also understand the complexity the Physicians Payment Sunshine Act has brought to the industry, especially concerning the distribution of medial reprints. Our research, Media Vitals, found that 79% of HCPs say the Sunshine Act has not stopped them from obtaining content. In fact, today over 90% prefer to receive medical reprints from pharma. Over the last year or so, pharma has become more comfortable in reporting the Transfer of Value on medical reprints. While there is still much inconsistency in how individual manufacturers are calculating the TOV, better solutions have been put into place to capture the HCP level data needed for reporting. We have found many innovative solutions and deployment tactics that distributes your pivotal studies to the right audiences while staying compliant with these regulations.


Long gone are the days of purchasing 50,000 medical reprints and having them sit in your warehouse awaiting rep order. Instead, focus on proactive, audience-focused campaigns that work harder at communicating brand messaging. Consider this your checklist of next steps:

Don’t go at it alone. Contact your Compas account rep to get started!