Hand-carried physicians' samples still predominate, survey finds

Pharmaceutical CommercePharmaceutical Commerce - September/October 2011

Various direct-to-practitioner and ‘alternative’ sample-distribution methods are coming along, but delivery via the rep continues

At the just concluded PDMA Sharing Conference (San Antonio, Sept. 25-29), the PDMA Alliance (www.pdmaaliance.org), event sponsor, together with TGaS Advisors, a consulting firm, presented results of a recent survey of members, who are primarily sample-accountability and PDMA compliance professionals at manufacturers. Respondents are mostly satisfied with their current preferences and capabilities: 74% said that they weren’t planning changes in their processes. But among the remainder, a range of options are being considered: a third are planning to convert to 100% direct-to-practitioner (DTP) methods; 22% are planning the opposite—100% hand-carried delivery (i.e., delivered by reps). The remainder plan a mix of DTP, hand and alternative techniques.

For respondents who are contemplating expanded DTP methods, TGaS captured data that essentially rank these alternatives by popularity. The options being considered are: use of business-reply cards (78%); telesampling (63%—i.e., phone-based offers); e-sampling, making use of physician-frequented websites or online services, will be tried by 44% of respondents, and video detailing (a combination of online video and live telecommunications) will be tried by 22%.

Options are also expanding in how sample or financial-assistance programs are being offered to consumers. 90% of respondents use coupons;76% use vouchers; 24% use a pre-paid card; and 17% offer co-pay assistance.

The full PDMA Alliance/TGaS study is available to Alliance members via the organization’s website.

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