BDA helps reps navigate PhRMA regsIn anticipation of the new PhRMA guidelines that go into effect in January 2009, drug companies are scrambling to find innovative ways to deliver pharma code compliant merchandise to doctors.
One company on the forefront of helping sales reps provide docs with promotional gifts that are educational in nature is Woodinville, WA-based Benusssen Deutsch & Associates (BDA). With customers that include; Bristol-Myers Squibb, Johnson & Johnson, Abbott, and Genentech, BDA designs products that CEO Jay Deutsch said educate doctors and other healthcare professionals (HCPs) with merchandise campaigns and teaches large brands how to extend their brand and their messaging through merchandise.
Deutsch said that his company welcomed the change in the PhRMA guidelines because it allows for a targeted strategy, for example, the efficacy of the drug. “It should be about how it can spark a conversation between the [HCPs] and their patients.”
One merchandise tool that BDA is having success with comes in the form of a three-dimensional plastic cube. The Castelli Cube is a promotional piece that illustrates the results of the Framingham Heart Study. It is used by HCPs, said Nekko Ward Shefferly, VP client services for BDA, as an educational tool to help patients understand the effects that LDL and HDL has on the overall risk of coronary artery disease. Shefferly said that the Castelli Cube has had an impact on increasing the education of doctors and patients and has been very popular.
“To have a three-dimensional format instead of just having it on a sheet of paper, and having the Niaspan (a cholesterol drug from Abbot) logo on it, keeps the branding element in front of the doctor.” Sherfferly added that doctors compare the Framingham data with tests that were done for a particular patient.
Deutsch pointed out that a well-designed merchandise campaign should end up on the doctor's desk or in the examine room where it sparks conversations.