The number of physicians interacting with drug and device companies online has grown 23% since 2004 to comprise 87% of all US physicians, according to Manhattan Research.
The research firm's ePharma Physician study found that physicians would like to use more online conferences and professional online videos for pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device product information. Physicians also show significant interest in reading medical journals online.
The study found many companies trying to integrate their sales force, marketing, and customer service functions to create a more seamless customer experience for physicians. For some practitioners, physician service portals can act as the hub of a physician's relationship with a brand. Leading portals include Shire Connect, WyethHCP.com, MerckServices and Pfizer for Professionals.
Physician expectations of online customer service continues to increase, the study found, and as a result, companies are including relevant and useful content and tools on these portals, including: product information, links to patient education, electronic sampling, and online customer service reps. Formulary information, in particular, is a feature that physicians increasingly want to see from manufacturers, according to the study.
Physicians also visit the product websites themselves when researching treatment information. Shire's ADHD treatment Vyvanse boasts the most popular product site among pediatricians, and Merck's Januvia took the top spot among primary care physicians, according to the study.