Reprints Still Valued by HCPs

August 7, 2019

Executive Summary

As healthcare becomes increasingly complex, with multiple brands competing for the same patient, new mechanisms of action providing many new treatment options, innovations in patient care technology…it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Advances are happening so rapidly, healthcare professionals say it is essential to devote time each day to stay current on medical news and updates on patient treatments.

To support busy HCPs, brand marketers must deliver more than just compelling content. Their brands must also create a customer experience that understands their needs and preferences. This report, based on survey responses from 127 physicians across 25 specialties, uncovers what HCPs find most engaging, and how they most prefer to receive it. It may be a surprise to learn that they don’t just use digital channels to learn.

Content HCPs see as useful

Key Takeaway

When asked about content for staying current on product developments and medical information, over 99% of HCPs reported that they find medical article reprints useful, and one of the most effective tools in influencing HCP behavior is clinical trial data. Survey results also concluded that clinical content is highly important to HCPs for keeping abreast of product and medical developments.

Nearly all HCPs use reprints for medical education and product information at least weekly

Key Takeaway

70% of HCPs are referencing medical article reprints for education or product information at least weekly. And it’s important for pharma marketers to note: 99% of HCPs are using and referencing reprints for education and product information. Clearly, medical reprints are a valuable and cost-effective way to engage and educate pharma’s target audiences. Physicians have expressed their preference for unbiased sources of information so they can draw their own conclusions. The information provided in journal reprints comes from trustworthy published resources that provide HCPs with the science behind the drug being highlighted in the article.

HCPs primarily prefer print journals,though digital journals are gaining ground.

Key Takeaway

Significantly more HCPs prefer to read printed journals compared to digital copies. Because of this split, marketers need to understand the preferences of the individual physicians on their target list and deliver content in the channel most used by those audiences.

When viewing digital content, larger screens are most preferred

Key Takeaway

While many HCPs state that they prefer to read clinical content using printed journals, when viewing online materials such as medical articles, data shows that they gravitate to larger screens like those on a desktop or laptop computer, compared to viewing long-form content on a mobile device, which is typically more task-focused.

Majority of HCPs not concerned by The Sunshine Act

Key Takeaway

In our initial research following the implementation of the Sunshine Act in 2010, the majority of HCPs were not concerned about their having to track information provided by pharma, like reprints, as required in the law. Indeed, they confirmed that their consumption of content would either stay the same or even increase.

We understand the concerns and complexity Sunshine Act has brought to the pharma industry, especially around the distribution of medical reprints. CMI/Compas has worked with our clients on solutions that capture individual content engagement all while staying compliant and adhering to publisher guidelines.

This study confirms that The Sunshine Act guidelines have not impacted the willingness of HCPs to receive medical reprints. In fact, HCPs look to pharma to provide this content. Based on our recent survey, however, over 12% of HCPs are not receiving reprints due to The Sunshine Act but would like to receive them from pharma. Although the Sunshine Act has disrupted the way in which pharma shares highly important information with HCPs, physicians do not see this law as an impediment to receiving clinical content reprints from pharma.

Final Thoughts

HCPs are relentless in their need for current information — indeed, lives depend on staying informed. While there are individual channel preferences, it is clear that HCPs are willing to embrace both traditional and digital channels. This means greater opportunity for pharma marketers to engage with their customers in more meaningful and diversified ways than ever before.

This CMI/Compas research has confirmed that the need for current medical news and clinical information has intensified as the media landscape has grown exponentially. HCPs are comfortable with information and data available in many media channels, and are demanding information to be accessible when they want it, whether online or in print, at the office or at home.

With the proprietary audience research and suite of tools at CMI/Compas, our media services teams are able to identify preferred media channels and properties for HCPs. Whether it be traditional or digital channels, the end goal is engaging physicians. Taking a customized approach and creating a strategic content plan ensures critical information is reaching all audiences through every preferred channel based on audience media preferences, ultimately delivering vital, life-saving information that helps patients get and stay healthy.

Study Methodology

This ContentShare™ survey, fielded via ByDoctor® PULSE™ on September 11, 2018, used CMI’s internal opt-in HCP list. A total of 127 physicians across 25 specialties qualified and completed the survey, including: General Practice/Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatric, Psychiatry, OBGyn, Urology, NP/PA, Cardiology and many more. Honoraria was provided for participation.