3 Key Multichannel Opportunities for Pharma Marketers to Connect with Pharmacists and Support Patien

Pharmacists are spending more time on patient services this year such as financial services and education, according to a recent study from healthcare market research and advisory firm Manhattan Research. For example, among online retail and hospital pharmacists who see patients, about half say the amount of time they have spent on patient education has increased over the past year. Moreover, pharmacists show significant demand for digital patient support services from pharma. These trends represent strategic opportunity for pharma commercial teams looking to support pharmacists who are playing a growing role post healthcare reform.
Manhattan Research highlights three key multichannel opportunities for brands to consider when evaluating ways to connect with pharmacist audiences.   
Pharma-Sponsored Adherence Support: Pharmacists are on the front lines with patients when it comes to helping them take and stay on their medication – a critical role as the government and payers put more pressure on improving treatment outcomes. For example, more than 9 in 10 online retail pharmacists provide patients with adherence support. At the same time, pharmacists want pharma support in this regard. The Taking the Pulse® Pharmacist 2013 study found that more than 4 in 5 pharmacists surveyed have used or are interested in using pharma-sponsored adherence materials and support programs via their EHR.
Educational Materials on Pharma Websites: Pharmacists are also looking to pharma companies for educational materials for teaching and sharing with their patients. For example, 3 in 5 online retail pharmacists are interested in accessing patient education materials on pharma product, corporate or service websites.
Online Promotion for Pharmacists: Various pharma companies are already beginning to expand their rep focus to pharmacists – particularly specialty pharmacists.  Nearly half of online specialty pharmacists have already used an on-demand presentation from a pharma company, such as recorded webcasts, videos, slideshows or animations, and a significant share of those who haven’t are interested in doing so.
“In the evolving healthcare delivery model, pharmacists are becoming an audience that pharma marketers can’t ignore – and their impact on patient care, education and adherence is only expected to increase,” said Principal Analyst Shawn Dimantha. “Additionally, these care providers are looking online to pharma for support and there is a large opportunity for brands who are able to connect with this audience through multichannel touch points.”
Manhattan Research’s new Taking the Pulse® Pharmacists 2013 study and advisory service is focused on helping pharma brands understand the evolving role pharmacists are playing in patient care and how brands can connect with pharmacists through multichannel marketing and sales strategies. The study was fielded in August 2013 among 754 retail, hospital and specialty pharmacists.