Marking a milestone in the brief history of e-detailing, Physicians Interactive (PI) reported its 100,000th completed e-detail in May. That achievement includes a whopping 20,000 online visits in the second quarter of 2002 alone. "That number confirms that e-detailing is no longer an experiment," says Aaron Gerber, PI's general manager, "but an essential part of pharma's overall marketing mix."
Gerber's client, Kevin Scott, is manager of global foresight for Procter & Gamble and oversees the company's physician e-business effort. The groundbreaking e-detail was for his company's osteoporosis treatment Actonel (risedronate). "It's a real win for doctors because it meets their need for convenience, allowing them to determine when they learn more about a particular therapy," he says.
"For the marketing savvy pharma company, it significantly increases productivity by cost-effectively engaging doctors and providing a greater market share return on investment than traditional methods do."Scott says that e-detailing is a regular part of P&G's national marketing efforts for its entire portfolio of US brands and that it has generated strong responses from primary care and specialty physicians. Gerber illustrates his point with an anecdote: "We launched a program at 7 p.m. one evening and by 7 a.m. the next morning, we saw that 650 interactions were already completed."
His vision is to reach more physicians with e-detailing than with any other tool used by or for the pharma industry.