Despite COVID-19, The Doctor is Still IN

While pharma sales rep access has been shut down, the vast majority of physician offices across specialties in the US remain open to patients in need.  Some physicians are suggesting calling ahead or using FaceTime or telemedicine visits for non-urgent issues, with the vast majority of physicians and nurses are still coming into their primary practice daily, to service their patient populations in-office or from afar.

“We are not turning anyone away who has a need or desire to be seen at this time,” said Dr. Mia Taormina, infectious disease department chair at Illinois-based DuPage Medical Group, which has about 120 locations.

In rare disease and specialty areas such as Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, Endocrinology, Cardiology and Oncology, patients that need care are being treated.

Dr. Sandip P. Patel, a medical oncologist, cancer researcher, and associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center, says his hospital is still treating people with aggressive cancers without delay in the era of COVID-19.

“Cancer patients have enough to think about, so I think it is important for us to relay that their care will continue, whether it be standard of care or on a clinical trial,” said Patel. “For patients who need cancer care now, it is still full steam ahead. Cancer is not going to take a timeout during COVID-19, nor will we.”

Internet use, personal mobile & tablet use and engagement with pharma targeted messaging is on the rise.  Over the past two weeks, the nation has netted a 70% increase in internet use overall. TI Health has seen a palpable uptick in mobile and digital engagements.

  • Since March 12th, we’ve engaged 1.5 million target list professionals on their laptop and desktop devices, resulting in twice the expected click-thru activity to professional websites and portals vs. pre-COVID ad-serving periods.
  • Since March 12th, we’ve also engaged 245,000 impressions on mobile & tablet devices while they were at their primary practice location, resulting in twice the click-thru activity normally seen when targeting professionals on personal devices while at their point of care.

What Kind of Messaging is Resonating?

  • Banner messaging and video to providers about adherence & dosing
  • Banners educating providers about on-demand services such as “click to call” or an offer to speak to their medical liaison
  • Clinical newsletters.  Physicians are in research mode, eager to gather clinical data in their field that would have been provided at an annual congress or meeting that has been cancelled or postponed.
  • Information for providers about how patients can use telemed services
  • Cost assistance and access support information for providers to share with patients, who may have formulary hurdles or a gap in coverage
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers seeking to inform, educate and support the provider as they navigate a new virtual treatment regime will come out on top.

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*Physician quote care of Healthline
*Internet usage data care of TechRepublic