A conversation with Paul Boidy, Executive Vice President, Sales and Customer Solutions at ReachMD. A "former insider's" point of pharma's rep-centric strategy vs. ReachMD's ability to cost-effectively reach the long-neglected physician "tail" segment -- those physicians outside the top 20% of high prescribers that pharma mostly focuses on.
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The book, The Long Tail by Chris Andersen, explains how the low cost of distributing content in the digital age enables even the smallest niches to be served. For example on Apple's iTunes every single one of the over 2 million songs has been purchased.
There are numerous examples of how the long tail concept might play out in healthcare. One can see a day where a pharma brand manager doesn't use prescription volume as the key determinant in segmenting physicians.
The implications are tremendous.
Paul Boidy knows from experience with many different brands that 50% of the total market for prescriptions come from prescribers OUTSIDE of the highly targeted top 20%. With new and yet to be developed communications and education platforms marketers will be able to cost-effectively reach a significant portion of the other 80%. That would be good for everyone.
Boidy sometimes gets asked where are the additional resources for these programs going to come from. His answer: from the savings made by reducing the number of sales reps who are bumping into each other all trying to compete for the same 20%.
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Paul Boidy has 18 years
experience in healthcare
marketing, education and
He was most
recently Director of Neuroscience
Marketing at Takeda
where his responsibilities
included brand management and lifecycle planning
for a portfolio of CNS products.
Paul started his
career at Searle Pharmaceuticals and held increasing
positions of responsibility there and with other
companies in sales, operations, marketing, and
strategic planning. Paul was directly involved in
the planning and launch of many successful
Paul has worked closely with physician
and patient associations such as the National Sleep
Foundation, the American Geriatric Society, and
the American Psychiatric Association to develop
programs dedicated to improving public health.
Some Questions/Topics Discussed
Now that many pharma companies are cutting their sales forces, do you think they are more open to strategies that focus on the "physician long tail"?
How does new media fit into that strategy?
Specifically, what does ReachMD offer to help brand managers connect not only with top prescribers but also lower-prescribers who as a group make up a significant portion of the market?