Every pharma marketer needs to be aware of four critical databases in order to make effective marketing decisions. At the highest level, this data provides insight into your supply chain. At its most granular, it paints a detailed picture of the doctors who prescribe your products and the diagnoses they’re most often prescribed for. As regional, demographic, and other differences become apparent, you can adjust your digital marketing strategies accordingly.
Drug Distribution Data
Drug distribution data (DDD) lets you track the distribution of your branded products to retailers and non-retail buyers in case units. For example, when Drug X comes off the manufacturing line, it’s delivered to pharmacies and hospitals around the country. DDD data tells you how many cases are delivered to each location. You’ll know that Pharmacy A took delivery of one case, while Pharmacy B received two cases, and Hospital 1 accepted four. What you won’t know is where those drugs go next. DDD data doesn’t tell you who prescribed the drug or anything about the patient or diagnosis.
Prescription Claims Data
Prescription claims data tracks all prescriptions that are dispensed through the retail, mail, and long-term care channels. When Dr. Chan prescribes Drug X and his patient fills the prescription at Pharmacy B, the pharmacy files a claim with the insurance company. Aggregated claims data then tells you the total number of prescriptions dispensed for a specific drug or in a therapeutic class by geographic location and prescriber. Data can also be analyzed by patient age, patient gender, patient co-payment, and methods of payment. This information is valuable for examining geographic patterns of dispensing, but it still leaves many questions unanswered about the prescriber.
Electronic Health Records
Electronic health records (EHR) and electronic medical records (EMR) tell you how a particular drug is used relative to aggregated medical history data. An EMR contains all of a patient’s medical history from one practice, whereas an EHR includes data from all clinicians involved in a patient’s care. With this aggregated data, pharma marketers can finally start to understand how their products are being used relative to specific patient groups and diagnoses over time.
Digital Audience Identification Data
Digital audience identification data provides insight into the online behavior of individual prescribers, in real time, without requiring a login. This data is reported by DMD’s new Audience Identity Manager℠, which “tags” doctors who opt into the program on a medical publisher’s website. When a tagged doctor visits an AIM-enabled website, AIM reports his name, NPI number, browsing history, and more. This data reveals new information that brands can use to customize website content, email campaigns, and sales rep interactions.
“Big data” is a hot topic in pharma these days. Though it can sound intimidating, it’s really just the next step in the evolution of digital marketing. Pharma marketers have been using data to refine campaigns for a long time. Now that the data is more precise, you can be even more effective.