Physicians, pharmacists, and other healthcare providers are all too familiar with drug and medical device shortages. The problem has been increasing for at least a decade, and the current situation in Puerto Rico has brought it front and center once again.
As the New York Times recently reported, many pharma and med device companies have factories in Puerto Rico. When Hurricane Maria devastated the territory’s power grid, the manufacturing capacity at many of those facilities was dramatically reduced. Consequently, a number of widely used products, including surgical staples, plastic tubing, Tylenol®, and the HIV drug Prezista®, are now in short supply.
These medical shortages, like all others, make it difficult for physicians to provide quality care.
Help Ensure Quality Care
When critical drugs and devices are in short supply, healthcare providers must scramble to find alternatives. They need to know what comparable products are readily available, as well as how to use them safely and effectively.
Several tools already exist to help HCPs understand their options. The FDA maintains an online drug shortages database, while the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists publishes guidelines and tools for managing shortages.
Pharmaceutical and med device manufacturers can also provide a valuable service by proactively identifying affected physicians and alerting them to alternative therapies.
Email: Find The Right Physicians
An authenticated email database makes it possible to identify physicians who depend on scarce products. You can segment by specialty, prescribing data, claims data, and hospital affiliations in order to pinpoint the doctors in greatest need. You can then send a customized email to each audience segment, including whatever content each finds most relevant. Depending on the situation, this might include clinical trials data, adherence support, co-pay cards, or a side-by-side product comparison.
Brand Websites: Gauge Their Interest In Alternatives
Audience identity management technology reports the names, specialties, and browsing behavior of the physicians who visit your medical website. When you notice that doctors affected by shortages are spending time reading about your alternative product, you can follow up with a personal email message or pass their information to your sales team. Audience identity technology can also identify doctors who aren’t already in your email database, alerting you to additional doctors who may need your drug or medical device.
Online Medical Ecosystem: Know What Else They’re Researching
Digital tools offer an efficient way to deliver timely, accurate information to physicians dealing with medical shortages.
In addition to reporting the content physicians view on your own site, audience identity data reports the categories of medical websites and professional content physicians view across nearly 250 participating medical websites. You can determine if affected physicians are spending their time learning about branded products, or if they’re focusing their attention on medical journals or association webpages. This provides new insight into the categories of content they’re interested in, and therefore, the types of content you need to provide to answer their questions.
Digital tools offer an efficient way to deliver timely, accurate, and relevant information to physicians dealing with medical shortages. By enabling physicians to provide consistent, quality care, you support strong patient outcomes, make a positive contribution to the medical community, and perhaps even expand your prescriber base.