Marketing of pharmaceutical products have direct impact on the health of people, therefore pharmaceutical product marketing and selling needs to be abiding by government regulations and policies.
Relationship of innovation and marketing results in pharmaceutical relationship management.
There are various product areas in the pharmaceutical market from generic to Therapeutic products. The drug companies operate under the drug legislations and safety.
Medical practitioners adopted strategies like limiting the number of meetings with representatives and others.
There is a strong relationship between pharmaceutical companies, healthcare payers and providers. There are series of activities in any value chain. These contribute in the value creation process for the customers.
The value chain depends on the analysis of factors affecting health and decision making processes and help taking preventive measures. The services range from the primary health care to the long term care.
The sponsoring company will be able to recover its sponsorship and development cost for the product through this premium. This helps it covering return on investments. The patent protection is very important.
The secondary-care specialistsï¿½ liaison and communication with patients are additional responsibilities for brand managers.
There would be requirements for reducing the marketing and sales budgets and increasing the CRM investments
The CRM is vital for sustaining growth and maintaining market position of the organization.
The entry barriers are high for any new entrants with respect to the expertise, skills and capital investment required for entering the pharmaceutical sector.
The traditional way of relationship management in the pharmaceutical sector has been developing relationship with the doctors, drug store owners and dealers.
The information regarding health problems is easily available to different kinds of patients.
The most common practice in the pharmaceutical relationship management is carried out by the sales representatives who meet doctors personally to inform them regarding the products and encourage the prescription of their product.
The sales representatives feel that they are not trained and rewarded appropriately that leads to dissatisfaction among the sales representatives.
The number of representatives with less knowledge and more push attitude has increased (Ramrattan and Szenberg 2006).
Customers are updating themselves and preparing themselves to understand the every detail of their problem and possible solutions.
Different views of CRM have different focus from strategic advantages to the company to the whetting imagination of the academicians and business leaders.
The value of CRM and branding efforts are similar for many of the companies.
The failure of providing quality data leads to the failures in achieving the objectives of CRM programs.
CRM helps in preventing failure of understanding of customer behavior, customer requirements and needs leads to poor service and failure in service customers in effective way.
New product development in the pharmaceutical products industry is one of the crucial aspects of the business.
There are seven different stake holders i.e. researcher, investor, regulator, payer, provider, patient and regulator for selling the product.
The pharmaceutical industry operates in a regulatory environment with focus on specific market and specific needs.
Consumers today are more informed and aware of their problems and look for more than consultancy from their physicians or health experts.
Physicians are disturbed with the growing number of sales representatives visiting their clinics or patient care locations. For them the number of sales representatives and frequencies of their calls have increased to the extent that they have to limit the numbers of the sales representatives visiting their office.
Companies are looking for new ways to increase their sales and promote their products. CRM provides an effective tool that can be integrated with the technology and a term that has been used significantly for building relationships.
This is clear that the customer relationship management is growing significance in the present pharmaceutical industry. The research questions are aimed at understanding and studying the role of CRM in pharmaceutical sector.
A mixed methods approach was used for this study. Qualitative and quantitative methods were used in gathering and interpreting data.
The research was based on simple random sampling for each size of sampling unit. In this method of sampling, all the subsets of the given frame have been given equal chance to participate in the research process. This is the simplest form of probability sampling based on convenience of the researcher. The study surveyed 120 physicians, 100 pharmacists, 132 patients, 170 pharma companies.
The primary instrument used were questionnaires that were handed out to different groups: patients, pharmacists, physicians, and pharmaceutical companies. Secondary data sources were also used to substantiate findings.
The data collected was mixed. Statistical and non statistical data was used. The statistical data will be analyzed with the help of charts and tables. The non statistical data was summarized under different categories and judgmental analysis was done.
Online surveys were conducted. The survey was posted in a professional online survey website. The link to the website was forwarded to prospective respondents. This method was flexible and cost-efficient. The compilation, and reporting of data easier. Similarly, the emails of various pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists and physicians were picked from yellow pages, business directories and websites. The structured questionnaire was forwarded to these prospective respondents. Once the survey was posted and the email was sent, it was required to wait for the response from the receivers.
Physicians strongly agreed that prescriptions should be mandatory
Patients need to be educated about the right medicine combination
Most physicians are skeptical about using direct mail for attracting new patients
Physicians value relationships with sales people and think providing feedback is important for pharmaceutical companies
More physicians favor electronic method of maintaining customer database while some do not want to disclose and prefer handwritten records
Majority of physicians never take the risk of referring medicines not referred by MRs
Physiciansï¿½ knowledge is a vital role in prescription of medicines
They are satisfied with information given to them about new products in the market
Free samples provided through MR to the physicians enhance the relationship, provide useful experience about patients
The pharmaceutical companies prefer to maintain a personal level communication with the pharmacists, the sales people topped the charts and the other most common way was through personal calls.
Pharmacists do believe that the time has come some kind of check is required on over the counter approach.
Pharmacists consider it their duty to make people aware of how these practices of buying medicines without a prescription can be harmful.
Pharmacists were neutral when asked about increasing vigilance to keep a check on these practices.
Pharmacists understand the importance of informing to the concerned authorities about the adverse drug reaction when patients come and give their feedback on the same.
Most patients were not pre-informed about adverse reactions to drugs prescribe by physicians.
Patients relate purchasing branded products to a sense of security.
This reflects goodwill toward pharmaceutical companies and this leads to customer loyalty.
Companies should build on this loyalty.
Physicians are still the number one source of information about medicines.
Second is electronic media and the Internet where people research about medicine and some advances
Most patients visit the physician nearly every month; many of them visit once a week the least group was of patients visiting once in 6 months
How patients buy medicine depends upon their condition; they may do it with a prescription or just call up to buy the medicine.
Most patients prefer to buy medicines by showing a prescription and also that when any incident of adverse drug reaction is reported to the physicians
Patients feel sometimes that the dosage form of some of the existing medicines should be revised
Factors leading to maximum customer satisfaction as reported by the patients are Optimum cost of treatment, Physicianï¿½s interaction, Reducing wait time, Hygienic environment, Comfortless with staff.
Direct-to-customer (DTC) approach led to a better relation and a healthy discussion on symptoms and treatments of the diseases.
DTC may also help increase of a particular brand of medicine in case it is found favorable by the patient who used it.
Pharmaceutical companies relied heavily on the role played by MR in product promotional
Companies also believed that now itï¿½s the time that the Electronic prescription is useful and should be given full support for the implementation
Many of the companies were still not clear about the POS (Point ï¿½Of ï¿½Sales) approach for product promotion and also that CRM is a tool for increasing sales
Many companies realize that as MR plays a vital role in sales promotion, hence for their efficient and effective working it is required that proper orientation programmes should be organized.
Companies need to be prepared with corrective and preventive measures against adverse drug reaction there is a need to collect ample data for further analysis on the same.
Pharmaceutical companies supported to directly interact with the customers through formation of online communities and also the direct ï¿½to-consumer approach.
The companies preferred strategies to increase sales and to gain an edge in the competition are money refund offer, bonus offer, and free samples.
The management of Proper time and effort, keeping a centralized approach, focusing on target the audience, Continuous monitoring of data , Keeping the value of relationships, Covering a large and diverse customer base and making use of Online communities will help to generate great results.A customer-centric industry like pharmaceuticals need to maintain a brand reputation in the market because medicines are sold by name.
Patients identify with brand names that give them a sense of security.
The partnership or relationship of the key members of the value chain is the focus area for the organisation.
Effective partnership with suppliers and distributors help companies to serve the target market segment effectively.
CRM facilitates the companies to achieve profit maximization goals.
The foundation of relationship between patients, pharmacist, physicians and the companies is laid on trust.
In order to make the process in this industry CRM driven just leaping into it will not help. It all depends upon the needs and the area calling for a change.
Change is way of life and so is its importance in every field of life.
All that is needed is a different outlook and a new approach in the present working.
An integrated approach towards development of new products and learning from the ï¿½Best Practicesï¿½ of leading companies in implementing CRM will prove beneficial for the Pharmaceutical Companies.