Pharma’s digital content lacks credibility among HCPs, survey reveals

Pharma’s digital content lacks credibility among HCPs, survey reveals

A recent survey targeting healthcare professionals (HCPs) has unveiled a striking lack of trust in digital content originating from pharmaceutical companies. The study, conducted by Graphite Digital, engaged consultant-level HCPs specializing in oncology and urology across the United States, the United Kingdom, and France. Their candid insights illuminate a deep-seated skepticism, with a staggering 80% expressing reservations about pharmaceutical content. These concerns largely revolve around suspicions of data cherry-picking and doubts about data objectivity.

The HCPs acknowledged that pharmaceutical companies typically avoid publishing blatantly inaccurate information, yet they perceive a need for careful interpretation and scrutiny of the content provided. One respondent pointed out that while clinical trial data is often accurate, it can be presented in a way that skews the overall picture. Notably, unfavorable endpoints may be conspicuously absent.

This pervasive lack of trust in pharmaceutical information contributes to the frustration voiced by HCPs. Many of them bemoaned the absence of a centralized information source that consolidates all the data they require. They cited pharmaceutical websites as offering only partial glimpses of products, making it challenging to access comprehensive assessments of results found in journal papers.

The survey conducted by Graphite Digital also highlights geographical variations in the significance of digital content. In the United States, HCPs reported a resurgence in visits from pharmaceutical representatives following a pandemic-induced decline in face-to-face interactions. Some consultants even mentioned receiving three or four in-person visits per week. In contrast, the United Kingdom exhibited less favorable views toward pharmaceutical companies, resulting in fewer interactions between HCPs and representatives.

Interestingly, when pharmaceutical reps did visit hospitals in person, Graphite discovered that consultants often reacted negatively, especially when reps came across as patronizing or outdated, relying on rehearsed scripts and providing basic medical information using an iPad. Consequently, the survey suggests that allowing individuals to access information online themselves may be a more effective approach.

This candid assessment of trust in digital content and the evolving dynamics of HCP-pharmaceutical interactions underscores the need for pharmaceutical companies to prioritize transparency, accuracy, and accessibility in their digital communications with healthcare professionals.

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