Pharmaconference Uses Internet and OnDemand Technologies to Connect Pharma/Biotech with Policy Makers

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Web conferencing, webcasting, podcasting and recorded web events offer pharmaceutical marketers cost and time savings over traditional face-to-face communications, while increasing audience participation and attention.

Web conferencing, webcasting, podcasting and recorded web events offer pharmaceutical marketers cost and time savings over traditional face-to-face communications, while increasing audience participation and attention.

Those are the key findings of “Online Events for the Pharmaceutical Industry: It’s All In The Numbers!,” a comparative analysis of live online and OnDemand delivery of pharmaceutical marketing and product information versus traditional methods, published today by The Maxwell Group, a leading producer of pharmaceutical web conferences, webcasts, podcasts and OnDemand events.

The study investigates newer web technologies as “turn-key” services allowing for timelier, more reliable, easier communications within industry. The primary technologies discussed are: live events including web conferencing—designed for smaller groups (250 or fewer) and which encourage two-way interaction between the presenter and audience, and webcasting—which deliver one-way communication from presenter to large audiences; and OnDemand programs, including recordings of previously live programs that are hosted on a web site for viewing at the participant’s discretion, and podcasts—portable files that may be downloaded to a subscriber’s computer or portable media player. Podcasts are offered by subscription service and provide alerts regarding the availability of new content in the areas of interest to the subscriber.

Maxwell’s analysis indicates that online programs, live or OnDemand, advance pharmaceutical business objectives more efficiently than traditional, face-to-face communications in five key areas:

Direct-to-Physician Marketing—Maxwell’s analysis shows that live online and OnDemand programs are better attended with an average attendance of 75 participants at a typical 60-minute live online event and an unlimited capacity for OnDemand programs. In contrast, the typical dinner meeting averages 15 physicians at twice the cost of the live online meeting and a significantly higher cost per contact. The analysis further indicates that only 12% of all sales calls result in a live meeting with physicians with an average sales call duration of 30 seconds to 3 minutes while 45% of physicians are using the Internet to seek out information about disease states and product benefits.

Direct-to-Consumer Marketing and Education—the analysis indicates that 80% of Internet users—74 million consumers—have searched for health information online. 1 in 5 have sought out health and treatment advice from other online consumers. 64% have researched specific prescription drug information. With Direct-to-Consumer advertising driving 44% of consumers to the product website, Maxwell suggests a comprehensive web communication strategy may enable pharmaceutical marketers to increase demand and consumer interest in products and to increase interactions with consumers via access to key opinion leaders and streamlined access to consumers with similar interests.

Clinical Training and Communications—the study indicates that online events may be used to positively impact the efficiency of the clinical process, supporting activities such as physician/hospital recruitment, site training and communication, and study subject focus groups. Replacing or enhancing traditional trial communications with live and OnDemand events has been shown to boost trial participation, increase retention rates and reduce costs—as this study indicates, a single live online event attended by 100 clinicians may be produced at 16% of the cost of a typical, 50-person dinner meeting.

Sales Force Training and Communications—as reported, 74% of pharmaceutical training directors, managers and decision makers surveyed said that an online learning format would facilitate better communications, better leverage resources and save time and money. 91% agreed with the importance of leveraging the latest technologies for “rapid knowledge transfer” in the industry’s quickly changing environment. (Larstan Business Reports) Maxwell’s study examines how implementation of a web-based strategy for sales training and communication may increase participation, increase reach—as web technologies remove geographic barriers, and reduce costs. Maxwell’s cost analysis indicates that a live online event to 500 sales representatives may be produced at 1/3 the cost of the traditional dinner meeting to the same 500. An OnDemand event can be produced with a managed service provider for 55% of the cost and offers an unlimited attendance capacity.

Continuing Medical Education (CME)—Maxwell’s analysis shows that more than 19% of CME programs are now conducted online. 50% of traditional CME attendees plan to increase their online attendance and more than 75% of physicians plan to complete more hours of CME online next year. Implementing a web-based CME program allows companies to increase physician participation, increase message effectiveness through multimedia, and increase reach—reaching more physicians in shorter time periods and without regard to geography—while reducing costs. As reported, a live online CME event to 150 physicians may be accomplished for 18% of the cost for a traditional 25-person face-to-face program.

Maxwell’s study also includes and a discussion of managed service versus “do-it-yourself” event production, an overview of the landscape of online event vendors, best practices for each solution area, and detailed cost analyses for each of the five key areas noted above.

To receive the full-text analysis, contact James J. Miller, Jr. at 1-800-292-0450, ext. 1220 (1-610-292-0450, ext. 1220 outside of the US) or

To learn about Maxwell’s live, online and OnDemand solutions for pharmaceutical marketing and communication, go to:


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Amy Alderfer
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