In recent years there has been a downward trend in health care provider (HCP) contact in the pharmaceutical industry with 65% of HCPs limiting access to three or fewer companies, said Aaron Bean, the vice president of commercial business consulting at Veeva Europe.

At the Veeva Commercial Summit 2023, Bean discussed HCP engagement with the pharmaceutical sector at a media roundtable. He suggested that HCPs’ increased selectiveness could be a result of increased “time pressure” and changes in the way they consume information.

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Bean was presenting data from Veeva’s February 2023 Pulse Field Trends Report which showed geographic differences in HCP engagement. In data taken from April to September 2022 from European countries, the UK led the shift with 94% of HCPs only contacting three or fewer pharmaceutical companies, compared to 50% in Spain. The same dataset showed that differences also appeared when comparing therapy areas. In oncology, approximately 25% of HCPs fell into the prior group, contrasting psychiatry where almost 50% of HCPs spoke to three or fewer industry contacts. Bean highlighted how this could potentially impact the treatment options available to patients as physicians may not be aware of certain drug choices.

Alongside this pattern, Bean highlighted the fact that face-to-face engagement was still a high priority amongst HCPs, despite the increasingly digital approach taken in the pandemic. According to a 2023 report, 42% of HCP interaction with the pharmaceutical industry comes from in-person interaction. It also found that, in Europe, industry leaders met with HCPs in person approximately 3 times more than other biotechs. This corroborates an October 2023 GlobalData report in which it was found that a lack of in-person interaction was the main concern of HCPs using artificial intelligence (AI) in clinical practice.

GlobalData is the parent company of Clinical Trials Arena.