E-sampling gains momentum at industry and office levels

An ‘E’ trend is upon us.

With the emergence of the worldwide web, a new vein has embedded itself beneath the skin of modern culture and dialed up entire industries to a seemingly vital virtual standard. E-mailing is involuntary; E-books are literally arresting; and, for healthcare, E-sampling is poised to cyber-storm prescribers the nation over, or so a recent Best Practices, LLC report predicts.

According to said study, pharmaceutical representatives have toyed with the concept of E-sampling for quiet a while, determined to strengthen further the linkage between drug samples and filled prescriptions — previous investigations have shown that patients who receive a sample from their physician at the forefront of care are far more likely to fill a prescription later on — in the wake of a leaner sales force and limited pharma-doctor accessibility.

E-sampling enables physicians to manage their prescription sample orders and shipments as they would any other type of online purchase, making expedient, practice-tailored investments with the swift click of a mouse. Marketing experts laud E-sampling’s effectiveness on both sides of the cybernetic counter — program success has even caused some companies (46 percent, the Best Practices report found) to engage E-sampling technology simultaneously with product launches.

Only 33 percent of drug manufacturer brands are currently supported by E-sampling modules as opposed to traditional sales rep sampling, which is supported by all brands, the study noted. As such, most E-sampling regimens for physicians are supplementary to sales rep sampling, although a few companies rely entirely upon the virtual sampling programs for their prescription sales practices.

Best Practices cited the below topics as the major foci of its study and E-sampling in general:

•       Benchmarking how pharmaceutical companies organize their efforts in E-sampling

•       Identifying common organizational structures, budgets and performance measurement processes

•       Gaining insights into trends, challenges and lessons learned in this tactic

The report obtained information from 31 leaders at 22 organizations implementing some form of E-sampling program. Nine of the organizations were named amongst the top 25 pharmaceutical companies in an industry rankings report. 

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