Will medical representatives be needed in the future when the epidemic spread visits are blocked?

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Last Thursday, the Japanese mass media reported that due to the spread of the new crown virus, the pharmaceutical industry for "do you still need a medical representative?" This topic began to heat up.


In Japan, the average annual income of pharmaceutical representatives of mainstream pharmaceutical companies is between 8 million and 11 million yen, which is a relatively high-paying job. The media said that Japanese pharmaceutical representatives are now generally worried about their career prospects.


Moreover, last week, some Japanese data companies thought it necessary to know the extent of the impact of providing information through non-medical representative channels on prescriptions. The final survey results showed that 37% of pharmaceutical companies obtained prescription responses through online conferences or other digital content, and 40% of medical institutions could provide information through digital channels to obtain prescription responses. Of course, this data is considered by the industry to be limited by sample selection and quantity, is not comprehensive.


Coupled with the media reports on Thursday, it has aroused discussions in the Japanese medical circle in the past two days. Practitioners generally believe that such remarks are not reliable.


The main reason is that unless your drug is exclusive, doctors will not take the initiative to choose a drug without a offline visit from a medical representative.


In addition, the implementers of the digital tools introduced by pharmaceutical companies are medical representatives. Without the implementation of representatives, these tools are basically an empty shelf and do not even have basic information.


A representative even said that a doctor once told him that he used his company's drugs because he thought of the representative when prescribing.


So, no matter how pervasive digital tools are, doctors in the digital age can still prescribe face-to-face visits to enhance relationships and promote understanding and acceptance of medicines.


The reason for the media's "useless theory of medical representatives" is also based on the reality that some hospitals have begun to restrict the visits of medical representatives, such as not being able to stay in the corridor of the department waiting for doctors to visit, which has resulted in a decrease in the number of visits by medical representatives.


However, some representatives did not think so. He said that it was precisely because of the restrictions on corridor visits that the popularity of appointment visits was promoted. Compared with the former, appointment visits were more effective in transmitting medical information, because both doctors and representatives were fully prepared for the visit in advance.


For example, representatives did not attach importance to the preparation before the visit, but they began to attach importance to the appointment visit, which is exactly the success of the excellent medical representatives before.


Therefore, this type of medical representatives called on peers to improve the quality of visits, to fight back against the media "medical representatives useless theory".


Other representatives believe that KPI statistics based on online transmission of information have their own problems. The quality of information transmission through digital channels is too waty to be compared with offline visits or meetings, not to mention the maintenance of KOL online.


In addition, some representatives said, for example, doctors seldom read strangers' emails, and the email promotion of enterprises is basically unable to reach doctors, while medical representatives can directly open iPad when visiting. Therefore, you see, whether doctors can see the contents of many digital channels is a prerequisite for the intermediary link of medical representatives.


There are many points of view similar to ours. For example, some say, which industry can be separated from sales, will you book a car or a house directly online?


Therefore, digital tools and digital channels can only be used as a supplement.


However, some representatives believe that although "no medical representatives are needed" is too absolute, it is inevitable that the number of medical representatives will decrease in the future, which is determined by many factors such as the structure of drugs in the market. Therefore, the best way to counter the "useless theory of medical representatives" in society is to become professional medical representatives and assign values to themselves through their specialties.