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Indian pharma to maximise quality, timelines & budgets to market drug products via digital platforms

Indian pharma industry is increasingly opting to prepare the drug product branding with a mix of conventional and modern methods using digital platforms. Companies without compromising quality, timelines and within stipulated budgets have taken the digital marketing route.

Sanofi, Cipla, Sun Pharma, Torrent, Zydus Cadilla, DRL, Takeda, Allergan, Leo Pharma, Novartis, MSD, A. Menarini and Eisai among others have been working with the Digital A Plus Group of Companies which designs and develops ipad detailing materials, gamifications, mobile applications, website development, social media marketing, email marketing, medical education video, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, LMS platform among others for the pharma and healthcare care providers(HCPs).

The digital wave has hit Indian pharma on a high note. There has been a drastic change in the marketing trends in the recent years as companies explore viable and innovative tools to engage doctors, patients and field force, said Sylvia Hii, founder & VP, Marketing, Digital A Plus Group of Companies.

India is one the fastest growing digital marketing countries, followed by China, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and the rest of APAC countries. “The key reason is the access to affordable smart phones, internet services by an educated patient pool,” she added.

“Pharma companies need innovative mobile applications for field force training like gamification. Next is the Augmented Reality, and ipad interactive gimmick for HCPs. Our product RxMarky helps the product managers to capture the details and enable the HCPs to understand on better patient care. The spurt in digital marketing led us to boost our India operations, to take up 20-25% of our entire investment. We have a dedicated team to service the Indian market, and we envisage setting up similar marketing and production in other cities here,” He told Pharmabiz.
Its production house in Bengaluru has medical writers, copy editors, graphic designers, web designers, programmers & developers, project managers, creative directors, medical director, account directors. It recently set up an R&D division to work on innovative ideas, tools, gamifications, thereby reducing production cost and delivery timelines of each digital project. Plans are underway to double its workforce from 50 to 100 this year-end.

With rapid growth of pharma, effective digital marketing platforms has led to development of personalized apps. All the information and promotion is interactive. Pharma companies are able to increase visibility and engagement with the doctors through virtual detailing. Healthcare industry use apps to educate and monitor patient’s progress.

However there are a slew of challenges like stringent regulations and legal restrictions which makes it difficult to deliver in a digital format. The standard advertising norms are not applicable to this sector. Every communication should undergo multiple levels of reviews and approvals which delays the scope of creativity, she said.