eDetailing simply means using digital technology in the sales detailing process. Pharmaceutical companies use it to communicate product and service messages and related information to healthcare professionals. Doctors in the United States are highly time pressured and encouraged to see as many patients as possible. This means that they often do not have the time to meet with pharmaceutical sales representatives. There is no doubt that detailing directly to the doctor serves an important purpose. Doctors want and need information from sales representatives - but on their own time terms. eDetailing provides doctors with a more convenient means of getting the information they want at a time that suits them. eDetailing enables the doctor to use a personal computer to launch a sponsored learning application, often consisting of a series of interactive screens with multi-media information about the promoted product, including research evidence, clinical practice guidelines, prescribing information and patient advice. eDetailing is not seen as a replacement to sales representative visits, but rather as a valuable additional channel to receiving information about pharmaceutical products and services.
Electronic detailing (e-detailing) has been introduced in the last few years by the pharmaceutical industry as a new communication channel to promote pharmaceutical products to physicians. E-detailing means using digital technology, internet, video conferencing, and interactive voice response. Because of the rapid adoption of e-detailing among physicians and because of the potential effects of edetailing on the physician prescribing behavior, it is important to summarize research about e-detailing.
Most eDetailing models have been tried in the USA and only some models, such as some forms of Scripted e-Detailing, have been shown by independent studies to increase prescribing compared with traditional detailing methods. e-Detail models from the USA are starting to become available in Europe where there are tighter regulations concerning physician promotions that make it harder to create physician incentive to participate in e-Detailing.
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