Agile and Innovative—Pharma Takes Sampling Digital by Turning Lemons Into Lemonade

2020 was a rough year for pharma.


When in-person promotion efforts were interrupted by the pandemic, the primary source of pharma company promotion stopped abruptly. Sales reps were pulled from the field and the distribution of samples to HCP pharma clients came to a sudden halt.


If that wasn’t enough, compliance challenges were accelerated by the FDA’s drug
serialization initiative, and the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) loomed as
another significant regulatory obligation. Though launched in 2013, the 10-year phased
implementation designed to eliminate drug counterfeiting, theft, and illegal diversion
came with yearly compliance deadlines. The most complicated deadlines were still
ahead, and November 2023 was set as the target date for full enforcement

Innovating Technology Solutions, Sample Management Services, and More

Essentially, there was a lot going on and pharma companies were tested and pressured to the
max. But as it turned out, what started as a sad story turned into a story of how a
company’s ability to be agile leads to survival—forward movement, actually—even
when things go awry.


A Story of Agility and Technology Solutions


More than anything, 2020 became the story of agility, as the industry demonstrated the
ability to be adaptive despite market changes and external factors that caused
uncertainty. Indeed, 2020 showed that when companies remain creative and innovate
consistently, they can deliver for their customers. In the case of pharma, reps were
forced to go digital. Multi-Channel Solutions, including E-Detailing and Virtual Support,
were implemented full scale. Sample initiatives, promotion, and brand awareness were
maintained, and providers were able to continue supporting patients, and, once again,
Synergistix played a lead role in serving its clients. Even better, sales reps’ digital-only
access to HCPs has produced long-term benefits

  • Sales reps typically three-minute face-to-face meetings have now been increased to 19 minutes, according to a recent study
  • Prescription drug samples can now be sent directly to HCPs through a Direct to Practitioner (DTP) channel via a delivery service which has expanded access locations, and covers white space and large territories
  • HCPs are responding favorably; HCP email open rates have increased significantly, boosting communication between reps and physicians
  • HCPs have easy access and real-time support on mobile; in addition to sampling, e-detailing, an integral component of the Multi-Channel approach also includes a combination of varied and specialized content that is valuable in advancing brand recognition and helps physicians better support their patients.

What’s more, enhanced Multi-Channel Solutions efficiently and effectively manage
compliance-related components involved in Sample Accountability and Sample
Management programs. These include:

  • Cross Channel Business Rules
  • Frequency Limitations
  • Specialty Inclusion/Exclusion
  • Professional Designation Exclusion
  • Allocation Management
  • Strategic Sample Usage
  • Adapt & Customized by Region, District, and Territory
  • Aggregated Control of Sample Usage

At the same time, these programs best helped pharma companies track HCP activity,
enabling them to identify HCP interests and efficiently and effectively fulfill HCP needs.


Synergistix, with its Enhanced Multi-Channel promotion 3-pronged architecture,
has been instrumental in helping its clients lead the charge in their Sample
Accountability and Sample Management efforts.

  • Our HCP Sample Ordering Portal enables reps and/or physicians to trigger sample orders
  • Our SampleIQ evaluates orders and validates sample requests, using SIQ quality standards
  • Our 3PL ensures fulfillment, logging inventory frequency, initiating shipping, and capturing data for our HCP knowledge universe


Everybody Wins


Restrictions imposed during the height of the pandemic are loosening. And the industry
continues to inch toward its DSCSA end date. There are no crystal balls to predict
whether digital will continue to be the only touchpoint between reps and their HCP
clients. But the scorecard to date shows the benefits of Multi-Channel solutions
outweigh those of in-person channels. In addition to protracted timeframes for rep-HCP
interaction, digital benefits include lower cost, reduced risk, fraud mitigation, increased
rep productivity and value-based outcomes, and environmental friendliness because of
the reduction/elimination of paper.

Synergistix Pharma Solutions


Just as Synergistix was challenged to find quality solutions in 2020, it will continue to deepen
its understanding of what pharma and HCPs needs. We will continue to work on what we’ve
always done: innovate always to improve our software, technology solutions, and
Sample Management and Sample Accountability services.


And we will continue to stay nimble and agile so that in good times and in bad, we are
able to best serve you in support of your HCP clients.

Call us to be your partner in your sample management initiatives or for more information on our solutions.