NHS is behind us, says rep-free Takeda

pharmafile | March 1, 2005 | News story | Sales and Marketing Davis, Takeda, sales and marketing 

Takeda UK says new market research shows healthcare professionals and NHS managers are in favour of its revolutionary move away from using large salesforces to detail doctors and support its new emphasis on building local partnerships.

The company announced it was making its entire salesforce redundant just under a year ago, claiming changes in NHS structure make the traditional salesforce outmoded and an obstruction to partnerships between pharma and the NHS.

Takeda is completing its new team of 45 Regional Account Directors (RADs), intended to build long-term partnerships with primary care organisations and local key opinion leaders and in doing so, boost sales of its two products, hypertension drug Amias and diabetes treatment Actos.

The company commissioned market research company TNS to uncover views within the NHS on working with the industry, and says the results vindicate its decision to break the mould.

The survey showed PCT leads believe the industry has made efforts to adapt to the changing NHS, but more than half of those questioned believe most companies are operating as they did five to ten years ago.

On the core question of whether sales representatives were still a viable proposition in today’s NHS, the signals were, however, inconclusive for Takeda –  only half the PCT leads and one third of GPs thinking they did not have a future.  

Yet at the same time, only 27% of GPs named sales reps as their preferred source of information and 45% of PCT leads and 40% of GPs believed their knowledge of new products would be unaffected if they never saw a sales rep again.

Commenting on the findings, Andy Davis, managing director, Takeda UK said: “The results of this research are actually in line with what we learned from informal research we carried out with our partners in primary care.

“That’s precisely why we decided to replace the traditional salesforce model with a network of Regional Account Directors who will build true partnerships with the NHS at the local level, supplemented on an ad hoc basis by small teams of specialist representatives when we have significant new information to share with practitioners.”

He concluded that the research backed up the company’s vision to develop what it calls ‘patient-centre strategies’ and meet the needs of local NHS organisations.

“We believe that this is the only way forward for our industry, and the beginning of a very exciting new era for Takeda UK.”

Other survey results showed that 80% of PCT leads and GPs felt pharma companies should work in partnership with PCOs to develop local strategies to meet local needs and 74% of PCTs thought that they should be able to commission their own support services from the pharma industry.

Patient groups were also interviewed for their opinions, and 83% of those surveyed felt strongly that pharma companies should adopt a holistic approach rather than being purely product-focused, with 75% of PCT leads also sharing this view.

60% of PCT leads and 69% of GPs felt that the industry could play a greater role in helping general practices reach their GMS contract targets.












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