Big pharmaceutical companies spend a lot of time, money and effort trying to attract the attention of doctors in order to get them to use their expensive new products. Doctors, it turns out, are busy people who give the sales reps about 30 seconds of their valuable time -- most of which is taken up signing receipts for the samples they're being given.
So now big pharma is turning to the iPad as a way to grab doctors' attention -- even though they apparently don't, yet, have anything to actually show the doctors on those iPads. "During recent conversations with large pharmas, I have heard leadership at several companies make comments similar in nature to 'we have not yet purchased an iPad-based SFA (Sales Force Automation) software product, but we know we will eventually, so we're buying the devices now'," says Eric Newmark, an analyst at IDC Health Insights community.
He says "more than one" big pharmaceutical company has told him that they're stockpiling iPads "in significant volume" for later use. The companies aren't even considering looking at alternative devices, believing that Apple's product gives them a better chance of keeping up with the latest technological developments.
Apple products are already popular with medical staff, and it can't hurt to present new pharmaceutical products to them using iPads. "With big pharma already stocking up on the hardware, it seems likely that the apps they want will follow," says Newmark. Apple's absence in the pharma market is likely to rapidly change with Apple "likely to quickly become a dominant hardware vendor in the space."