The Pharma guidelines enacted in 2009 put a huge crimp on ad-specialty sales across the US. Many companies saw their revenues cut dramatically, and were forced to reinvent themselves overnight to respond to the changes created by the new guidelines. The guidelines are voluntary and they boil down to 2 basic rules regarding the sale of technology items. The basic rules are:
- The products must be used for educational purposes.
- The products can’t have any residual value (use)
With these limitations in mind we can recommend 2 HOT products for your pharma clients. These products are:
- USB Flash Drives – In order to comply with the regulations USB drives must meet 2 important conditions:
- They must have content loaded that is educational in nature. This can be videos of drug usage information, prescribing info, contraindications, etc.
- The drive must have the educational data loaded and the entire drive has to be locked so that the content can’t be removed and nothing else can be stored on them(no residual value).
It is important to consider that typically all this data is pretty small in size, and as the remaining space can’t be used you should buy the smallest capacity to fit the data that you are trying to load. This is typically 64MB for most of our clients.
- Webkeys – A webkey looks like a USB drive, but instead of being able to store content, they hold a single URL, which is loaded on your internet browser when you plug the webkey into a USB port on your PC. For Pharma complance the URL needs to be pointed to educational content somewhere on their website. Webkeys have a couple of unique advantages which make them a VERY attractive alternative.
- Webkeys are typically quite a bit cheaper than a USB flash drive as there is no need for flash memory.
- Since a webkey points to a landing page on a website, the content can easily be changed after the units are shipped. Any changes made to the landing page are automatically changed the next time the user plugs the webkey into their PC.
The pharma changes definitely have caused a lot of heartburn in the industry, but fortunately, there are still many alternatives to sell into this HUGE market. If you have pharma clients or prospects, keep these points in mind to grow your business.