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Why Pharma Reps and Marketers Need to Target Nurse Practitioners and Physicians Assistants

The days of a patient being treated solely by a physician are, more or less, over. Today’s patients are more likely to interact with a full care team of health care professionals (HCPs), including nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs), than to only have contact with a physician. In some places, especially rural parts of the country, a patient may never even see a physician and be treated directly by a PA or NP.

A lot of media buyers and agencies have been aware of this shift for some time now. For example, the Institute of Medicine found that 96 percent of NPs had frequent contact with reps from the pharma industry. However, only 83 percent of those NPs said the information they received from their pharma reps was reliable.

According to recent estimates, there are 290,000 NPs and 160,000 PAs currently working in the U.S. Together, they make up 30 percent of prescribers and account for over 30 percent of retail prescriptions. As the physician shortage continues to increase, we should expect to see more PAs and NPs entering the market who will significantly influence the pharmaceutical industry.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, NPs and PAs in nearly every state have increased the number of prescriptions they write. In addition, in Washington D.C. and 28 states, NPs can operate without the supervision of a physician, leading to an increase in direct patient care, including writing prescriptions.

How to Reach NPs and PAs

Since pre-pandemic days, many NPs and PAs have been envisioning a future that moves away from the traditional physician-run practice model. One change they would like to see is for marketers to pivot from talking about getting a prescription from a doctor versus getting a prescription from a prescriber, including NPs and PAs.

As media buyers, you have the opportunity to target your messaging to NPs and PAs by acknowledging their growing responsibilities when it comes to script-writing. When asked, PAs and NPs say they want to hear directly from pharma reps about new scientific information and pharmaceutical alerts.

So, how do you reach this critical group of prescribers?

According to MM+M’s research, NPs and PAs tend to prefer communication via email, personalized email. Other research agrees that building relationships with NPs and PAs is vital for providing accurate information that can help them provide better care to their patients.

Use HealthLink to Reach More Prescribers

The first step toward reaching NPs and PAs is to find them. HealthLink’s database for NPs and Pas has increased by 20 percent over the last six months to cover more email addresses. As a result, we have now validated and confirmed email addresses for 55 percent of the NP and PA market in the United States with no chance of slowing down.

As you move forward with 2022 planning, consider HealthLink as your primary news source for all of your email and programmatic data. We also partner with life sciences organizations for overall provider database management to ensure you are working with clean data every time.

Contact us to learn more or get started today!

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