Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Is Pharma Blocking or Supporting iPad Use by Sales Reps?

"Has anyone had any luck getting the iPad to connect to J&J email system," asks an anonymous sales rep on the J&J IT board of CafePharma. "My iPhone connects perfectly and I believe that the iPad should work just the same way. However, even with exactly the same settings it isn't working for me..."

"I called helpdesk," said another poster, "he said iPads, Android, and a few other things are blocked at a device family level from activesynching. Didn't say why."

On the Eisai Pharmaceuticals discussion board, another anonymous poster said "I heard that we are getting new ipads for e-detailing. Great now we have 2 systems for inventory and 2 systems for account management. I better be able to dowload some games and it better have a decent battery. Prob nope on the last 2 requests."

In response was this post: "Who wants an Eisai neutered iPAD? You know they will block all downloads. No apps, movies, or music. Screw that!"

On the other hand, it seems that Genentech is providing iPads to its sales force: "iPads will be overnighted to the entire sales force next Tuesday," said an anonymous poster to the Genentech board on June 8, 2010.

According to Quang Pham, CEO, LathianHealth - an eDetailing company - iPads definitely have a place in the future of eDetailing. He was speaking at a MedAdNews webinar on sales force effectiveness today. Pham did mention, however, that many eDetailing programs currently use Adobe Flash, which is not supported by iPad. Yet the low price point for iPads is a great incentive for pharma to goose its eDetailing vendors to develop programs specifically for the iPad.

In the same webinar, David Kerr, SVP Business Development at PDI, Inc. (a company that provides outsourced sales and marketing services) wondered whether the iPad was robust enough to be thrown around in a sales rep's bag. I use the iPad Case (see photo) to protect my iPad and have taken it everywhere in my backpack without any worries.


  1. Interesting.
    Esp. the last vote of confidence in the iPad's sturdiness.
    Ofcourse, I full endorse use of iPads by sales force in the field, with No restrictions on downloads, but data on downloads by sales field force to be stored within the company servers.

    Give them a full loaded weapon at least, and then ensure the users behave by building in checks. No use giving them a handicapped weapon.


  2. Nice & relevant article.
    Being in the eDetailing business myself as an eDetailing solution provider (repinteractive.eu), I see that more and more pharmaceutical companies (at least in Europe) are willing to adopt the iPad to meet their growing eDetailing needs. Of course, being willing to gear their sales reps with iPads doesn't mean that it's going to be a smooth process since pharma companies are still very confused and undecided about which vendor(s)/application(s) are best, and how to deploy one or several solutions effectively.

    In any case, no doubt that we're seeing obvious signs of readyness for eDetailing on the iPad within the pharma community.

    e-Marketing Manager


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