"E-events" becoming increasingly important for pharmaceutical product promotion

In the last decade, meetings and events have become a key part of pharmaceutical product promotion. More recently, the Internet has become a hot meeting place for drug companies and their prescription-writing customers, according to the Physician Meeting & Event Audit (PMEA) from Scott-Levin, a Quintiles Transnational company.

Between February and April 2001, Scott-Levin surveyed its PMEA panel every month to determine the extent of "e-event" activity. They told the press that more than 3,100 physicians participated in the study and 39% indicated that they had been invited to at least one pharmaceutical company-sponsored event conducted via the Internet.

Specialists with the highest percentage of e-event invitations were allergists/immunologists (58% invited), psychiatrists (53 percent) and gastroenterologists (51%).

In addition, 30% of doctors said their attitude toward e-events was positive, and 64% said they planned to participate in future events.

GlaxoSmithKline led in e-events offered during the spring, accounting for more than 14% of activity, followed by Merck with almost 13% of e-events.