Pharmas Are Leaving Healthcare Professionals Hanging in a Mature Mobile Market, Manhattan Research Study Finds

New Report Provides Framework for Marketers to Assess and Adjust Their Mobile Strategies

BURLINGTON, Mass., Sept. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharmas are failing to mobile optimize their websites for healthcare professionals, even as mobile devices, and particularly smartphones, have become an integral part of how HCPs access digital health info in the workplace. An analysis of 169 HCP product websites for healthcare professionals from more than 50 pharmas found that just 33% were mobile optimized, whether through responsive design or standalone mobile websites. Even among websites studied for newer products – those on the market less than five years – fewer than half were mobile optimized. This gap represents a critical blind spot for pharmas at a time when more than 4 in 5 U.S. physicians use smartphones or tablets for work and research, including such key functions as formulary look up, co-pay resources and clinical information.

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For the Digital Competitive Landscape report, entitled Pharma Mobile Apps and Websites for Physicians: Benchmarking Current Efforts and a Framework for Optimizing Mobile Strategy, Manhattan Research analyzed 169 HCP product websites, 9 service portals and 98 HCP apps from pharmaceutical companies. The report offers marketers a comprehensive overview of pharma mobile websites by company and therapeutic category, as well as a strategic framework to help guide decision-making on mobile. Other key findings include:

  • Some categories have more mobile optimized websites than others – RA, MS, breast cancer, lung cancer and type 1 diabetes had the most mobile optimized websites. However, in no category were more than half of product websites mobile optimized.
  • Among those websites that are mobile optimized, standalone mobile websites are more common than responsive design websites.
  • Leading pharmas in mobile-optimization were Novo Nordisk, for which all of the websites studied were mobile optimized, and Genentech, for which 9 of 11 websites studied were mobile optimized.
  • Nearly two-thirds of the companies studied had only one mobile app for HCPs or none at all, and apps from pharma were heavily concentrated in oncology, meaning that companies fielding apps in that category would have a tough time breaking through the clutter.

Comments from Manhattan Research Digital Analyst Mehek Punatar:

  • "Mobile is a critical channel for reaching physicians and other healthcare professionals with digital information. Pharma marketers face numerous barriers to mobile-optimizing their digital properties, from cost to legal and regulatory concerns, but given the way professionals are using smartphones, it's really a must-have."
  • "Investment in apps for professionals is really concentrated within a couple pharmas, and most of the apps out there serve very basic clinical needs, so there may be openings for marketers to deploy apps with innovative features."

Additional Resources:

  • Monique Levy, Vice President, Research at Manhattan Research, has written a blog post on mobile marketing challenges for pharma brands, which can be found here.

About the Pharma Mobile Apps and Websites for Physicians Report

The Pharma Mobile App and Websites for Physicians: Benchmarking Current Efforts and a Framework for Optimizing Mobile Strategy tracks and analyzes more than 200 HCP product websites and apps across 54 pharma companies, including Gilead, Genentech, Pfizer, Merck, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Eli Lilly, BMS, Novo Nordisk, and more.

This report:

  • Provides an overview of physician mobile behavior
  • Benchmarks pharma's current mobile efforts, primarily website optimization and apps, by company and category
  • Offers a framework for pharma companies to leverage in mobile planning

For more information about this report, email [email protected] or click here.

About the Digital Competitive Landscape 
Digital Competitive Landscape is a proprietary competitive intelligence database, report series and strategic service offering from Manhattan Research, providing life sciences marketers with the information they need to assess, plan and optimize website and app initiatives. Insights draw from a database of 1000s of websites, service portals, support programs, apps, social accounts, and other digital assets that are categorized and analyzed by a team of analysts.

Other new reports in the Digital Competitive Landscape series include:

  • Pharma HCP Product and Service Websites: Assessing Organization of Digital Assets and Leveraging Best Practices
  • Pharma HCP Websites in EU5: Assessing Product Websites and Service Portal Strategy in Leading Pharma Companies
  • Pharma Consumer Digital Marketing & Service in EU5: Benchmarking Current Efforts across Key Therapeutic Categories

About Decision Resources Group
Decision Resources Group offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on critical issues within the healthcare industry. Manhattan Research, a Decision Resources Group company, is the industry's leading expert in digital marketing and innovation strategy for life sciences companies. Their studies of patients and healthcare professionals span 23 countries and over 70 therapeutic categories. Through their research and strategic advisory services, they help clients stay on top of fast-moving industry trends and develop digital marketing strategy that works. Find out more at and

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

For more information, contact:

Decision Resources Group
Christopher Comfort
[email protected] 

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