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Last Updated on February 16, 2024

A CRM application and a consent management platform are complementary solutions, developed with a different purpose. Every Pharma & life sciences company should be aware that a consent management platform is a necessary solution to drive omni-channel HCP engagement.

Let’s dive first in the different purposes of the solutions.

The purpose of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is to provide pharmaceutical and life sciences companies with a specialized platform for managing their interactions with healthcare professionals, key opinion leaders and other stakeholders. Some CRM applications are designed specifically for the unique needs of the life sciences industry, supporting sales, marketing and medical affairs teams.

The key purposes of a CRM application include:

CRM enables companies to capture, store and organize detailed information about healthcare professionals, including their contact details, affiliations, prescribing habits and preferences. This comprehensive customer data serves as a centralized hub for the sales and marketing teams, helping them better understand their target audience and tailor their interactions and messages accordingly.

CRM allows pharmaceutical companies to manage relationships with healthcare professionals and key accounts effectively. The platform provides tools for tracking and analyzing interactions, managing appointments and events and maintaining communication histories. By providing a 360-degree view of customer relationships, CRM empowers teams to build and nurture long-term partnerships with healthcare professionals.

CRM assists sales representatives in planning and managing their territories. It enables them to optimize their sales strategies by providing insights into healthcare professionals’ prescribing patterns, market trends, and performance metrics. The platform offers real-time analytics and reporting capabilities, allowing sales teams to track their progress, identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.

CRM supports multichannel marketing campaigns by integrating with various communication channels, including email, mobile and social media. It enables pharmaceutical companies to create, distribute and track marketing materials and content, ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. This functionality helps to enhance engagement with healthcare professionals across multiple touchpoints, fostering effective communication and driving brand awareness.

In summary, a specialized customer relationship management platform tailored to the unique needs of the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry enables companies to effectively manage customer data, build and nurture relationships, optimize sales strategies and facilitate multichannel marketing. Ultimately, CRM supports pharmaceutical companies in driving better engagement, delivering valuable insights and improving overall sales and marketing effectiveness.

The key purpose of a consent management platform  includes:

The purpose of a consent management platform capturing opt-ins and opt-outs from doctors is to establish a transparent and ethical framework for managing and recording doctors’ preferences and permissions regarding their participation in various activities related to the pharmaceutical industry.

A consent management platform enables doctors to provide their explicit consent or opt-in to specific activities, such as participating in clinical trials, receiving sponsored education, engaging in speaker programs, or sharing patient data for research purposes.

By capturing these opt-ins, the platform ensures that doctors’ involvement in pharmaceutical initiatives is entirely voluntary and based on their individual preferences.

In today’s data-driven environment, privacy and data protection are paramount. Consent management platforms allow doctors to make informed decisions about how their personal information is collected, used, and shared. By capturing opt-ins, these platforms ensure that doctors have control over their data and that their privacy rights are respected in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Consent management platforms play a crucial role in helping pharmaceutical companies and healthcare organizations comply with legal and regulatory obligations. These platforms help ensure adherence to complex regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). By capturing and storing opt-ins, companies can demonstrate their commitment to complying with these regulations and safeguarding doctors’ rights and privacy.

Consent management platforms provide a centralized and efficient means of managing doctors’ preferences and opt-ins. They streamline communication between doctors and pharmaceutical companies, allowing for better coordination, personalized engagement and targeted information sharing. By capturing opt-ins, these platforms facilitate effective in-company collaboration and ensure that doctors receive the information and opportunities that align with their interests and preferences.

In summary, the purpose of a consent management platform capturing opt-ins from doctors is to establish a clear and accountable process for obtaining and recording doctors’ preferences and permissions. These platforms ensure voluntary participation, respect privacy and data protection, facilitate compliance with regulatory requirements, streamline communication and collaboration and enhance transparency and accountability, which should lead to building stronger relationships with doctors, prioritize ethical conduct and foster responsible collaboration for the benefit of patients and the advancement of healthcare.

In conclusion, a CRM application and a consent management platform are complementary solutions, developed with a different purpose. A consent management platform should function as the single source of truth for consent from HCPs, feeding the necessary information into a CRM system. Consent collected by field force and reported in CRM, should be synchronized to keep the consent management platform up to date.

A general overview.




Purpose of applicationCRM to store commercial data and activities of clientsPlatform designed to store and manage consent and preferences of HCPs according to GDPR.
Is the standard configuration according to the requirements of the GDPR?No, configuration needs to be done on the instructions of the client. Generally the client also has to pay for this. CRM is not developed to act as a database for GDPR related details. It is a CRM tool to capture data of customers and accounts.The platform is standard configured according to the requirements of the GDPR. Any specific client related, or local regulations have to be configured. GDPR requirements which are mandatory to be captured are:

•             Timestamp

•             Processing activity

•             Legal basis

•             Consent status

•             Source

•             Expiry date

•             Audit trail

Is it possible to demonstrate processing data according to the GDPR, like differentiation between legal basis and consent? Because according to the GDPR you need to specify for what processes you use which legal basis (e.g consent).No. Only in an additional application.TheConsent management platform is able to differentiate in purposes per process between all data collected as required by the GDPR. Promotional communication may require an opt-in or a double opt-in. Medical communication also, but non promotional communication can be done using legitimate interest. Where an opt-in is required, you want to prevent that HCPs opt-out from all processes at once.
How and where is consent stored which is collected through other channels than a salesrep?This consent should be uploaded manually to CRM. If an opt-in is accidently not uploaded, this could lead to a missed opportunity  Missing an opt-out could lead to unlawful sending of a promotional email.As all channels to collect consent are flawlessly connected (through an API) with the Consent management platform, the latest consent status is always available.
How easy is it to configure the application?Ask CRM vendor.Most is already configured. Due to our experience and expertise, all configuration can be performed quite easily.
How much time does it take to configure the application?Ask CRM vendor.We guarantee delivery of configurations within days/weeks after signing the request.
How costly is the configuration?Ask CRM vendor.We always provide a quotation upfront, which is more than competitive to other vendors.
Is all consent collected automatically stored?No, only consent collected by the field force. All consent collected through other channels should be uploaded manually.Yes. All applications are connected to the Consent management platform and all consent collected in stored in one single source of truth.
Is all consent captured according to GDPR?No. Only the information which is useful for the people in the field is captured. For storing all required information regarding consent, a separate application is needed.Yes. And the Consent management platform can work seamlessly with CRM to store all required information.
What kind of consent is captured?Based on the e-mail address of the HCP. Disadvantage of this is, that if the HCP changes his/her email address, the consent is lost.Based on the name of the HCP, no matter what the e-mail address is.

What can OptInsight do for you?

The OptInsight consent and preference management solution allows pharmaceutical companies to manage the collection, storage and use of personal data in a compliant and secure manner. It provides a centralized platform for managing consent records, including the mandatory audit trail. It functions as a single source of truth, preventing scattered personal and consent data throughout your company. It also shows the latest consent status and preferences, which allows you to engage with HCPs based on the right data.

Schedule a meeting with us.

Tip: involve your colleagues from other departments within your company.
In this way we can instantly answer questions and provide clarity from various points of view.


Marketing & Product Director

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