Author: Matt Arnold, Principal Analyst

Last month, SaaS CRM specialist Veeva Systems announced that it is partnering with six major biopharmas to establish open technology standards that make it easier for HCPs to connect with pharmas. The initial efforts of this partnership, which will go by the name Align Biopharma, will focus on 1.) Identity management, and 2.) Consent and communication preferences.

We spoke to Veeva. Here’s what we learned:

  • Think iPassword for pharma. They’re not building a super-portal – it’s more like DocCheck in Germany or in the UK. They aim to establish a universal login, “a single common identifier for each physician so they can sign in/log on using the same credentials at every life sciences company web site, portal, mobile app, etc., so they’re not frustrated with all of the different passwords needed for each different drug manufacturer. One doctor told them he keeps a spreadsheet of more than 60 unique user IDs and passwords to access pharma websites.


  • They hope to get everyone on board. They aim to create an ID standard doctors can use “across ALL manufacturer sites as well as third-party industry sources,” including Doximity, “because the more companies that leverage it, the more valuable it becomes for all.” They’re open to more partners, and there’s no fee – just a member agreement. 


  • Veeva aims to “build the life sciences industry cloud before an outside organization comes in and disrupts the industry completely,” ala Uber and the taxi industry. “Veeva is helping to create ways to maintain better engagement between the industry and the doctors the industry serves,” they add. “Ultimately, it is our hope that in doing this service, Veeva will also enable life sciences companies a seamless way to capture more valuable insights about physician behavior so that they can continuously work to improve their service and communication with these physicians.” Tapping into such a nerve center of pharma-physician digital engagement would also presumably yield valuable insights that they could bring to their clients.


  • They’re moving fast on an ID standard, which they plan to publish early this year, iterating and improving based on physician and partner feedback. Their HCP consent and communication preferences standard is slated for later this year.

We’re testing the impact of multiple logins on doctors’ ability to access pharma properties in some of our 2017 physician research, and we’ll be eager to see how this effort fares. With EHR use eating up a big share of physicians’ working days (and then some after hours), anything the industry can do to make outside digital resources easier to access and provide a better user experience to physicians is a real positive. 


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