I hope you all believe in Santa Claus

I hope you all believe in Santa Claus

Wed, 15 Dec 2004

According to “a new study” PhaRma is wasting money on detailing…

According to Washington & Columbia University – the docs aren’t paying attention –

So how come the industry has the highest profit return – because they throw away money?

This is the kind of industry-“research” that gives academics a bad name.

Contact: Vera Hassner Sharav
212-595-8974

Drug Sales Visits Affect Doctors Little — US Study

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The billions that drug companies spend on personal visits to promote new drugs and hand out free samples to doctors have little effect on how doctors prescribe drugs, according to a study published on Wednesday.

Pharmaceutical companies spent $5.3 billion on detailing, or sending representatives to make personal visits to promote their firm’s drugs. At these visits the reps handed out $16.4 billion worth of free samples, which doctors pass along to patients.

But a 2-year study of 74,000 doctors showed a single visit had very little effect on whether they would prescribe a certain drug, and sometimes even multiple visits had little effect.

Robert Jacobson, a professor of marketing at the University of Washington Business School and colleagues at Columbia University in New York found that in fact, the visits could be counterproductive.

Doctors rely more heavily on medical journal reports on drugs, he said, and on practice guidelines issued by various professional groups.

“Many physicians are skeptical of or hold negative attitudes toward sales representatives,” said Jacobson, whose findings are published in the December issue of Management Science.

“Physicians recognize that information presented is biased toward the promoted drug and is unlikely to be objective or even accurate,” he added in a statement.

“Thus, physicians often discount information received from a sales representative. As physicians have access to alternative sources of information, which are more highly regarded, it is no wonder that the salesperson’s influence is minimal.”

For the study the researchers analyzed data for three widely prescribed drugs.

They assessed the effects of the numbers of sales calls and free samples on how many new prescriptions each of the 74,000 doctors wrote.

For one top-selling drug, which was not named, it would take three additional visits by a pharmaceutical sales representative to induce one new prescription, Jacobson’s study found.

It would take 26 additional free samples to induce the average doctor to write one new prescription, they determined.

Management Science, December 2004.

© Reuters 2004. All Rights Reserved

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