Company News: Manhattan Research, Merck

Pharma and healthcare market research firm Manhattan Research has released the latest version of its ePharma Physician v11.0 study, which indicates that since June 2011, 38% of the physicians polled have seen a pharma or biotech sales rep use an iPad or other tablet during a face-to-face meeting over the course of the past year. The study's findings also suggest that marketers have yet to optimize the interactive features and capabilities of tablet devices to achieve the most efficient and customized discussion with physicians about their products. Key highlights of the newest edition of the ePharma Physician study have found that enthusiasm for tablet-hocking reps varies by specialty, with general surgeons, anesthesiologists, and OB/GYNs, to name a few, making up the specialty groups that find tablets to be most effective during office visits, as well as the fact that Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Merck and Abbott make up big-name pharmas leading the way in terms of iPad reach via sales reps.

Merck has lost an overtime pay lawsuit filed on behalf of Schering-Plough sales reps. Federal Judge Janet Bond Arterton has ruled that the administrative exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act – which relieves employers from paying overtime to executive or administrative employees, and to employees who earn more than $455 per week whose principal duties are to perform non-manual, general business – does not apply to the sales reps at Schering-Plough who initiated the suit.