CME exerts highest influence on docs' intent to Rx: survey

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A new survey shows certified CME bested dinner meetings, mailings and even sales rep visits in one promotional measure.

Conferences and CME showed the highest rates of physicians planning to increase their prescription of products, with over 50% of respondents predicting higher intent, findings from Cegedim Strategic Data show. After face-to-face sales rep visits, about 40% of respondents said they increased their intent. Dinner meetings registered somewhere between 40% and 50%, and e-mail between 20% and 30%.

That's despite the fact that CME is a relatively less popular form of meeting. Among all meeting types, only 7% of contacts are made through CME or symposia, the survey showed. Dinner meetings had the highest participation—over 60%.

“The pharma dinner meeting has always been the tried-and-true mechanism for getting doctors to understand a product,” explained Jerry Maynor, business development director for Cegedim Strategic Data. “I think it's a bit surprising that it's still in such a dominant position, but it's hard to get both sales reps and doctors to unlearn the habit of that format as being a valuable way for education and dialogue to occur.”

As to why CME and conferences outscored the other two channels—detailing and mailings—in influence on prescribing behavior, Maynor thinks it's because doctors tend to be looking for more authoritative sources of information. In addition, he called peer interaction “one of the biggest motivators” for physicians to attend meetings.

The survey included 2,455 physicians and other HCPs and was fielded as part of the company's monthly Promotion Data report.

It also showed that, despite increasing limits on physician access, face-to-face detailing still accounts for 95% of contacts made, with tele- and e-details accounting for a small percentage.

And in other findings, among the top 20 most detailed products in 2010, Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug Victoza showed the highest increased intent to prescribe after a sales visit, with 67% of doctors saying they were inclined to prescribe the drug. Onglyza (58%), Valturna (58%) and Welchol (55%) also scored highly in this metric.

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