Docs still value rep interaction: study

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Despite the rapid growth of alternative channels and slashing of field forces industrywide, physicians continue to rely on pharmaceutical sales reps for the knowledge they provide on their products and disease states, a recent study shows.

According to the Detailing Quality and Relationship Study, conducted by private market research firm The Joy Scott Group, an average of 85% of physicians from across 25 specialties said a sales rep’s knowledge about a specific disease state dramatically affects the their confidence in prescribing a drug.

“The doctors like to see a face, especially if they have a question,” Joy Scott, CEO of The Joy Scott Group, told MM&M. “The doctors also liked to be asked questions such as ‘how is that new diabetes drug working on your senior population that also has cardiovascular problems?’”

Scott said that as part of the study, physicians were specifically asked, “Absent of anything new to inform you, how would you suggest a representative could make the best use of your time?” A predictable response might be, “Leave drug samples and go.” Scott said. But this is not what the study found in its verbatim responses from the 5,000 surveyed doctors.

“Instead physicians and their office staff need and want more information with Medicare Part D, patient assistance programs, patient compliance issues and objective patient information services,” Scott said.

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