Professional Marketing briefs
A convention graphic for Alcon's Travatan Z, an ophthalmic drop, broadened the product's indication and made unsubstantiated superiority claims, according to a DDMAC Untitled Letter. Although Travatan Z received a broadened indication from FDA in August—the eye drop is now indicated as a first-line therapy —that “was not the case at the time of [the ad's] initial dissemination,” according to the Untitled Letter.
Despite ongoing sales force reductions at many large pharmas, physicians still get around 20 visits from sales reps each week, according to an SK&A survey. Of the physicians surveyed, half said they prefer or require an appointment to see a rep (up from 38.5% in 2008), while 23% won't see reps at all, according to the survey data. Practices owned by hospitals or health systems are tougher to get into than private practices, since appointments have to go through headquarters, the survey found.
A meta-analysis published in PLoS Medicine found that professional promotion, including rep visits, journal ads and sponsored meetings, does nothing to improve the quality of prescribing, as measured by guideline adherence, safety and effectiveness.