Rep access to docs diminishing

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Thirteen percent of all pharmaceutical sales calls in the United States cannot be completed because physicians limit the number of times they see even the best pharmaceutical representatives, according to a report from ZS Associates.

The spring 2009 edition of AccessMonitor, reports that sales activity plans at many companies, however, continue to call for visits to doctors who either rarely or never see sales representatives.

According to Chris Wright of ZS Associates, most pharmaceutical executives know there is a certain level of waste in physician call plans and the AccessMonitor provides them with a systematic process to zero in on it. Wright noted that eliminating this excess could save the pharmaceutical industry more than $2 billion a year.

AccessMonitor is a proprietary tool that incorporates the call reports of more than 35,000 sales representatives from more than 125 different U.S. pharmaceutical sales teams. It includes representative call activity with more than 325,000 primary care physicians and specialists across the United States.

The AccessMonitor report classified 23 percent of doctors as “medium access.” This group of physicians will see representatives, but are still difficult to reach: approximately 50 percent of the sales representatives that visit these doctors fail to get in the door. About six percent of physicians in the country fell into the “low access” category, which means they will not see representatives from any company, according to the report.

The report shows that there are challenges to physician access nationally with particularly high restrictions in Boston, Minneapolis and parts of Wisconsin as well as the Northwest including Seattle and Portland. In those areas, more than 20 percent of doctors are difficult to see.

Wright said that he hopes the findings will drive companies to make meaningful changes to their sales force structure and deployment, improve territory and compensation plan design and, in turn, make the best use of all available resources.


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