Psychiatrists cited Eli Lilly as the top pharmaceutical company in overall “esteem,” according to a new Verispan study.

Of the 422 psychiatrists surveyed in the Pharmaceutical Company Image 2008 study, 43% mentioned Eli Lilly. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and Forest came in second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Other Verispan data found that Eli Lilly called on psychiatrists more than any other company in the twelve month period beginning in March 2007. Eli Lilly’s calls to psychiatrists increased by 25% from the previous 2006 twelve-month period. Reps for Lilly were most likely to discuss Cymbalta, Zyprexa or Strattera, according to the study.

Among physicians overall, Pfizer was held in highest regard, followed by Merck and GlaxoSmithKline. Rounding out the top ten – in descending order – were Eli Lilly, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, Abbott and Wyeth. Physicians said the top three positive attributes for a pharma company were “credibility,” “pricing concerns” and “R&D,” according to the study.

In other study findings, pharmacists use the internet at a greater frequency than physicians; 87% reported going online at least once a week for pharmaceutical promotion and medical information, compared with 78% of physicians. Forty-seven percent of the healthcare professionals surveyed said DTC advertising did not affect a pharma company’s image. Twenty percent of consumers surveyed said pharma advertising was a motivating factor in discussing available treatment options with a physician.