Are physicians easy marks?

This post courtesy of Anne Taylor-Vaisey:

Doctors not influenced by pharmaceutical marketing tactics

Pharmaceutical drug companies spend upward of $25 billion per year in the USA on promoting new drugs and distributing free samples to doctors, but new research shows such marketing devices have little impact on physicians and their prescribing behavior...

Here's a link to the full article. To view a PDF of the actual study, click here.

Sue again: I found this paragraph interesting:

    "Additionally, many physicians are skeptical of or hold negative attitudes toward sales representatives," he said. "Physicians recognize that information presented is biased toward the promoted drug and is unlikely to be objective or even accurate. Thus, physicians often discount information received from a sales representative. As physicians have access to alternative sources of information, which are more highly regarded, it is no wonder that the salesperson's influence is minimal."

This backs up another recent study that came to pretty much the same conclusion. But, as Anne pointed out in an earlier post, reps see themselves as educators instead of marketers. And they're using adult education strategies--not just samples and detailing, but also multiple "interventions," takeaway guides, and promotional meetings, along with getting patients to clamor for certain drugs due to DTC advertising--to get their message across. I'd like to see a study that looks at the entire range of "educational" tactics companies use and compare the results to those in these two studies. I think it would find more of a correlation once the entire mix is considered.

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