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Survey shows doctors find sales reps useful

A study sponsored by PhRMA has found that the majority of doctors believe that pharma companies and their sales representatives are useful sources of information about medicines

A new study sponsored by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) has found that the majority of doctors believe that pharma companies and their sales representatives are useful sources of information about medicines.  

According to the telephone survey of more than 500 American Medical Association (AMA) members, which was conducted by KRC Research, nearly eight out of 10 physicians view pharmaceutical research companies, their sales representatives and company-sponsored peer education programmes as useful sources of information on prescription medicines. The doctors also rated continuing medical education (CME) courses, peer-reviewed medical journals, and their fellow physicians as useful sources. 

More than 90 per cent of the doctors said interactions with reps allow them to learn about new indications for approved medicines, potential side effects, and emerging benefits and risks. Ninety-four per cent said they find information from sales reps to be up-to-date and timely; 92 per cent said the information is useful, and 84 per cent said it is reliable.

Just under 70 per cent of the doctors said they use information provided by reps in making prescribing decisions as part of a wide range of information that comes into play, including their own clinical knowledge.  

Eighty-four per cent of the doctors also said the interactions with representatives give them a useful opportunity to provide feedback to the pharma company about their experiences with a medicine. 

About 90 per cent of doctors who have attended company-sponsored peer education programmes said the information at the programmes was up-to-date, useful and reliable. The survey found that such programmes are particularly well attended by doctors in rural areas, who may have limited opportunities for attending medical conferences: 86 per cent of physicians in rural areas are likely to attend peer education programmes, while the attendance rate for physicians overall is 76 per cent, according to the research. 

30th March 2011

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