Hold That Call: Physician Detailing Preferences Revealed

Jan 30, 2008
By Pharmaceutical Executive Editors

Nearly 20 percent of doctors say "no, thank you" to sales reps, according to a a report on physician access, released by market research firm SK&A last week.

The market research company contacted 650,000 physicians to find out their sales rep access policy. Here are some of the highlights:

  • 19 percent of physicians refuse to see sales representatives at any time.
  • 22.7 percent of doctors require the reps to set an appointment.
  • Nearly 5 percent of physicians will visit with reps only on specific days of the week.
  • 3.2 percent have restricted their access to specific times of the day, with lunchtime being the most popular.
  • 73 percent of physicians will meet with reps at any time of day or any day of the week.

"Ten years ago, you were able to get up to six minutes to talk with a doctor," SK&A President and COO Dave Escalante told Pharm Exec. "Now you're lucky to get 90 seconds, and that's not happening by chance. That's happening because of the pressure on practitioners to manage much larger patient populations and offices."

The study was generated after pharma companies asked SK&A for help in determining a baseline metric of physician detailing preferences. The pharma companies specifically said that they want information to help them make better tactical decisions on the best way to reach their targets. The study results also will help with sales force restructuring and better physician-targeting methods.

Escalante said that SK&A's next study would center on what doctors look for from pharma companies in terms of marketing materials and information, and the best methods to reach doctors.

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