Docs want to hear from knowledgeable reps

August 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

Doctors are more likely to write prescriptions if they are convinced that they are using the best product, and objective information about the product is the most convincing item a sales representative can offer.

Doctors are more likely to write prescriptions if they are convinced that they are using the best product, and objective information about the product is the most convincing item a sales representative can offer, according to a survey of almost 2,000 physicians conducted by Newtown, PA-based J. Scott International Inc.

"Too often, the pharmaceutical industry is accused of trying to buy physicians' prescriptions in one way or another," said Joy Scott, founder and chief executive officer of J. Scott International. "But physicians are seldom taken in by hype. Our results show that knowledge is the best way to influence physicians. The sales rep helps physicians understand the differences between products and provides them information on disease states. Pharmaceutical companies should rely on well-educated detailers and be able to demonstrate that fact to a skeptical government and public."

The survey, conducted during the first quarter of 2003, shows that physicians look forward to seeing reps who:


•Â Have extensive knowledge of the disease state treated by the drug they are detailing.


•Â Know the complexities of the use of the drug, especially for patients being treated for multiple conditions.


•Â Not only answer but also ask knowledgeable questions about doctors' experience with the drug, including questions about alternative dosing and minimizing side effects.


•Â Can give concise information on the drug, backed up by objective studies and with journal reprints - especially for new drugs or new indications.

Saving time, becoming an ally

Informed reps can also be a great time saver for physicians, Scott said. "Considering that more than 60% of the average doctor's time is spent on paperwork, that their compensation is often linked to the number of patients they see and that they are expected to know more than 5,000 products, it stands to reason that sales reps, when they address physicians with objective, relevant insight, are considered valuable allies."

Said one physician surveyed: "This specific drug rep is very knowledgeable and has a good understanding about the psychology of physicians. He uses my time efficiently and presents data in very convincing ways." Another commented: "This detail enhanced my knowledge of the product and helped me to understand its clinical benefits, appropriate use and duration of therapy." PR

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