M.D.s rate cos. that support practices best

May 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

Six out of 12 physician specialty segments surveyed rated New York-based Pfizer as the company that best supports the overall needs of their practices.

Six out of 12 physician specialty segments surveyed rated New York-based Pfizer as the company that best supports the overall needs of their practices, according to a survey of more than 10,000 physicians conducted by Whitehouse, NJ-based Health Products Research Inc., a division of Ventiv Health.

The survey asked physicians to identify the top three companies that best support the overall needs of their practice, and the factors that distinguish those companies from the rest. Twelve specialty segments were represented in the research.

Among the general/family practitioner segment (1,895 respondents), Pfizer; Whitehouse Station, NJ-based Merck & Co. Inc.; and Research Triangle Park, NC-based GlaxoSmithKline ranked one, two and three, respectively. Strong commitment to drug sampling, the breadth of each company's product line and the ongoing level of support provided by sales representatives were common criteria cited by physicians for selecting these organizations.

Cardiologists, oncologists

Cardiologists (570 respondents) ranked Pfizer, Merck and New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. one, two and three, respectively; nearly 20% of cardiologists cited Wilmington, DE-based AstraZeneca LP as best supporting their practice, moving the company to the fifth position among this specialty group. In addition, AstraZeneca overtook BMS and GlaxoSmithKline in 2002 in terms of the total number of sales representative calls made to cardiologists, placing it third behind Pfizer and Merck.

Thousand Oaks, CA-based Amgen Inc. rose to the top position among hematology/oncology specialists (up from fourth place a year ago); the company was cited by 47% of the approximately 500 physicians representing this specialty segment. Amgen's support of continuing medical education programs and educational grants, as well as the quality of service and support extended by their sales representatives, were the most common themes cited by physicians in favor of the company. Other movers in this segment were AstraZeneca, which ranked fifth (up from ninth place a year ago), and East Hanover, NJ-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals, which moved to the third position (from sixth a year ago).

GlaxoSmithKline maintained its number-one ranking among pulmonary disease specialists, with 76% of respiratory specialists citing GSK as the company providing the greatest level of support; Merck (51%) and Pfizer (35%) rounded out the top three companies. In addition, GlaxoSmithKline ranked number one among allergists (71%), followed by Bridgewater, NJ-based Aventis Pharmaceuticals (58%) and Kenilworth, NJ-based Schering-Plough Corp. (45%). Commitment to physician and patient education, strong sampling, excellent asthma product line, and friendly, professional sales reps were common criteria cited by allergists for selecting GSK.

Neurologists, psychiatrists

Among neurologists (506 respondents), Pfizer edged out GlaxoSmithKline for the top position this year; 50% of the physicians in this specialty segment cited Pfizer as providing the best level of support. GlaxoSmithKline (47%) and Novartis (40%) rounded out the top three.

In psychiatry (with 1,166 respondents), Pfizer (59%) eclipsed Lilly (53%) this year to claim the top spot, which, along with hematology/oncology, showed the most significant change in company rankings versus the previous year. While GSK held on to the third position (36%), New York-based Forest Laboratories Inc. (32%) moved up to the fourth position, and Titusville, NJ-based Janssen Pharmaceutica Products LP dropped to the fifth position among this specialty group.

Finally, among internists (2,000 respondents), Pfizer (63%) and Merck (50%) continued to rank number one and two, respectively, for the second consecutive year. Novartis (31%) jumped to the third position (from fourth a year ago), while GSK (21%) slipped to the fourth position. Bristol-Myers Squibb (16%) rounded out the top five. PR

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