Merck reps earn kudos

Pharmaceutical Representative

Merck & Co. is the best overall pharmaceutical company for service to long-term care, according to nursing home executives.

Merck & Co. is the best overall pharmaceutical company for service to long-term care, according to nursing home executives surveyed in Scott-Levin's most recent Nursing Home Pharmacy Provider/Consultant promotional audit.

Scott-Levin auditors asked pharmacy providers and consultants who represent 63% of all nursing home beds in the United States to rank pharmaceutical companies on contracts, value-added services, knowledgeable sales reps and overall quality of service. Merck was rated above its competitors in all four categories.

Ironically, Merck ranked second in the number of contacts made with long-term care customers; Pfizer was first in the respect.

"Merck is taking some financial burden off us through continuing education programs, research, disease state management, studies, etc.," wrote one pharmacy provider who responded to the survey. Others who responded to the survey noted that Merck is "far superior in support," possesses a "great understanding of the long-term care industry" and has "great contracts, disease state management programs and educational programs."

Johnson & Johnson, Bayer, Pfizer and Novartis filled out the other top five spots in the overall quality category.

According to Scott-Levin's analysts, Johnson & Johnson's success may have been the result of increased promotional contacts made by ElderCare, the new long-term care group of its subsidiary, Janssen. ElderCare reps promoted Duragesic and Risperdal to long-term care customers.

Another new sales force specifically targeting long-term care customers belonged to Abbott Laboratories. "The company's young long-term care sales force accounted for 43% of Abbott's total contacts to long-term care," analysts noted. Nearly 70% of promotional call activity was dedicated to value-added services, which helped boost Abbott into the top 10 rankings in that category. One survey respondent stated that Abbott "made a push to be in the long-term care market, [and its] presence is improving." PR