Pfizer reps still rank No. 1 with physicians

April 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

For the fourth consecutive year, physicians ranked Pfizer reps as the pharmaceutical sales division that provides the most value to their practices.

According to Scott-Levin's annual survey, "Sales Force Structures & Strategies, 1998-1999," general and family practitioners, cardiologists, general surgeons and psychiatrists rated Pfizer above competitors. And, among the nine core specialty groups included in the survey, Pfizer came out on top.

Several factors helped tip the scales in Pfizer's favor in 1998, according the Newtown, PA-based consulting firm.

For one, the company launched Viagra for erectile dysfunction, a product that garnered widespread media and consumer interest. Physicians' need for information about the heavily requested drug effectively opened the door to sales reps with answers to their questions. Second, the company added Alta, its fifth sales force, for an additional 650 bodies in the field. The Alta force targeted primary care physicians.

Pfizer also launched Lipitor, a cholesterol reducer that the company copromotes with Parke-Davis, and developed a direct-to-consumer advertising campaign for Aricept, a product indicated for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

However, other sales forces earned the respect of certain customers, too.

Merck, for example, was rated number one by internal medicine specialists, nephrologists and endocrinologists. Glaxo Wellcome was rated best by pulmonologists and neurologists.

Wyeth-Ayerst, meanwhile, scored well with OB/GYNs and orthopedic surgeons, and Schering-Plough earned the nod from allergists and otorhinolaryngologists.

Gastroenterologists cited Astra Merck as their favorite, and pediatricians named Ross as their top pick in terms of salespeople. PR