Psychiatrists: more patients, more scripts

April 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Psychiatrists saw more patients and were responsible for a greater number of prescriptions in 1998.

Psychiatrists saw more patients and were responsible for a greater number of prescriptions in 1998, according to a recent report released by Newtown, PA-based Scott-Levin.

For the 12 months ending October 1998, psychiatrists received more than 58 million visits - an increase of 4% over the year before.

As a result of those consultations, they wrote 93.1 million retail prescriptions, or 1,815 prescriptions per doctor. That's 5% more prescriptions than the number psychiatrists wrote the year before. In total, psychiatrists were responsible for $5.6 billion in retail prescription sales.

"The main fact could be that psychiatrists have had a lot more attention lately from specialty sales forces. They are receiving a lot more details, mainly due to the companies' strategies," said Andrew Diefes, a marketing research analyst for Scott-Levin, when asked why psychiatrists were writing a greater volume of prescriptions.

According to Scott-Levin, the top products prescribed by psychiatrists were the same drugs that were most detailed. Prozac accounted for 8.1% of prescriptions, Zoloft received 5.4% of prescriptions and Paxil accounted for 5% of prescriptions.

By therapeutic class, the top five classes prescribed by psychiatrists were: specific neurotransmitter modulators, such as selective serotonin receptor inhibitors and selective NR inhibitors, (24.5%); seizure disorder therapies, (10.4%); antipsychotics, (9.5%); benzodiazepines, (9.3%); and similar antidepressants, (7.5%).

Sales reps made 2.6 million details to psychiatrists for the year ended October 1998, making psychiatrists the fifth most detailed group of doctors. PR

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