Roche sales force ranked most effective

May 1, 2003

Pharmaceutical Representative

Roche was judged the most effective sales force among 22 pharmaceutical companies in a recent analysis.

Nutley, NJ-based Roche was judged the most effective sales force among 22 pharmaceutical companies in a recent analysis by Palo Alto, CA-based Health Strategies Group Inc. Other companies in the top 10 included East Hanover, NJ-based Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.; New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb Co.; Bridgewater, NJ-based Aventis Pharmaceuticals; and Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co.

"The increasing competition for time with physicians means that pharmaceutical companies need to focus on field force effectiveness," said Health Strategies Group Principal Rayna Herman. "In our study, Roche's sales representatives had more calls result in physician contact, and more importantly, they had more effective discussions once with the physician. Effective discussions are more relevant for physicians; they keep physicians abreast of the latest developments in new treatment options, help physicians provide value to their patients, and ultimately encourage prescriptions and sales."

To create the rankings, Health Strategies tracked representatives' activity in over 1,000 high-prescribing physician offices. Only companies for which sufficient data were collected were reported on. The study included over 15,000 representative visits; on average, each company had around 500 visits, with larger manufacturers often having more than 1,000. Data on effectiveness - which included physician contacts and discussion, among other criteria - were reported to Health Strategies by the physicians.

Contacts equal prescriptions

Even though the rankings only indicate that the representative had an effective call according to the criteria reported, effective calls often lead to higher prescription sales, Herman said.

"Effective calls have double the chance to change prescribing; most effective calls have triple the chance," she said. "We've used real prescription data to validate that this holds true in the 'real world.'"

According to Tom Klein, vice president of primary care sales at Roche, the company was very happy with the results of the rankings. "The goal of our sales force is to be the best at communicating product information to the practicing physician," he said. "It's great to see the hard work of our sales force recognized by this audience." PR

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