Docs like hearing from reps, survey says

Pharma reps have been getting a tough shake lately, what with massive layoffs and a new industry code that curtails some tried-and-true sales techniques. Not to mention efforts to ban them altogether from various academic institutions and even require licensing in the District of Columbia. Now, though, a new study offers a welcome respite: More than three-fourths of doctors say they're willing to see reps any time of day, and only one-fourth require an appointment.

True, 17 percent of the 230,000 medical practices surveyed said they don't admit reps at all. Some 30 percent of hospital-owned practices bar reps, and another 40 percent require appointments. But still, that leaves 83 percent of docs open to sales-rep input.

Meanwhile, a PhRMA survey found that the "vast majority" of physicians like getting info from reps about drug interactions, new meds, and patient assistance programs--but only 11 percent say that info greatly affects their prescribing decisions. You can read that last number a couple of ways. It's either more bad news for reps, if companies think docs aren't using their input to make choices. Or it could be the kind of figure companies can use to legitimize their sales calls; if reps don't have undue influence, then maybe they shouldn't be viewed with such a jaded eye.

- see the doc survey at Pharmalot