Whose sales reps are No. 1?

Who's tops for its reps' service to physicians in Europe? Novartis, that's who, at least according to a new TNS Healthcare report. In the U.S., Merck took the lead; docs apparently like its web-based services and its patient information programs.

Rounding out the top three in the U.S. are Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, which tied for second. Companies that nabbed first place in one or more Euro country--though they didn't win overall--were Pfizer (tied for first in U.K. and Germany), Glaxo (tied for first in the U.K. and Italy), and Sanofi-Aventis (first in France, tied for first in U.K. and Germany).

All those ties aren't necessarily a good thing, TNS Healthcare said. In fact, 10 companies tied for first in the U.K.--which only means that no Big Pharma has managed to really stand out. And another thing: Europe offers the most room for improvement; docs aren't necessarily thrilled yet about new offering such as web-based services.

- read the TNS release