Personalities drive prescribing

PharmaLive, the website that bills itself as the "Pulse of the Pharmaceutical Industry," recently ran this press release from PeopleMetrics, a marketing research firm. The group surveyed physicians to measure the effectiveness of sales representatives pushing atypical antipsychotics for five leading US-based pharmaceutical companies: AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Janssen, Lilly and Pfizer.

The survey’s questions measured physicians’ response to the salespersons who visit their offices. Depending on the answers, the docs were categorized as either Fully Engaged, Engaged, On The Fence and Disengaged. "Overall, 31% of physicians were Fully Engaged or Engaged, while the largest proportion of physicians (53%) were On The Fence," the research showed.

"Sales representatives must develop personal relationships with their
physicians to achieve the highest levels of engagement," the survey
concluded. "In fact, emotional components such as friendship with the
reps are the strongest indicators of Fully Engaged physicians. . . We
find that this emotional dimension is key in understanding physicians’
perceptions toward their reps and the pharmaceutical company as a
whole" and will be "the most impactful drivers of physicians’
prescribing behaviors."

Gee, and I thought it was the peer-reviewed literature they dropped off showing how well the drugs work. Silly me.

This post first appeared on Merrill Goozner’s blog, Gooznews.

4 replies »

  1. “disappointed in their own sons”
    I wonder if the sons were disappointed in their dads?
    For much of my life I was an industrial saleman and getting to see the client was one of the hardest things to do. I used to see the female 20 something sales reps have no problem at least getting the appointment. Men are pigs aren’t they?

  2. > Cheerleaders & beauty queens! That’s what you need!
    It’s the same all over. Back in the day when computers were more expensive than people, companies used to buy time on big computers to do big jobs. This works sorta like condo timeshares in Hawaii. You pay so much per month or whatever, and you get so many minutes of the computer’s attention (i.e. resources — cpu, memory, printed lines, whatever). This was called (unsurprisingly) timesharing.
    And of course this service was sold. Once a month or so a fabulously goregous account rep of about 30 years in a tight, stylish LA Law skirt and ever-so-discreetly-revealing top would show up with a very neat young man usually in a tweed jacket with leather elbow patches to call on the project managers, research coordinators and others at the company who bought computer time. These tended to be dirty old men of about 50, often divorced and disappointed in their own sons. This dynamic duo was a dream come true. It was amazing. And it must’ve worked. I think the only thing that ended it was the falling price of computers.