Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Study: Restricting #Pharma Sales Rep Access to Doctors Cuts Prescriptions for Promoted Drugs. Duh!

Study: Restricting #Pharma Sales Rep Access to Doctors Cuts Prescriptions for Promoted Drugs. Duh! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Restricting drug company access to doctors at academic medical centers resulted in a substantial reduction in the number of prescriptions that the physicians wrote for drugs touted by the pharmaceutical industry, a new study found.

The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine was among 19 academic medical centers in five states that were examined in the study, which appeared in the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The institutions represented nearly 35 percent of all prescriptions written in 2015.

The study is the latest to challenge direct pharmaceutical sales calls to doctors — a practice called detailing, which sometimes includes gifts and meals — to encourage the use of products that are often more expensive than generics and other treatment options. In the past, drug company representatives have touted new uses for existing drugs for Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, which have harmed patients.

For example, in cases involving the antipsychotic drugs Risperdal and Invega, Johnson & Johnson in 2013 agreed to pay the government $2.2 billion to settle claims that pharmaceutical representatives promoted the medications for patients with confusion or dementia, despite evidence the medications increased the risk of stoke and other problems in the elderly.

Pharmaceutical companies earned more than $60 billion for the eight detailed drugs that were part of the study while generic drugs are on average 80 percent to 85 percent less expensive than branded drugs. Eight drug classes were part of the JAMA study, including medications to lower lipids, control gastroesophageal reflux disease, treat diabetes and others.

“It’s amazing how little it takes to influence how somebody thinks about something,” said George Loewenstein, one of the study’s authors and a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. “The study really supports the need for more academic medical centers to adopt stronger policies.”

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Infographic: Only 10% of Docs Prefer Info Direct from #Pharma to Make Treatment Decisions

Infographic: Only 10% of Docs Prefer Info Direct from #Pharma to Make Treatment Decisions | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

How pharma distributes information to doctors is changing as rapidly as how doctors prefer to receive and process such information.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Does this include "off-label" information? If so, I understand now why most pharma presenters at the recent FDA off-label hearing focused more on communicating off-label info to payers than to HCPs.

 

P.S. MSLs and KOLs are important sources of info for docs and these sources are controlled by pharma; i.e., not independent sources of information.

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Can Big Pharma Actually Buy a Doctor’s Allegiance for a $20 Meal?

Can Big Pharma Actually Buy a Doctor’s Allegiance for a $20 Meal? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

“Every man has his price,” as the saying goes, but one has to wonder whether it only takes a $20 sandwich and bowl of soup for the drug industry to buy off many in the medical profession.

 

Doctors in recent years have come under intense scrutiny for the dubious practices of promoting pricey new brand name drugs after accepting trips, consulting fees and gifts from the pharmaceutical companies that manufacture them.

 

[Read “More Free Pharma Lunches Served to Docs = More Prescriptions of the Sponsored Drug”; http://sco.lt/5LAeWX]

 

There was a time when drug companies seeking to increase their share of the lucrative prescription drug industry were tossing around real money. Drug makers at one time lavished gifts and gratuities on doctors recruited to study and promote their new drugs, and those gifts could range from free golf trips and vacations to tickets to hot sports events

 

However, as The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday, the drug companies over time began to curtail the gifts and gratuities handed out. Many restrictions were imposed on drug company payments under a code of conduct adopted in 2002 by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the drug industry’s leading advocate.

 

The code allows companies to provide “modest meals” to doctors, which can range from free book and beverages brought to a doctor’s office to free meals at restaurants where doctors can listen to other doctors and sales representatives discuss new drugs coming on the market, according to the Journal.

 

[However, there have been many breaches of such codes and some codes don’t include meals. Read, for example, “U.S. Seeks Records of 80,000 Novartis `Sham' Events for Doctors”; http://sco.lt/5PtPkX and "’Free Lunch Flaw’ Loophole in Aussie Pharma-Doc Code of Conduct”; http://sco.lt/7KYoVd ]

 

In the greater scheme of things, meals of this sort are small potatoes. And one has to wonder how such trivial perks can be so effective in motivating a doctor when it comes to prescribing the best medicine for a patient – or whether it is simply a coincidence.

 

[You might like to read: “The Slippery Slope of Pharma Physician Phreebies”; http://sco.lt/5TS4tV which argues that such thinking is a "slippery slope" on which "Physicians fail to recognize their vulnerability to commercial influences due to self-serving bias, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance."]

 

As ProPublica’s senior health care reporter Charles Ornstein noted in an analysis of the latest study, “The researchers did not determine if there was a cause-and-effect relationship between payments and prescribing, a far more difficult proposition, but their study adds to a growing pile of research documenting a link between the two.”

 

And PhRMA complained to the Journal that the study essentially “cherry picked” physician-prescribing data “to advance a false narrative.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

Read “More Free Pharma Lunches Served to Docs = More Prescriptions of the Sponsored Drug”; http://sco.lt/5LAeWX 

 

Note: There have been many breaches of such codes and some codes don’t include meals. Read, for example, “U.S. Seeks Records of 80,000 Novartis `Sham' Events for Doctors”; http://sco.lt/5PtPkX and "’Free Lunch Flaw’ Loophole in Aussie Pharma-Doc Code of Conduct”; http://sco.lt/7KYoVd 

 

You also might like to read: “The Slippery Slope of Pharma Physician Phreebies”; http://sco.lt/5TS4tV which argue that "Physicians fail to recognize their vulnerability to commercial influences due to self-serving bias, rationalization, and cognitive dissonance."

 

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Is #Pharma "Pecking" Docs to Death Across Multiple Channels?

Is #Pharma "Pecking" Docs to Death Across Multiple Channels? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Zephyr Health says it can determine the value of a doctor’s prescription pad.


“Working with Pharma is akin to getting pecked to death by a flock of ducks.” —Zephyr Health CEO Lance Scott


Physicians are worth billions of dollars to drugmakers, who see the prescription pad as a path to profits. But it’s growing harder for Big Pharma to get doctors’ appointments. Since 2010, Obamacare has slowly curbed the mass travel junkets and fancy meals that drug companies once used to sway the doctors most valuable to their efforts to sell products.


Some companies already have more information than they know what to do with, says Pratap Khedkar, managing principal of consulting firm ZS Associates.

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Are More Physicians Willing (& Able) to See Pharma Sales Reps? Yes. No. Maybe.

Are More Physicians Willing (& Able) to See Pharma Sales Reps? Yes. No. Maybe. | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

After years of eschewing these sales teams, the percentage of doctors who refuse to meet with them fell to 19 percent this year from 25 percent in 2014. This according to a CMI/Compas survey of 2,680 physicians.


The Survey also found that 39 percent of doctors are willing to see reps without any restrictions on office visits, up from 36 percent last year.


But before concluding that a sea change has truly occurred, consider that a consulting firm recently released data indicating physicians are less accessible to sales reps than before. After analyzing sales calls reports filed by industry reps, ZS Associates found 47 percent of prescribers are accessible to reps this year, down from 51 percent in 2014 and 55 percent in 2013. ZS tracked data involving interactions involving sales reps and about 348,000 physicians.



Pharma Guy's insight:

For many years, the ZS data has been cited to support the argument that pharma companies should be investing more in non-personal marketing (i.e., via the Internet and eDetailing) to reach the increasingly elusive "no-see" doctors. 


The chart shown in this post comes from ZS Associates. Note that "Accessible" means that docs are reached by more than 70% of sales reps and "Severely Access Restricted" means reached by 30% of reps or less.



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Reports of the Demise of Medical Journal Ads Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Reports of the Demise of Medical Journal Ads Have Been Greatly Exaggerated | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Every six months, when Kantar Media releases its latest batch of journal ad data, pundits look for signs of print's imminent demise. And every six months, they find instead a resilient channel, down a touch from its pre-recession heyday — and, overall, only slightly off its all-time 2015 high. Here's the latest snapshot of print advertising's fortunes as we approach the end of the second decade of the digital era.

 

Further Reading:

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How Big Pharma Courts Physicians & Makes Them Look Like They Have a Lot of Money!

How Big Pharma Courts Physicians & Makes Them Look Like They Have a Lot of Money! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The Truth In Media Project has released Part 3 of its latest series Truth In Media: Big Pharma, The FDA & Health Propaganda. Part 3, titled How Big Pharma Manipulates Physicians and Corrupts “Best Practices,” discusses how companies in the pharmaceutical industry influence doctors’ “best practices” as well as offer funding for research and court physicians and their staff in hopes of gaining loyalty.

 

Devon Beasley, a registered nurse, has spent years in her field and told Truth In Media that she has seen representatives for pharmaceutical companies “wine and dine” an entire medical office in the midst of promoting various products. “Some of the offices that I would apply for would actually tell me ‘hey, we have catered lunches three times a week.’ That’s directly from pharmaceuticals. You also get materials for your office that make your office look really great,” said Beasley. “They will bring in supplies that make your office look like you have a lot of money.”

 

Beasley went on to say that medication samples, which are common in the doctors’ office and part of the pharmaceutical companies’ strategy to promote certain products, are highly sought after by patients and can conflict with the pursuit of proper medical care. “No one is asking which is the safest medication, which is the best for me, which is best for the patient. It’s all about ‘do you have samples, do you have coupons? Can you prescribe me something that does have a coupon? Can you prescribe me something that does have a sample?’ And it has nothing to do with which one is best, most effective or safest,” said Beasley.

 

Truth In Media’s Ben Swann also discussed the pharmaceutical industry’s impact on the medical community’s procedures known as “best practice,” which is the name for a system of policies that have been agreed upon by doctors and regulatory agencies such as the FDA. Swann explained that “the problem with best practices is how it is manipulated by big pharma. Research that best practice is based on is heavily funded by big pharma.”

Pharma Guy's insight:

“They will bring in supplies that make your office look like you have a lot of money.” LOL!

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Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report 2016

Annual Healthcare Professional Communication Report 2016 | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

As the healthcare industry continues to change at a rapid pace, the professionals who provide care are adapting to shifting priorities and new challenges. Reaching healthcare professionals via traditional communication channels may not be as effective as they were previously due to these changes, and the evolving preferences of HCPs as technology advances. This report provides insights on effective communication with healthcare professionals based on responses from our annual HCP Communication Study.

In this report you will discover:

  • How to engage with healthcare professionals the way they want to be reached – study results reveal best methods to communicate with providers
  • The best channels to include in your marketing mix
  • What type of information healthcare professionals want and need
  • The type of support physicians would like to receive from the life science industry
  • Online resources most utilized by healthcare providers
  • Healthcare providers’ opinions regarding direct-to-consumer advertising
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Many Physicians Like Medical Journal Ads, Says Kantar Media, But Not DTC Ads, Says AMA

Many Physicians Like Medical Journal Ads, Says Kantar Media, But Not DTC Ads, Says AMA | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

According to Kantar Media's Sources & Interactions Study, September 2015: Medical/Surgical Edition, 43% of physicians feel that ads in print medical journals are a necessary compromise because they keep costs down. What is perhaps even more optimistic is that 48% said ads are a useful component in journals.


Only 7% that think ads interfere with their ability to read journal content, and even less (5%) prefer to read medical journals that do not carry any advertising even if it means paying more.  We’ve also discovered that 24% of those surveyed pay more attention to ads for new products.

 

Kantar Media’s Sources & Interactions studies power informed decisions on healthcare professional promotional mix strategy for marketers and agencies, and provide medical publishers and content providers with actionable data on where their offerings fit into healthcare professionals’ information inventory. 


The Medical/Surgical edition of the study, conducted every six months and based on input from more than 3,000 physicians across 22 specialties, documents how doctors prefer to learn and keep up to date on medical developments through media, meetings, sales rep interactions and more. Sources and Interactions provides critical insight into how to most effectively engage physicians and reach them with news, educational content and promotional messaging.  

Pharma Guy's insight:

Meanwhile, the American Medical Association wants to ban all DTC ads directed at consumers. For more on that, read "AMA Calls for Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Ads"; http://sco.lt/4iRfrF 


Drug print ads aimed at patients are usually upbeat showing the benefits of the pill. Print ads intended for physicians on the other hand are often dark and downright scary. Maybe that's why they like them :) For more on that read "Scary Pharma/Drug Ads in Medical Journals"; http://bit.ly/21g6evh 

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Pharma marketing to physicians [infographic]

Pharma marketing to physicians [infographic] | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Via Thibaud Guymard
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