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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Insurance is Driving Physicians Mad; Nearly Half Now Say They’d Prefer Single-Payer

Insurance is Driving Physicians Mad; Nearly Half Now Say They’d Prefer Single-Payer | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Nearly half of the 500 doctors who responded to a February LinkedIn survey said they would support a single-payer healthcare system, or Medicare-like coverage for everyone, not just the elderly, instead of the current patchwork model of insurance coverage.

 

The reasons that patients delay care until they can’t wait any longer are complex. But a barrier doctors said they consistently see is a fragmented system: People either don’t have health insurance or can’t find a doctor who accepts their coverage.

 

The physician sentiment comes as Congress is locked in a debate about what to do about the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in the House last week pulled a bill that would have significantly altered the insurance landscape.

 

But for many physicians, the issue comes down to efficiency. In their responses, they cited the administrative hassle of working with multiple insurance companies, each with its own rules and billing procedures. And they pointed to some of the less visible costs, like patients who bounce from one healthcare provider to another as their health plans change.

 

A total of 48% of physicians said they would be in favor of single-payer healthcare, while 32% were opposed and 21% said they didn’t know.

 

Our survey was conducted Feb. 7-19 and reached 511 physicians in the U.S. A total of 449 respondents are currently practicing in patient care. They were chosen at random, and reflect a number of different specialties and years of experience.

 

Further Reading:

  • “Kaiser Poll: 63% Positive About ‘Medicare-for-All’ vs 44% for ‘Single Payer’"; http://sco.lt/5ZAj45
Pharma Guy's insight:

Pharma's strategy to position insurance companies as the culprit causing high drug prices may have backfired if this survey is any indication. 

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Overhyped Drug Ads Are Often “Pain Points” for Some Physicians

Overhyped Drug Ads Are Often “Pain Points” for Some Physicians | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The major “pain point” between healthcare professionals and drugmakers is trust, and pharmaceutical ads often get in the way of that trust, Dr. Joseph Habboushe, a physician at NYU Langone Medical Center, told attendees at ePharma.

 

“Us doctors, we get advertised to constantly, and it's not always the most straightforward way,” said Habboushe, who is also CEO of MDCalc, a medical score provider.

 

Oftentimes, drugmakers blur the lines between a drug's benefits and risks, quoting drug benefits in relative risks and actual risks in absolute value, making the benefits appear substantial and the risks less significant, noted Habboushe, while speaking Tuesday at the annual conference in New York City (read, for example, Opdivo TV Ads Educate Patients About the Positive, Not the Negative Trial Data; http://sco.lt/5OtIdl).

 

“Doctors start sensing this and at the end of the day, we don't fully trust our medical references,” said Habboushe. “We look for messaging from pharmaceutical companies not necessarily to help us treat our patients but to some extent to flag and discredit it.”

           

“What works for us is not just a flashy advertisement as much as, ‘Here's information that will help with the decision you're making now,” said Habboushe. “‘Or by the way, there's this new drug out there, and there are some other patients you might see tomorrow [who may be suitable for it.]''”

 

Transparency is key, agreed all speakers on the panel. The more drugmakers get comfortable with sharing negative as well as positive information, the more healthcare professionals will trust them and their messages, said Rohit Heryani, senior manager of multichannel marketing at Daiichi Sankyo.

 

Further Reading:

Pharma Guy's insight:

It’s appropriate that this discussion took place on the Intrepid aircraft carrier. It’s going to take more than a panel discussion to move the “aircraft carrier” issue of transparency in drug ads and promotions to physicians.

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Pharma Sales Calls to Individual Physicians Soon to Be Equivalent to Making Best "Buggy Whips" in Town

Pharma Sales Calls to Individual Physicians Soon to Be Equivalent to Making Best "Buggy Whips" in Town | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The work of every brand manager, sales rep, medical science liaison, marketing researcher, meeting planner, and medical affairs person consists of this one central task: driving the behavior of physicians and other professionals who are legally empowered to prescribe medications.


The change currently taking place is that all of this effort to sway physicians will soon become a contemporary version of making the best buggy whips in town.  Individual physicians will no longer remain the major decision makers about which medications to use and when to use them.  That role will be taken over by payers, provider networks and integrated provider-payers.


Marketing to individual physicians in this age of managed markets will be as unproductive and wasteful as a finance manager or accountant who performs all her arithmetic functions with a paper and pencil. 


Pharmaceutical marketing and sales will continue to exist, but as a business-to-business (BTB) function instead of the mass operation that now prevails.  That means most of the jobs currently dedicated to influencing physicians' behavior will disappear.  The descriptions of those few remaining positions, and the skills of people needed to fill them, will be vastly different from those of current employees.


Pharma Guy's insight:


Interesting factoid: sales reps outnumber marketing researchers by a factor of more than a hundred to one.

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It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors

It’s Time to Turn Off TV Doctors | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
From shady business deals to the lust for fame, television doctors are among the last people we should trust when it comes to health advice.


Though many of television doctors’ pedigrees are, in fact, impressive, it doesn’t exclude them from succumbing to the power trip that is the cult of celebrity.


The most recent example is Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose shilling of various ineffective weight loss supplements ultimately landed him in a congressional hearing that has cost him a fast-vanishing reputation. For Congress to call upon Dr. Oz is to essentially ask that a publicist be present and willing to issue a statement for green coffee.


Lucky for us, Oz somehow has a conscience and basic understanding of how the law works, forcing him to come clean. He further shamed the empire he’s built with statements made on the record against the exact things he’d been uttering on television. It’s a testament to the fever dream haze of celebrity that Dr. Oz’s defense lies squarely in the ability to prop up his audience, even through pseudoscience. To say that Oz is using a white lie to better the public would be letting him off too easy, however.

Pharma Guy's insight:


Remember, Dr. Jarvik, the erstwhile "real" physician that Pfizer hired to recommend Lipitor in its TV ads back in 2007? Since he was outed as an unlicensed physician (read the story here), the drug industry has been reluctant to use real physicians in TV drug ads (the exception is that Restasis doctor, the sight of whom drives me to flip the channel). 


There are, however, fake doctors portrayed by unknown actors in drug commercials and there used to be famous TV doctors -- e.g., Dr. Geiger played by Mandy Patinkin -- starring in TV drug ads. Haven't seen any of those lately.


You might like to read this: 

While Real Doctors Prescribe Placebos, Fake Docs on TV Prescribe Drugs Off-Label
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DTC Advertising “Not Helpful” in Making Sermo Doctors’s Jobs Easier

DTC Advertising “Not Helpful” in Making Sermo Doctors’s Jobs Easier | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

It's well documented that the American Medical Association isn't a huge fan of direct-to-consumer advertising for pharmaceuticals and devices (read “AMA Calls for a Ban on Direct-to-Consumer Drug Ads”; http://sco.lt/4iRfrF). Individual doctors, however, have been far less vocal about their feelings toward DTC. Do they believe that the ads help educate patients? Do they derive any benefits themselves, in terms of awareness or anything else, from the ads?

 

We had SERMO, a social network for physicians, ask them. In response to the question, “Do you believe DTC drug advertisements primarily (1) are helpful to doctor–patient communications and educate patients or (2) make doctor–patient communications more difficult and do not provide valuable educational content to patients,” 21% (353 doctors) said the former and 79% (1,343 doctors) said the latter.

 

We've synthesized their comments here, preceded by the physician's area of specialty.

Pharma Guy's insight:

But I bet it increases their take home pay!

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Nearly Half of UK Docs Feel #Pharma Is Too Focused on Sales & Marketing

Nearly Half of UK Docs Feel #Pharma Is Too Focused on Sales & Marketing | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

You can add UK doctors to the list of people with a jaundiced view of the pharmaceutical industry. A new survey finds that 43 percent of general practitioners have a negative feeling about drug makers and believe the industry agenda is too focused on sales and marketing, according to Binley’s, a health care analysis firm that canvassed 551 physicians in England.

What’s more, 23 percent of the docs believe that drug makers do not understand how they go about their work or appreciate their needs.


The survey, by the way, also asked the physicians how the pharmaceutical industry could be more helpful. Binley’s reported that 18 percent pointed to industry funding of physician education, while 12 percent said they want drug makers to reduce prices on medicines. Twelve percent also want pharma to help patients to self-manage conditions, such as offering advice about lifestyle changes, over-the-counter remedies or suggesting support groups.

Pharma Guy's insight:

The survey found that negative opinions of the pharmaceutical industry were held by 56 percent of doctors who do not see reps. But only 32 percent of physicians who do meet with reps held such negative views.

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Even Though There Are Fewer Sales Reps, More Physicians Deny Rep Access

Even Though There Are Fewer Sales Reps, More Physicians Deny Rep Access | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

According to the spring 2014 AccessMonitor™ report from global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates, pharmaceutical access to physicians continues to decline. Only 51% of physicians/prescribers now allow access to sales reps, down from 55% in 2013.


The decline in access continues despite the downsizing of the pharma sales force by one-third since 2008. But, the downsizing has actually helped pharma deliver better sales calls.

How? Read the original post to find out.

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