Valuing interactions with doctors

Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) released a survey yesterday on biopharmaceutical company interactions with healthcare professionals that showed that nearly eight out of 10 physicians view pharmaceutical companies and their sales representatives as useful sources of information on prescription medicines.

PhRMA lists the following summary of key findings: 

  1. Most physicians consider advances in treatments and cures among things working best in U.S. healthcare today.
  2. Physicians consider a wide range of factors when making prescribing decisions. By far, they make decisions based on their clinical knowledge, experience, and each patient’s unique situation.
  3. To stay informed about medicines, physicians review and integrate information from many sources—particularly Continuing Medical Education courses and articles in peer-reviewed medical journals.
  4. Most physicians recognize and value contributions made by pharmaceutical and biotech companies, but they do not use this information in isolation. Most find information from these sources up-to-date, useful and reliable.
  5. Pharmaceutical company sponsored educational programs are well attended, and most find information provided at these events to be up-to-date, useful and reliable.

The value of our sales teams' face-to-face interactions remains at the core of our communications with physicians. At AstraZeneca, our sales force works with health care professionals to educate them on the use, safety, and benefits of our medicines, as well as our prescription savings programs for patients.

We believe our role is to help give health care professionals the information they need to make informed decisions. Patients ultimately benefit when physicians are well informed and knowledgeable about our medicines, treatment options and standards of care.

– By Katie Lubenow


  • There was a publication in Chest which looked at the effectiveness of CME on practice performance. It concluded that print media alone was not effective. A multimedia approach needs to be adopted for maximum effectiveness. (Chest 2009; 135:42s-48s

  • I noticed that in the sample used in this research only 7% of respondents had <10 years experience. Do you know if this is a representative sample? I would imagine the preferences of this group would be much different than the more senior physician- and would be a better indication of where physician preferences are headed.