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Does the Pharmaceutical Industry Need Traditional Sales Reps?
Published Oct 26, 2017

SHC queried 100 randomly selected doctors and asked them to select both the most effective and least effective pharmaceutical promotional vehicles. As reported in a September 2016 AMA article, more than 50% of all promotion to physicians is made up of “nonpersonal” communications. Apparently, the days of the in-office “Detail” are over. But is this a good trend for the pharmaceutical industry?

Pharmaceutical industry's most effective promotional tactics
Pharmaceutical industry's least effective promotional tactics

There are good reasons for pharma to spend less on traditional sales reps. The same AMA article also indicated the percentage of doctors that are willing to see a Sales Rep has dropped from 80% in 2008 to 44% in 2016. Which leads to a dilemma: At the same time that physicians feel a one-on-one visit is the most effective, they also are less willing to see a Sales Rep. There is some good justification for cutting back on face-to-face communications. However, because these are overwhelmingly viewed by physicians as most effective, perhaps more research should be done to identify additional alternatives to the traditional “Detail” visit.

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