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SDI Reports: Physicians Satisfied with Number of Sales Rep Visits

Pfizer Remains “Most Effective” at Traditional Detailing

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 8, 2008 - As pharmaceutical and biotech manufacturers have decreased sales forces over the past four years, physicians have increasingly reported more satisfaction with the number of sales representatives calling on them. According to SDI's recently released Sales Force Effectiveness 2008: The Physician Perspective, 57% of physicians reported that the current number of sales reps calling on them was appropriate, compared to 52% and 50% who felt that way in 2006 and 2004, respectively. Additionally, 20% of physicians surveyed in 2008 reported that there were too many reps or more than necessary, compared to 25% who indicated the same feeling in 2004.

Physicians' satisfaction with the volume of sales reps is arguably correlated to the trend captured in a separate, but very much related, SDI audit, Sales Force Structures & Strategies, which tracks sales organization structures, rep counts, and rep responsibilities. In 2004-2005, the number of sales representatives peaked at 102,000 but has been decreasing ever since, with 99,000 in 2006 and 92,000 in 2008.

A key aspect of Sales Force Effectiveness 2008: The Physician Perspective is the sales force effectiveness rankings reported by physicians. The 2008 panel ranked Pfizer No. 1 in traditional detailing, which mirrors 2006 results, while AstraZeneca advanced from No. 5 in 2006 to No. 2 in 2008.

About Sales Force Effectiveness

Since 1998, SDI has produced groundbreaking studies on the productivity and effectiveness of sales forces in the pharmaceutical industry. Sales Force Effectiveness 2008: The Physician Perspective, a biennial study last published in 2006, looks at what makes a rep effective in the eyes of the customers—the physicians themselves.

The study focuses on topical issues of interest in the pharmaceutical industry and also asks respondents to dissect the detail, reporting on the amount of time reps spent on various detail components (e.g., product-specific information, competitive product comparisons, sample delivery, etc.). Respondents rate the effectiveness of specific sales tactics and the impact those tactics have on prescribing.

Approximately 5,900 questionnaires were collected from physicians across 16 specialties who were chosen based on their level of detailing activity and client interest:

Anesthesiology   Neurology
Cardiology   Obstetrics/Gynecology
Dermatology   Oncology
Emergency Medicine   Ophthalmology
Gastroenterology   Orthopedic Surgery
General Surgery   Pediatrics
Internal Medicine   Psychiatry
Primary Care   Pulmonology
For more information about Sales Force Effectiveness 2008: The Physician Perspective or other studies in SDI's Strategic Studies suite, please contact Jason Fox at 267.685.4300;

About SDI

Since 1982, SDI has been delivering innovative healthcare data products and analytic services to the pharmaceutical, biotech, healthcare, medical device, financial services, and consumer packaged goods industries. SDI is the leading provider of de-identified patient-level data analytics and offers a broad array of solutions and insights across the continuum of care. These include custom and syndicated patient-level data studies; localized disease and treatment surveillance and projection; market research audits; healthcare profiles; comprehensive managed care offerings; clinical trial optimization; direct-to-patient pharmacy programs; marketing effectiveness; sales targeting and compensation products; data integration, warehousing, and mining; list services; and direct marketing services. Its current roster includes the top 50 pharmaceutical/biotech companies. For more information, visit or call 610.834.0800.


Contact: SDI
Jason Fox, 800-982-5613 or 267-685-4300
Tracy Everly, 800-982-5613 or 267-685-4300


Posted: December 2008