SK&A released the results of its latest physician survey, and it turns out that most docs are happy to meet with sales reps as long as they make an appointment in advance.
In fact, 98 percent of offices that allow sales reps to make office calls see 20 reps per week.
“That’s how many reps step through the door,” said Jack Schember, director of marketing, SK&A. “And by that we mean reps that were allowed in to drop off promotional materials, drug samples for signature, attempt to see the physician, or have an appointment for a meeting.”
Schember admits that SK&A has no benchmark to compare the data against, as this is the first time that company has asked the question as part of its Physician Access Survey, which surveyed more than 200,000 medical offices.
There is no data on how many of these sales calls are repeat visits from the same rep, or what companies they represent.
Of the physicians interviewed, 49.6 percent said that they require an appointment to meet with a rep. That’s up from 38.5 percent in 2008. Doctors in smaller practices appear to be the most likely to demand appointments, but they are also more likely to meet with reps, because they own the practice.
On the other hand, “doctors in larger practices are requiring appointments because their policies are governed by corporate owners, such as medical groups and health systems,” Schember said. “In some cases, pharma reps have to apply through the corporate owner for clearance to visit a single office.”
Physicians in specialties such as diagnostic radiology, pathology, and neuroradiology are the most likely to deny all access to reps, while diabetes specialists are the most likely to meet with a rep. Just make sure to schedule an appointment ahead of time.