Despite all the sales force cuts the US Pharma industry implemented over the last three to four years, physicians are still receiving a
significant number of sales calls. Some specialties seem to be almost overwhelmed with pharmaceutical company attention.

According to Cegedim Strategic Data’s US promotional audit, a typical
physician receives an average of 246 details per year – almost one call
per day. Although this is a significant number, it is still less than in
some other countries.

CSD takes a look at this promotional pressure and some changes in the call structure over the last few years.
The differences in promotional pressure are most noticeable when we
look at the specialty level. Although the industry focus is shifting
toward specialty care physicians, detailing pressure is still much
higher on primary care – GPs and Internists – who receive about two
details on an average working day. Moreover, they are detailed on many
more products from different categories and therapeutic classes.

Differences in Structure and Evolution of Promotional Pressure

So, how does that affect the quality of the call? When we focus just
on Internists, the specialty that receives the highest number of
details, we notice a considerable decrease in call duration. In 2006,
more than 22% of sales calls to Internists were longer than 10 minutes;
only 9% were longer than 10 minutes in 2011. Conversely, the share of
calls shorter than 5 minutes has almost doubled over the last 6 years.

This decrease in detail time also means that a sales rep can mention
fewer products during the call. In 2006, on average of 38% of sales
calls mentioned multiple products. In 2011, the multiple product
presentations fall to only 10-15% of all sales rep visits.

This trend implies that while marketers still consider strategies of
multi-product portfolio promotion, the reality is that sales reps who
manage to talk to physicians can only discuss one key product and just
leave samples or printed materials for other brands.

By Igor Omelchenko, Cegedim Strategic Data

Please direct all questions to Jerry Maynor - Marketing and Business Development Director for CSD US.
He can be reached at or 678-575-3605.