Time to Consider More Than Just Detailing

A new study published in the journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that when teaching hospitals place restrictions on drug reps, doctors tend to use more generics.  While conflicts of interest have long existed in healthcare, this research brings new attention to the impact of the relationships between doctors and drug reps. 

This study, which examined more than 16 million prescriptions across eight classes of drugs, found that the practice commonly know as ‘detailing’ actually had a 1.67% decrease in market share for the average promoted drug.  It is important to note that researchers found statistically significant changes in only 9 of the 16 hospitals studied.  Additionally, the study does prove that that these policies directly changed the prescribing habit, but it suggests an association between the two. 

What does this mean for healthcare marketers?  It means that we must look beyond traditional methods of marketing and consider other levers to influence clinicians.  Detailing may once have been effective; but today with the help of Behaviour Science, we have many more tools under our belts.