Research Outline

Doctors and Pharma Companies


To gather information on how doctors feel about pharma companies and pharma sales representatives, including how they feel about getting information from them, how often they want to get that information, what that information should look like, and how their current view has changed over the past 10-15 years. The information will be used to develop strategies around how that view might impact practices and what the future role of pharma companies may look like in the future.

Early Findings

  • According to a survey, 88% of doctors agree that they prefer in-person meetings to engage with pharma representatives, while 9% prefer eDetailing.
  • About 36% of doctors agree that journals and in-person meetings with sales representatives are their preferred ways to learn about new drugs.
  • When asked about what changes doctors would like to be implemented in the pharmaceutical industry, 9% agreed on "pharma marketing and sales reps." Another constant opinion is their dislike of direct-to-consumer advertising, while others said they appreciated patient assistance programs. Also, 35% of doctors "suggested an outright ban" and 31% "additional patient education."
  • According to a 2019 survey, almost 50% of doctors don’t have time for in-person meetings with pharma sales representatives, as the share of doctors having these meetings decreased from 67% to 54% in one year.
  • The percentage of primary care doctors who did not interact with pharma representatives increased from 21% in 2018 to 40% in 2019. However, this number varied by specialty, as in the case of gastroenterologists the same number increased from 2% to 8%.
  • Doctors are currently turning to the internet to learn more about pharmaceutical products. About 49% agree that "they never had a question for a representative that they couldn’t find answers for online."
  • Also, doctors are not consulting pharma representatives through remote communication, such as email or phone, as only 12% of them are engaging with representatives this way.
Through our initial research, we concluded that information tailored to pediatricians is not available in the public domain, which is why we focused on information on phisicians in general.