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Physicians in Europe Rate Novartis #1 on Service Delivery, While Merck Earns Top Honors in the US
Date:2/17/2009

/i> Fall even for Top Companies

Even for companies earning high ratings among physicians, rep relationship scores have fallen since 2008. In the US, for example, the average TRI*M(TM) score -- a measure of relationship strength -- fell from 78 to 75. Although 75 is still a good score, the downward trend shows a weakening of the traditional bond between doctors and their reps. Relationship scores also fell in Germany, though they still remain at healthy levels. Scores in France and the UK remain relatively low, continuing to show great challenges in those countries. Spain bucks the trend, as the only country showing a significant jump in its TRI*M(TM) relationship score, from 66 to 74.

The downward pattern in relationship scores is even more noticeable at the company level. In the US, for instance, 11 of the 17 companies measured have seen their scores fall over the last year. Although it ties for first place in terms of relationship strength with Pfizer, Merck and GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis shows the sharpest drop, falling from 89 to 81. Pfizer and Merck also are watching their scores fall, in spite of their first-place standing.

"There are many possible reasons for the downturn in US rep relationship scores," says Brana. "The recent US elections with the accompanying focus on healthcare issues and costs, often targeting the pharma industry, certainly may have played a part in driving scores down. In addition, the negative press around industry payments to doctors and the recent tightening of promotional guidelines also may be playing a role.

"We also suspect that sales force structure and strategy changes could be having an impact. Many companies significantly reduced and reo
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SOURCE TNS Healthcare
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