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J.D. Power and Associates Reports: Evidence that Relationship Marketing Still Matters in Oncology Pharmaceutical Sales
Date:4/25/2013

luence on what medicines and services can be prescribed. Manufacturers have responded by developing more programs and solutions for patient assistance and medical staff education, yet these are often still set up through physicians.Despite the shift toward other kinds of marketing activities, the relationship with sales representatives is still what most influences physician satisfaction. Physicians want the sales rep to anticipate their needs and offer proactive solutions to clinical questions and needs. Sales representative interactions is the most influential factor driving overall physician satisfaction with drug companies, slightly more impactful than contributions to advancing medical care.

"Even though there is a lot of questioning about the traditional sales detail approach, the sales rep continues to be a very influential broker of information and resources," said Rick Millard , senior director of the healthcare practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Physicians value having a personalized service relationship that goes beyond the bonds that can be created working through other marketing channels."

Millard also commented that the 2008 PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals has fundamentally transformed how biopharmaceutical companies develop and sustain customer relationships with physicians.

"Despite the restrictions on the types of encounters that may occur, physicians continue to value sales reps and to rely on them," said Millard. "In many ways, the regulations have helped strengthen the impact of sales reps because it has made it a more explicitly professional relationship."

The study finds that the PhRMA Code doesn't mean physicians and sales reps spend all of their time strictly talking business; they still spend about one-fourth of their time building their relationship and talking about non-prescription-related topics, such as family and sports.While there are consistently
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SOURCE J.D. Power and Associates
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