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Oncologists restrict pharmaceutical sales rep access at accelerating rates
Date:8/28/2012

EVANSTON, Ill., Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As more pharmaceutical companies prepare to bring new oncology drugs to market, their sales representatives face a rising hurdle – oncologists are reducing the number of times they will see them.

(Photo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120828/CG63654)

According to the spring 2012 AccessMonitor™, a report from global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS Associates, about 61 percent of oncologists placed moderate-to-severe restrictions on visits from pharmaceutical sales reps. This makes oncology the most restrictive of the 20 most common medical specialties measured in the report. By comparison, about 47 percent of cardiologists and only 38 percent of primary care physicians restrict rep access to the same degree.

Oncology is the fastest-growing specialty therapy area in the world and accounted for 10 percent of global pharmaceutical sales in 2011. Currently, there are about 1,000 oncology drugs in the pipeline — almost twice the number in any other field.

"Sales reps equip oncologists with data on evolving science, access to financial assistance for patients, and help with reimbursement support and patient support materials," said Ganesh Vedarajan, principal and leader of the oncology and specialty therapeutics practice at ZS Associates. "Regulatory constraints, however, are increasingly restricting these offerings. Physicians also are able to access scientific data in real time through other channels."

"While oncologists still see some value in rep visits, increased patient load and more time spent on reimbursement issues limit the time they have available. Most practices now require reps to schedule appointments in advance – and generally provide only two or three potential openings per week."

AccessMonitor™ is a proprietary tool that incorporates the sales-call
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SOURCE ZS Associates
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