- According to an AccessMonitor report from ZS Associates, 53% of physicians' practices implemented tight restrictions on pharmaceutical sales representativesreps.
- Three years ago, only 35% of U.S. physicians' practices had no access or limited access rules.
- Industry-wide consolidation amongh health providers is making it difficult for reps to gain access to physicians.
For years, reps have been bemoaning the increasing level of restrictions and anti-rep policies, but recently things have seemed to become especially difficult. There are several reasons, starting first with consolidation of healthcare systems into larger systems, where decision-making authority is taken away from physicians and ceded to central decision-makers. In addition, in hospital settings, administrators worry that the visual presence of reps may be distracting or distubring.
Things are especially challenging for reps who call on oncologists. In 2010, 75% of oncologists welcomed interactions with sales reps, whereas now 73% of oncologists restrict access. Another tough therapeutic area for reps is nephrology---only 19% of nephrology practices are considered accessible to reps.
Like other parts of the industry, there is room for innovation in pharmaceutical sales. So although there are restrictive policies in place, face-to-face interactions between physicians and sales reps will continue in some form. This is especially important as the industry prepares to launch a large number of new drugs.