New Research into Prescribing Practices

  • August 2011
  • -
  • Firstword Pharma



Every day, doctors make hundreds of decisions. Decisions that affect patient care, diagnosis, follow up and pharmaceuticals prescribed.

What influences those choices? When it comes to prescribing habits, says Dr G Caleb Alexander, a University of Chicago assistant professor of medicine, “this is one of the great unknowns. It’s pretty tough to accurately identify the sources and magnitude of influence that guides physician learning.”

Yet comparative effectiveness research (CER) in the US is not only shedding light on comparing disease treatments, but prompting detailed examinations of how doctors make prescribing decisions and the factors that sway them.



Report Overview
In New Research into Prescribing Practices, FirstWord reviews the role of CER intelligence, the significant gaps it has identified in physician knowledge and how CER information will shape the way that pharmaceutical firms promote their products. Based on expert interviews and the latest research, the report reveals the key factors influencing physician decisions, from formal education, casual colleague conversations, insurance regulations and government subsidies to continuing medical education, samples and even patient pressure.
Key features




Key features
Compelling insight into how pharma can address prescribing trends
Examination of CERs influence on pharma, patient care and academic detailing
Expert insight into how new drug promotions can evolve
Discussion of how promotions can impact doctor-patient relations
Analysis of why some drugs are overprescribed while others are underutilized
Charts and tables illustrating compliance, prescribing trends




Key Benefits
Expert advice on how pharma and CER projects can influence physician choice
Insight into the dominant factors affecting prescribing habits

Key Questions Asked
How can pharma identify which doctors respond to which promotional techniques?
What are the key factors affecting how doctors prescribe pharmaceuticals according to CER research?
How do promotional emphases need to change over the life cycle of a new drug?
How can pharma firms build goodwill by helping doctor-patient communication?
How are CER projects informing how pharma firms market their products?
What are the gaps in physician knowledge?

Who Should Read This Report
Marketing and Brand Management
Advertising/Promotion
Medical Education
Marketing Research/Business Intelligence
Sales Management
Territory Management/Sales Representatives



Key quotes
“Armed with this comparative information, doctors and patients can discuss the pros and cons of medications to come up with one that best fits the patient’s needs and preferences.”
– Dr Carolyn M Clancy, director of AHRQ


CER is “the next stage in an evolution of research and knowledge development in regard to medical intervention... Embracing CER is regarded as an essential step for the innovative pharmaceutical industry.”
– Marc L Berger, vice-president of global health outcomes and David Grainger, global public policy director, Eli Lilly


“It’s pretty tough to accurately identify the sources and magnitude of influence that guides physician learning. This is one of those great unknowns. We know that some sources are influential, but discussing exactly how influential and in what settings is easier said than done.”
– Dr G Caleb Alexander, assistant professor of medicine, University of Chicago


Expert Views
Dr Carolyn M Clancy, Director, AHRQ
Dr Scott R Smith, Senior Fellow, AHRQ
Dr Ramkumar Janakiraman, Texas A&M University
Dr Ben Gerber, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Illinois at Chicago
Dr David P Miller, Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University, North Carolina
Dr Julie A Schmittdiel, Research Division, Kaiser Permanente
Dr G Caleb Alexander, Assistant Professor of medicine, University of Chicago
Dr Katherine Y Yang, Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco
Frank Powers, CEO, Dudnyk consultants
Alex Swedlow, Executive Vice-President, Research and Development, California Workers' Compensation Institute



Table Of Contents

Executive summary
Comparative effectiveness research
> Impact on pharma
> Impact on patient care
> Academic detailing
> Knowing doesn't equal doing
Influencing physician choices
> Gaps in physician knowledge
> How doctors make their choices
> Healthcare coverage
> Getting doctors to switch
> Custom-tailored detailing
> The importance of drug samples
The role of patients
> Which promotions work best?
> Patient information
> Safety considerations
> Cost considerations
> Combating non-adherence
Persistently overprescribed drugs
> Antibiotics
> Opioids
Addressing underprescribing
> Cardiac care
> Older patients
> Minorities
Looking ahead

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