Background: Marketing literature is replete with studies on the impact of pharmaceutical promotions on doctors. Pharmaceutical companies devise their  detailing strategies based on physicians’ behavior s. This study was an attempt to find out how doctors gauge the influence of pharmaceutical marketing on their prescription behavior.
Objectives: To quantitatively investigate the perception of doctors about the role of pharmaceutical companies in influencing their prescription behavior in different clinical settings and to evaluate how they interpret the effect of peer opinion, scientific knowledge and use of generics on their prescription behavior based on their level of specialization, years of clinical experience and their professional setting.
Methodology: A multi-centric, cross-sectional, questionnaire based study, using a 10-item questionnaire composed of four dimensions was used. Results were analyzed using ANOVA and post hoc tests wherever required.
Results: Doctors in the public health sector admitted to a significantly greater influence of pharmaceutical marketing as compared to private sector doctors. Both, knowledge seeking behavior and peer influence were higher in the private sector hospital. Doctors with experience ≤ 10 years and >30 years sought knowledge about drugs more actively than their peers. Doctors with less than 10 years of experience were more susceptible to pharmaceutical marketing as well as peer influence. There was no statistically significant difference between doctors when their levels of specialization were considered.
Conclusions: There is a moderately low influence of pharmaceutical companies on the prescription behavior of doctors; but this needs to be validated in future studies by the direct corroboration of perceived prescription behavior with actual practice.
Keywords: Prescribing behavior, generic drug prescription, pharmaceutical marketing, detailing.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018