Death of the drug rep, and who will take their place?

Representatives from drug companies are undergoing some hard times, as physicians increasingly are closing their doors to them, or seeing them only via an appointment.

Subsequently, the number of drug reps is predicted to fall from about 102,000 at its peak in 2007, to 75,000 by 2012.

There are a variety of reasons for this, including the fact that more doctors simply don’t trust the information that’s presented, to medical schools banning access to the pharmaceutical industry.

A lot of times, it’s simply a matter of time. As doctors are pressured to see more patients, they simply don’t have the minutes available during the day to be detailed.

So, how will the industry evolve? One possibility is increasing online exposure to drug marketing. According to marketing agency Manhattan Research, “about 45,000 doctors meet with detailers using online video, and 300,000 physicians say they are open to doing so.”

It seems that drug detailing may go the way of the printed newspaper, as more physicians are willing to learn about, and listen to, marketing over the internet.

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