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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Big Inside Joke About Doctor Surveys: 90% of Physicians Believe They Graduated in the Top Half of Their Class

Richard Meyer, author of World of DTC Marketing Blog, is a big believer in physician surveys, including the survey that the FDA intends to do regarding how physicians feel about direct-to-cinsumer (DTC) advertising.

Rich was interviewed on HuffPost Live recently along with a health reporter and former Zyprexa Drug Rep, Shahram Ahari, who now is a consultant for Pharmedout. The 30-minute interview -- see embedded video at the end of this post -- was titled "Big Pharma's Pill Pushing." The description reads: "Big Pharma spends almost twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development. Drug company revenues climbed more than $200 billion in the years between 1995 and 2010 and so did the number of addicts. How can this be better regulated?"

Rich did his best to defend the drug industry in such an obviously biased setup. The part of the discussion I found interesting in light of my recent post about the FDA physician survey (see "Is FDA Doing DTC, Social Media, & Professional Market Research On Behalf of the Drug Industry?") was Rich's comments about a similar survey by CMI/Compas, which I also wrote about (see "Most Physicians Agree That DTC Advertising Leads to Inappropriate Prescribing -- by OTHER Doctors, Not Them!"), and Shahram's reveal of how pharma sales reps view physician surveys. Here are the two relevant excerpts:




"Cognitive dissonance" describes what I referred to in my analysis of the CMI/Compas snap poll of 104 physicians (op cit): "no matter how the question about inappropriate prescribing was phrased, most [physician] respondents were thinking of the effect of DTC advertising on OTHER doctors' prescribing, not THEIRS. It's similar to how doctors feel about free lunches -- they believe OTHER doctors are influenced by free lunch."

Cognitive dissonance is the reason I am not a fan the FDA survey. The CMI/Compas poll, however, is "underpowered" and you simply cannot contend that the results from 104 physicians is in any way representative of the entire population of US physicians.

Here's the entire HuffPost Live interview, if you have 30 minutes to watch it here:

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