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The Debate on Influencing Doctors' Decisions: Are Drug Characteristics the Missing Link?

Author

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  • Sriram Venkataraman

    () (Goizueta Business School, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322)

  • Stefan Stremersch

    () (School of Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, 3000 DR Rotterdam, The Netherlands
    Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708)

Abstract

Decision making by physicians on patients' treatment has come under increased public scrutiny. In fact, there is a fair amount of debate on the effects of marketing actions of pharmaceutical firms toward physicians and their impact on physician prescription behavior. While some scholars find a strong and positive influence of marketing actions, some find only moderate effects, and others even find negative effects. Debate is also mounting on the role of other influencers (such as patient requests) in physician decision making, both on prescriptions and sample dispensing. The authors argue that one factor that may tip the balance in this debate is the role of drug characteristics, such as a drug's effectiveness and a drug's side effects. Using a unique data set, they show that marketing efforts--operationalized as detailing and symposium meetings of firms to physicians--and patient requests do affect physician decision making differentially across brands. Moreover, they find that the responsiveness of physicians' decision making to marketing efforts and patient requests depends upon the drug's effectiveness and side effects. This paper presents clear guidelines for public policy and managerial practice and envisions that the study of the role of drug characteristics, such as effectiveness and side effects, may lead to valuable insights in this surging public debate.

Suggested Citation

  • Sriram Venkataraman & Stefan Stremersch, 2007. "The Debate on Influencing Doctors' Decisions: Are Drug Characteristics the Missing Link?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 53(11), pages 1688-1701, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:11:p:1688-1701
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1070.0718
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marc Fischer & Peter Leeflang & Peter Verhoef, 2010. "Drivers of peak sales for pharmaceutical brands," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(4), pages 429-460, December.
    2. Camacho, N.M.A. & de Jong, M.G. & Stremersch, S., 2014. "The Effect of Customer Empowerment on Adherence to Expert Advice," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2014-005-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. Nuno Camacho & Bas Donkers & Stefan Stremersch, 2011. "Predictably Non-Bayesian: Quantifying Salience Effects in Physician Learning About Drug Quality," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(2), pages 305-320, 03-04.
    4. Mariana Carrera & Dana Goldman & Geoffrey Joyce, 2013. "Heterogeneity in Cost-Sharing and Cost-Sensitivity, and the Role of the Prescribing Physician," NBER Working Papers 19186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pradeep Chintagunta & Renna Jiang & Ginger Jin, 2009. "Information, learning, and drug diffusion: The case of Cox-2 inhibitors," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 399-443, December.
    6. Andrew Ching & Masakazu Ishihara, 2010. "The effects of detailing on prescribing decisions under quality uncertainty," Quantitative Marketing and Economics (QME), Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 123-165, June.
    7. repec:kap:hcarem:v:20:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10729-016-9362-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Peter Leeflang & Jaap Wieringa, 2010. "Modeling the effects of pharmaceutical marketing," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 21(2), pages 121-133, June.
    9. Trudy Owens & Nikos Evangelou & David Whynes, 2013. "Rationing and deprivation: disease-modifying therapies for multiple sclerosis in the United Kingdom," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 14(2), pages 315-321, April.
    10. Stefan Stremersch & Aurélie Lemmens, 2009. "Sales Growth of New Pharmaceuticals Across the Globe: The Role of Regulatory Regimes," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(4), pages 690-708, 07-08.
    11. Greffion, Jérôme & Breda, Thomas, 2015. "Façonner la prescription, influencer les médecins," Revue de la Régulation - Capitalisme, institutions, pouvoirs, Association Recherche et Régulation, vol. 17.
    12. Stremersch, S. & Lemmens, A., 2008. "Sales Growth of New Pharmaceuticals Across the Globe: The Role of Regulatory Regimes," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-026-MKT, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    13. Stefan Stremersch & Vardit Landsman & Sriram Venkataraman, 2013. "The Relationship Between DTCA, Drug Requests, and Prescriptions: Uncovering Variation in Specialty and Space," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 32(1), pages 89-110, June.

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