IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

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

  • 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)

Registered author(s):

    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.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 53 (2007)
    Issue (Month): 11 (November)
    Pages: 1688-1701

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:11:p:1688-1701
    Contact details of provider: Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA
    Phone: +1-443-757-3500
    Fax: 443-757-3515
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:53:y:2007:i:11:p:1688-1701. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.