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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 8549

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Journal Article

Kalb CL.
Psychological motivations in physician prescribing habits
Medical Marketing and Media 1978 Oct; 13:43-45, 49, 50, 52, 54, 55


A questionnaire survey is presented of 204 responding physicians from northern New Jersey which was designed to ascertain the impact and relative importance of drug promotion and other major influences on the practicing physician’s decisions about prescribing medication. This examination of prescribing influences identified the following in order of preference: journal articles, colleagues, company reputation, salespeople, journal advertising and direct mail advertising. These results may suggest which directions are most beneficial for the pharmaceutical marketing manager, especially given the somewhat surprising results of this survey.


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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963