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DRUG SAMPLE ORDER/RECEIPT FORMS ARE USED BY 76% OF PHYSICIANS

Executive Summary

DRUG SAMPLE ORDER/RECEIPT FORMS ARE USED BY 76% OF PHYSICIANS, Phoenix Market Research found in a survey of 100 doctors. The physicians were specifically asked whether they are "required to use special sample order forms and sample receipt forms for every sample you order and receive." The Prescription Drug Marketing Act, passed in 1988, requires manufacturers to obtain written requests and receipts for samples. Phoenix' survey is based on 100 responses to questionaires (from a mailing of 1,500) on effects of the Prescription Drug Marketing Act. Approximately half of the responding doctors were general practitioners. The Lincoln Park, New Jersey-based research firm also conducted phone interviews with 30 wholesalers. Almost all of the respondents, 98%, reported using samples. The survey findings show that most samples are obtained from sales reps, but that mailings are often used as well. Of the 98 physicians using samples, 97 said they receive samples left by sales reps. Forty-four also reported using business reply cards to receive samples, while 40 said they have their samples mailed to them by sales reps. About 70% of the responding physicians said they would be interested in a service that would allow doctors to order samples from a variety of manufacturers through a single source. The survey found that slightly less than half of the physicians (45) receive less than 25 sample units per month, while 22 receive between 26-35 units/month, eight receive between 36-45 units/month, and 23 receive over 46 sample units/month. Drug samples most frequently received by the physicians include antibiotics (received by 80%), anti-arthritics (72%), anti-inflammatories (70%), antihistamines (68%), antibacterials (64%), bronchodilators (61%), anti-asthmatics (58%), diuretics (57%), cardiovasculars (55%), dermatologics (54%), antifungals (53%), ethical analgesics (45%), OTC analgesics (43%) and muscle relaxants (43%). The wholesaler component of the survey found that the majority of wholesalers (22, or 73%) believe that hospitals should be able to return overstocked or expired samples. Fifteen (or 68%) of those wholesalers specified that the returns would only be legitimate if sent directly to the manufacturer. FDA has not yet issued final drug diversion regulations, but draft guidances prepared by the agency have limited hospital returns to misshipments and misorders occurring within 10 days of delivery. Phoenix Market Research is selling its survey, called Drug Sampling Syndicated Study, at a cost of $2,500.
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