Almost all California doctors believe that market research helps to control the cost of pharmaceuticals. According to a new survey from the Insights Association, 97 percent of primary care physicians and 96 percent of specialty physicians who practice in California agree that, “Market research can help control drug costs, by revealing potential flaws in drugs and treatment regimens before manufacturers invest substantially in their production and helping them focus resources efficiently.”

As the state legislature considers a bill to prohibit most payments from the pharmaceutical industry to health care providers in connection with their participation in research, a new survey indicates the public health benefits of pharmaceutical marketing research studies of doctors.

In addition to helping to control the rising cost of medication, 99 percent of physicians surveyed agreed that pharmaceutical marketing research studies “that ask physicians about their patients' compliance with treatment regimens help determine what causes patients to avoid or cease treatment and how to encourage compliance.” A further 98 percent of primary care doctors and 94 percent of specialty doctors agreed that marketing research studies with doctors can uncover “important but unreported side effects of prescription medications.”

“The insights from pharmaceutical marketing research with doctors can benefit patients and the public, not just our clients,” commented Howard Fienberg, director of government affairs for the Insights Association, the leading nonprofit association representing the marketing research and analytics industry. “Fortunately, Sen. Mike McGuire provided an exemption in his legislation, S.B. 790, for respondent incentives to doctors for participating in bona fide blinded pharmaceutical marketing research studies.”

About the survey: Custom healthcare survey solution provider SHC Universal conducted the survey online with 160 doctors who practice in California, from July 28 to 29, 2017. Sixty respondents were primary care physicians and 100 were physician specialists.