Perceptions of the provision of drug information, pharmaceutical detailing and engagement with non-personal promotion at a large physicians network: A mixed-methods study

Ana Hincapie, Elizabeth Schlosser, Udim Damachi, Erica Neff, Leandro Llambi, Kent Groves, Neil J. MacKinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective Non-personal promotion (NPP) such as digital, print-based marketing, direct promotional visits and free drug samples are means of pharmaceutical marketing. This study described practices of drug information, pharmaceutical detailing and engagement with NPP at an integrated network of providers. Design This was a sequential explanatory mixed-methods study. A survey was followed by semistructured interviews. The questionnaire elicited preferred sources of drug information, management of drug information and perceptions on drug samples, coupons and pharmaceutical representative visits. Interviews were audio-recorded and transcribed. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics (quantitative) and content analysis (qualitative). Setting Face-to-face or telephonic interviews were conducted at a large physicians network in Northern Kentucky. Participants Eighty-two medical assistants, primary care, specialty providers and other office staff who completed the survey and 16 interviewees. Results Most respondents were women (79.3%), office managers (26.8%) and individuals employed for 15 years or longer within the organisation (30.5%). Most participants (85.3%) indicated that pharmaceutical representative visits are the most common source of drug information. Paper-based material was the most frequent form in which information was received in physician offices (62.2%). Medical assistants were usually responsible for handling drug information (46.3%) on arrival in the office, compared with 15.3% of physicians. Drug representative detailing and lunches (62.2%) were the desired method of drug information communication followed by electronic mail or e-journals (11%). Interviewees generated three themes that described pharmaceutical representative visits and interactions with prescriber and non-prescriber personnel in the offices. Conclusions We found significant involvement of non-prescriber personnel in drug information management at primary and specialty care offices. Participants perceived that pharmaceutical representatives have an important role in keeping the offices informed and supplied with relevant drug information, coupons and samples. Findings highlight the importance of engaging prescriber and non-prescriber personnel to guarantee relevant information reaches providers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere041098
JournalBMJ Open
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 18 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • general medicine (see internal medicine)
  • health services administration & management
  • quality in health care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Perceptions of the provision of drug information, pharmaceutical detailing and engagement with non-personal promotion at a large physicians network: A mixed-methods study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this