News | February 25, 2008

Office-Based Physicians Still Prefere Faxing

February 26, 2008 — Continuing its channel preference study of office-based physicians, SK&A Information Services Inc. reports 87 percent of physician offices surveyed accept fax communications about various topics of interest, including product recalls and updates, information on continuing medical education, medical office products announcements and publication offers.

In one recent example, a leading pharmaceutical company used fax broadcasting to communicate an urgent message to physicians and pharmacists regarding the voluntary withdrawal of several over-the-counter pediatric medicines, according to the study. The message was delivered overnight via fax to more than 300,000 pharmacies and physician offices.

Besides product recalls, other common faxing campaigns to medical practices reportedly include health insurance updates, requests for participation in clinical trials and surveys and delivery of research findings on specific drug treatments and ailments.

The fax acceptance study is the latest in SK&A’s series to better understand physician-office channel marketing preferences. In January 2008, SK&A released a study on access to physicians, which examined doctors’ willingness to see healthcare industry sales representatives.

The Fax Acceptance study was based on telephone calls to SK&A’s industry-leading database of medical practices representing approximately 637,000 physicians. Only 13 percent indicated they would not accept faxes, according to the report. The major objections raised by these sites were “cost of toner” and “waste of paper.” SK&A will continue the survey until it has called all the medical practices in its Office-Based Physician database. The first report covering all practices is scheduled to be completed and available in the second quarter of 2008. The report will break down fax preferences by specialty and geography. Custom reports will also be available, upon request.

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