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wraps up the result of S-DMR 2005

>Social Survey Research Information, a market research agency specializing in the pharmaceutical industry, wraps up the result of S-DMR 2005, a market research of media surrounding physicians

"50% of physicians have seen direct-to-consumer advertisement, 60% of who have favorable impression toward the ads.
They understand DTC advertisement as a tool to support medical activities which encourage understanding of the disease and improved compliance. Physicians also agreed, however, that measures to avoid incorrect understanding of the disease are necessary."

Social Survey Research Information, a major market research agency specializing in pharmaceutical industry, finalized the result of S-DMRR, or “SSRI doctors media research,” whose fieldwork had been conducted since December 2005 to January 2006 in greater Tokyo and greater Osaka area.

This is the 4th wave of S-DMRR, which has been conducted since its first wave in 2002. The survey gives an overview of all media surrounding physicians, from pharmaceutical sales representatives’ visits to mass media such as TV. In addition to the internet usage (on PC or mobile phone), attendance to academic conference/seminars or contacts with sales reps, Physicians were also asked about their impression and attitude toward DTC advertisement targeting general consumers. Target physicians are hospital-based or office-based physicians residing in greater Tokyo and greater Osaka area with the total sample size of 1,447 physicians.

1. Summary of physicians’ contact with different media

[TV, news paper, magazines]
News programs ranked among the top as programs physicians often view. “Houdou (News) Station” remained in the first place since the last wave. Entertainment news programs such as “Mino-Monta-no-Asa-zuba!” and “Takeshi-no-TV-Tackle” also earned high viewer rate.
“Asahi Shimbun” is the most frequently read morning newspaper among physicians, followed by other national newspaper. “Shukan (Weekly) Bunshun” ranked the first as the magazine physicians read almost every issue. As a medical journal, among the list of 153 medical specialty journals of every disease area shown to physicians, “Japan Medical Association Magazine,” “Nikkei Medical” and “Medical Tribune” ranked among the top.

[Internet and cell phone usage]
Physicians were asked if they use the internet, location and time of internet usage, which websites they view and how they use a cell phone. 85% of physicians use the internet on PC. 83% use a cell phone and 43% use emails and the internet on cell phone. Yahoo! Is the most often used homepage when they first log into the internet, followed by websites of the academy they belong to at 40%.

[Academic conference and seminars]
Physicians were asked if they participate in “international academic conference,” “national academic conference,” “local academic conference,” “seminar held by a pharmaceutical company” or “medical seminar.” Among these, the most number of physicians participate “seminar held by a pharmaceutical company” (79% of respondents). The average number of participation in conference and seminar is 3.1 times a year.

Activities of sales force is also a part of important contact media as promotional activities targeting physicians. Physicians were asked to evaluate the promotional activities of 52 pharmaceutical companies (including both domestic companies and foreign affiliates). 53% of physicians answered “Astellas” as the company that visit them, followed by “Pfizer” and “Takeda.” “Takeda” “Astra Zeneca” and “Astellas” are the top three companies which most frequently visit physicians. Astellas leaped into the place of top 1 with a merger of “Fujisawa” and “Yamanouchi,” which ranked in the third and the eighth each previously.

2. Acceptance and needs toward Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising
[Acceptance of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising and disease area desired in ads]

Almost 50% of physicians answered that they have seen direct advertising to consumers such as DTC lead by pharmaceutical companies. 60% of those represented favorable impressions such as “favorable” (32%) or “somewhat favorable” (29%). The most frequently cited reason for such response is “It helps a better understanding of a disease” (64%), followed by “it gives patients a motivation to receive treatment/ leads to better compliance.” From these, it can be assumed that DTC plays a role in supporting physicians’ clinical practice. Contrary, the 4% who feel that DIC “is not favorable,” most frequently cited “(DIC) could give incorrect information” (79%) as the reason for their evaluation. Though this percentage is small, this could be a warning sign from physicians wishing general consumers to have correct understanding of the disease.

Physicians were asked unaided to give the disease name of the DTC advertisement they have seen. “ED,” “depression” and “athletes foot” are the top three diseases. As the name of the companies they have seen DTC advertisement of, major foreign affiliates such as “Pfizer,” “GSK” “Bayer” “Novartis” and “Banyu” ranked among the top, followed by a generic pharmaceutical company “Sawai.” Physicians also gave the specific product names of the advertisement, where “Viagra,” “Lamisil,” “Paxil,” “Propecia,” “Levitra,” “Xalatan” and “Itorizole” ranked among the top.

[Disease area where DTC is wanted]
Physicians were asked to name disease areas which more awareness is needed. Many disease names are given including a variety of life-style related diseases. This survey data will be used to make DTC advertising a support to physicians’ clinical practice, as well as a resource for discussing the acceptance and the method to communicate the messages of disease area in which DTC will be made in the future.

Detailed result of this survey will be utilized by major advertising agencies for their media planning targeting the pharmaceutical industry and the summary result will also be provided to pharmaceutical companies.

Outline of the 2005 S-DMR


  1. Project name: SSRI Doctors Media Research (S-DMRR)
  2. Objective: To search quantitatively the physician’s usage of media, which will contribute to planning of the media’s strategy targeting physicians.
  3. Methodology: Postal survey
  4. Survey region: Greater Tokyo and greater Osaka
  5. Sample size: Total of 1,447 physicians. 50 each of hospital-based physicians and 130 each of office-based physicians. Hospital-based physicians: general internists, cardiologists, GI, psychiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists/ allergy specialists, urologists and otolaryngologists. Office-based physicians: Internists, psychiatrists/ neurologists, orthopedic surgeons, dermatologists/ allergy specialists, ophthalmologists, gynecologists, urologists and otolaryngologists.
  6. Survey timeline: Fieldwork: December 10, 2005- January 27, 2006/03/15
    Tabulation of survey data: -January 30, 2006
    Report: March 1, 2006

Contents of S-DMR 2005

  1. Television
    1. At what time zone do you watch TV?
    2. Which TV station do you watch often? (16 stations)
    3. Which TV program do you watch often (275 commercial programs on weekdays/ weekends)
  2. Radio (FM/AM)
    1. Have you listened to the radio over the last month?
    2. At what time zone do you listen to the radio?
    3. Which radio station do you often listen to? (19 radio stations broadcasted in greater Tokyo and greater Osaka)
    4. Which radio stations do you often listen to each time zone? (19 radio stations in greater Tokyo and greater Osaka)
  3. Newspaper
    1. Which morning paper do you read? (among 22 papers)
    2. Which evening paper do you read? (among 12 papers)
  4. Magazine
    1. Which magazines do you read? (among 29 magazines)
    2. Which specialty magazines do you read? (among 153 magazines)
  5. Internet
    1. Usage of internet on cell phone
    2. Usage of internet on PC
    3. Time zone of internet usage on PC
    4. Frequency of watching websites (26 websites)
  6. DTC advertising
    1. Awareness of DTC advertising on medical products
    2. Preference of DTC advertisement
    3. Why is DTC favored?
    4. Why is DTC disfavored?
    5. Disease area in which you would like see DTC advertisement (26 disease areas)
  7. Image of pharmaceutical companies and their sales representatives
    1. Contacts with sales reps in the last month (52 pharmaceutical companies)
    2. Frequency of sales reps visit (Average number of times in one month)
    3. Likability of the sales reps (Average point of score)
    4. Likability of the company (Average point of score)
    5. Company image
    6. Strength of each company
  8. Participation to academic conference and seminars
    1. How many times have you attended seminars in the last 12 months?
    2. Seminars and medical seminars which you remember well
  9. Drugs that you adopted recently
    1. New drug which was adopted into the formulary in the last 6 months
    2. Name of drugs which you adopted into the formulary in the last 6 months
    3. Information source (where did you learn about the drug? What made you to adopt the drug?) of the drug newly adopted
    4. Degree of interest in medical-related information
    5. Topics that you listen to/ view with interest
Company profile

Social Survey Research Information Co., Ltd.
5-1-14 Nishi Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo

Established in April 1982
Capital: 27 million JPY
Our business covers: Planning, fieldwork and analysis of market research, development of computer software, management of internet-related projects and marketing consulting
Representative: Takashi Makita (Managing director)
Number of employees: 50
Membership:Japan Marketing Research Association (JMRA)
Japan Personal Computer Software Association (JPSA)
Contacts:Hitoshi Dennoh: hdennoh@ssri.com
Jun Kihara: jkihara@ssri.com
Tomoyuki Kusaka: tkusaka@ssri.com
Phone: 03-6709-9710
Fax: 03-5361-7431