NEW YORK, July 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Pharma reps enjoy broad reach and unusually high influence among physicians in Japan – as do pharma websites, data from DRG Digital and Manhattan Research show.

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Nearly 3 in 4 Japanese physicians report seeing pharma reps in the past month, according to the DRG Digital | Manhattan Research Taking the Pulse® Japan study of 499 Japanese physicians – and 60% of Japanese physicians say pharma reps influence their prescribing decisions.

That makes those reps far more influential than in China, where just over a third of physicians rate reps influential, or Australia, where fewer than 1 in 4 doctors say reps influence their treatment decisions. Sales trainers seeking a best-in-class model to emulate in Japan might look to Takeda – physicians rate Takeda tops overall for quality tablet rep meetings.

"The rep-physician relationship isn't exactly collegial in Japan," says Jeff Wray, Director of Europe and APAC Research at DRG Digital. "There's a power dynamic, and physicians are the boss. Meetings are less a conversation than an elevator pitch, where the rep has a narrow 5-10 minute window to present information. But that information is valued highly by the physicians, we found."

Pharma websites also see high reach and influence with these physicians. While websites for healthcare professionals from third-party publishers are slightly more influential than pharma websites, the gap is narrower than in many markets, with 48% of Japanese physicians rating pharma sites as somewhat or very influential and 82% visiting pharma websites at least monthly. This reflects, in part, the absence of a credibility gap, with 52% of Japanese physicians deeming professional info found on pharma websites credible and 54% saying the same for third-party HCP websites.  

Ensuring a consistent digital experience across digital devices and properties is an important measure of digital excellence, and the study found plenty of white space for brands to differentiate here – Pfizer and Takeda were the only companies cracking double digits for consistency, with Takeda drawing relatively high marks from GPs and Ob/Gyns, Pfizer from cardiologists, neurologists and pulmonologists. When it came to quality provision of medical education, cardiologists placed Pfizer, Bayer and Takeda in a three-way tie, while Celgene and Novartis demonstrated strong pull with oncologists across a number of measures.

"You can see these companies' investment in digital resources reflected in specialists' responses,' said Wray, "That's especially important in a market like Japan, where providers really rely on websites from pharma for information about their products."

The Taking the Pulse® Global 2018 studies from DRG Digital | Manhattan Research provide insights into physician attitudes and behaviors in 15 global markets spanning the APAC, Latin American and Middle Eastern regions along with Canada, with data available for up to 10 specialties. Taking the Pulse® studies also cover physician behavior across the U.S., the EU 5 and the Nordic countries. In addition, DRG offers custom analytics, powered by a proprietary data stack drawing on real world data and social behavioral data, as well as multichannel intelligence assessments performed by expert analysts and providing actionable insights on the digital landscape surrounding a therapeutic area.

To request information about our patient, physician and payer studies, specific data segments or study methodology, email

About DRG Digital | Manhattan Research

DRG Digital, part of DRG, is the life science industry's partner for data-driven customer engagement and commercial innovation. DRG Digital's Manhattan Research studies are the longest-running studies of multichannel attitudes and behaviors among healthcare customers. Brands, marketers and digital teams at 40+ leading life sciences companies rely on our experts, research and intelligence to understand their customers and engage them with the right channels, content, messaging and innovations.

Visit or follow @DRGDigital to keep up to date on our analysts' thinking and access eBooks, infographics, webinars and other resources.

About Decision Resources Group

DRG, a subsidiary of Piramal Enterprises Ltd., is the premier source for global healthcare data and market intelligence. A trusted partner for over 20 years, DRG helps companies competing in the global healthcare industry make informed business decisions. Organizations committed to developing and delivering life-changing therapies to patients rely on DRG's in-house team of expert healthcare analysts, data scientists, and consultants for critical guidance. DRG products and services, built on extensive data assets and delivered by experts, empower organizations to succeed in complex healthcare markets.

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Media contact: Sydney Ferber, +1-212-414-7598,

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