The number of Australian GPs who see pharmaceutical sales reps is falling fast and has hit a record low, according to the latest independent industry research.

Four in every 10 GPs now say they don’t see reps, up from three in 10 just five years ago, according to an annual survey of GPs undertaken on behalf of the Medical Publishers Association.

And even those who do continue to see reps are seeing them less often. In 2014, 34% of GPs reported seeing two or more reps in an average week. That figure now sits 25% and continues to fall each year.

“We know that GPs are increasingly time-poor and less reliant on sales reps,” says Bryn McGeever, Managing Director of Australian Doctor Group. “They’re looking elsewhere for information.”

While readership of medical print publications remains strong,  digital channels are becoming increasingly popular with almost eight in 10 GPs now reading online medical publications monthly.

In recognition of this continuing shift in GP behaviour, Australian Doctor Group last week launched AccessPLUS,an innovative digital communications channel designed to fill the space left behind as rep engagement continues to fall.

“With shrinking pharma sales forces and declining interest from doctors in traditional face to face sales techniques, we think AccessPLUS hits the sweet spot for our clients and our readers” says McGeever.

Less than a month in, six large pharmaceutical partners are already on board, using the platform to drive Q4 sales, enable speed-to-market, and access those hard-to-reach GPs.