Authors:Ágnes Lublóy, Judit Lilla Keresztúri, and Gábor Benedek
This article studies the determinants of pharmaceutical innovation diffusion among specialists. To this end, it investigates the infl uences of six categories of factors—social embeddedness, socio-demography, scientifi c orientation, prescribing patterns, practice characteristics, and patient panel composition—on the use of 11 new drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Hungary. The Cox proportional hazards model identifi es three determinants—social contagion (in the social embeddedness category) and prescribing portfolio and insulin prescribing ratio (in the prescribing pattern category). First, social contagion has a positive effect among geographically close colleagues—the higher the adoption ratio, the higher the likelihood of early adoption—but no infl uence among former classmates and scientifi c collaborators. Second, the wider the prescribing portfolio, the earlier the new drug uptake. Third, the lower the insulin prescribing ratio, the earlier the new drug uptake—physicians’ therapeutic convictions and patients’ socioeconomic statuses act as underlying infl uencers. However, this fi nding does not extend to opinion-leading physicians such as scientifi c leaders and hospital department and outpatient center managers. This article concludes by arguing that healthcare policy strategists and pharmaceutical companies may rely exclusively on practice location and prescription data to perfect interventions and optimize budgets.