GlaxoSmithKline’s sales force vaulted to first from third place in an annual survey of primary care physicians.

SDI, a healthcare industry marketing insight and analysis firm, surveyed physicians on the overall quality of pharmaceutical sales forces.

The GSK (NYSE: GSK) sales force ranked third in 2009 behind first-place Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) and Merck (NYSE: MRK).

Doctors rated sales representatives on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being highest.

GSK reps received a 5.71 rating, up from 5.54 last year. Ninety-seven percent of the doctors said they were “familiar” with the GSK reps.

For more about the survey, read here.

GSK operates its U.S. headquarters in RTP.

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