Angry Doctor

Friday, April 06, 2007

Ven-duh 3

Through Dr RW, angry doc learns of this CNN news article (excerpt):

Pity the poor pharmaceutical sales rep
Amid mounting competition and a backlash against Big Pharma's aggressive sales tactics, drug reps are looking more and more like an endangered species.
By Aaron Smith, staff writer
April 4 2007: 8:17 AM EDT

NEW YORK ( -- It's hard out there for drug sales reps--particularly if they work in places where gaining access to doctors is becoming increasingly difficult.

Take Boston. Glenn Abrahamsen, senior director of global analytics for drug company Schering-Plough, says the city is full of medical groups with formal policies restricting the access that company reps have to individual doctors.

"We weren't allowed to leave samples: not tissue boxes or anything," said Abrahamsen, speaking at iiBig conference in Atlantic City, N.J. late last month "We weren't allowed past the receptionist."

Such "closed door" policies are now common around the country, especially in Washington, Minnesota and Wisconsin, according to anecdotal evidence from drug sales reps and medical groups.

The backlash--fueled in part by double-digit increases in advertising spending by Big Pharma--is turning the industry on its head. Sales reps are facing massive layoffs and falling incomes as commissions drop. Drug companies, meanwhile, are scrambling to come up with new ways to get their medications in front of the doctors who would prescribe them.

In one sign of the dislocation, Pfizer is in the process of
laying off 2,200 sales reps, or about one-fifth of its U.S. sales force. Industry watchers expect rival companies will soon follow with cutbacks of their own.

The question now is whether the lowered manpower expenditure will actually translate to lower drug costs or more investments into drug research, or whether pharmaceutical companies will simply think of other ways to use that money to influence doctors' prescribing patterns.

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  • Pharmaceutical companies will simply think of other ways to use that money to influence doctors' prescribing patterns.
    That is the nature of business. Do you think pharma companies will just stop advertising because we refuse to meet their reps? They didn't become so successful by folding whenever pressure was exerted.
    That is why I more or less tolerate drug reps. They are doing their job of promoting their products. I listen and do my job of discerning how much of the pitch is scientific.
    Doctors who are bribed or easily influenced will be swayed by other means too. No point in banning them unless they are brazenly unethical.

    By Blogger huajern, At April 06, 2007 7:53 pm  

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