“Doctors who are shutting the door to sales reps are cutting themselves off from a lot of valuable information,” said Scott Lassman, senior assistant general counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a trade association. “Sales reps can explain when it’s right to use a drug, when it’s not right to use the drug, which patients might benefit and which patients it might not work for.”
This was the quote that caught my eye in today’s NY Times article about the growing trend for physicians to stop giving free samples. In reading the above statement, I really feel like a doctor would be nuts to not talk to a sales rep.
But what is a sales rep, really? I’m sure some are very educated, but for the most part, these are people from diverse backgrounds, some college education, a science vocabulary and a huge marketing budget. Their job is to get a doctor to use their product. There are walking conflicts of interest.
I would feel a whole lot better if my DOCTOR didn’t have a need to learn from a sales rep, and could instead go learn for himself from government guidelines, peer reviewed journals, and continuing education formats.
Afterall, isn’t it the doctor’s job to know “when it’s right to use a drug, when it’s not right to use the drug, which patients might benefit and which patients it might not work for”?????