"Pity the poor pharmaceutical sales rep"

From CNN:

It’s hard out there for drug sales reps–particularly if they work in places where gaining access to doctors is becoming increasingly difficult . . .

. . . “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.”

(via Peter Rost)

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  • Anonymous

    The last straw for me that got the sales reps banned from the office was when they started leaving sales material in the waiting room for patients without asking. That was a complete and total intrusion. That is when I realized to what degree these guys think they OWN us, our patients, and our practices. After finding myself making rounds through the waiting room discarding sales brochures they left for patients, I banned them. My practice is psychiatry, here I am in the back trying to get people to think about how to improve their lives and thinking rather than just zoning out on drugs, and drug pushers are turning MY waiting room into a pill emporium. I haven’t seen one for years now.

  • Anonymous

    Most Physicians are on the take anyhow and in bed with pharmaceutical companies. They are either speaking for a drug, getting paid twice as much to enroll patients in clinical studies, or gladly taking honorariums to listen to another “whore” speak on behalf of a drug. There is nothing unethical about marketing pharmaceuticals. This physician apparently doesn’t know HIS office very well if marketing materials have gotten out of control right under his eyes.

  • Anonymous

    As a “newbie” in the Pharmaceutical Rep” field…I can only agree with this entire last statement. Fortunately, I work for a small pharma company that requires quality over quantity when it comes to seeing doctors (and the effect this has on their patients). For the most part, doctors and their staff are very acomodating, and receptive, that is, if you are relaxed an not “hard-selling”. Treat the doctors office like a HUMAN…do NOT use a selling technique that wouldn’t work on YOU! These Doctors are human, they’re busy (and over stressed…just like the rest of the staff), and if you go in “like you own the place”, you will be shown the door (along with a call to your main office). Ask questions, but do not bombard them…be nice, but don’t sweeten’ up the honey too much, and ALWAYS tell the truth…don’t blow smoke where it doesn’t belong. If you don’t know the answer to a question the Dr. asks you, TELL them you don’t, then proceed to FIND the answer to that question.

    It all comes down to decency, honesty, and just plain humanism. All the Dr. wants is what is best, effective and usefull for his/her patient. PROVIDE that to them…be a help to the office. ASK the receptionist/RN/LPN/PA/DR. what would be helpful to the office from YOU…Then DO IT!!! Stand by your word (honesty), and be there for them.

    I can’t think of another way to “sell”, or just plain, be of help to my offices…

    …But I’m just a “newbie”.

  • Mike

    Down here in Australia it is just as bad! Our access to the doctors is getting worse by the day and the pharma industry’s answer is to put more reps on the road with aggressive training.
    This perpetuates the cycle of more practices getting annoyed with the intrusion and therefore closing their doors to reps.
    I’m not sure what the answer is at the moment!

    You can read my blog about repping Down Under at http://www.redtwenty.net

    Cheers
    Mike

  • Tom M

    I used to work as a pharma rep by phone. Oh the pharmaceutical companies are getting tricky doctors. They actually want us to call you and attempt to get you on the phone to hock their drugs. Oh its all done under the clever guise of offering you a service and materials and important medical info (medical message) to help your patients but the bottom line is to effect your scripting habits. You are specifically targeted based on your habits. If you prescribe too much or too little your not included. And for the few of you that “want” the freebie’s, you can loose that by your change of scripting.
    I have to feel for the outside reps that actually have to ask the doctor if he or she will prescribe xyz for their next 6,8,10-pick a number of patients with migraine, or whatever ailment. Talk about prostitution.
    I applaud the doctors that are banning the reps, refusing the materials they want you to post in your waiting rooms. Hopefully you can get it approved someday where your scripting habits legally can’t be tracked. That will put an end to pharmaceutical sales as they won’t be able to track the effectiveness of calling or reps coming in. Who knows maybe they can reinvest those funds into lowering the cost of drugs for patients. What a radical idea to help the health care system…wow, I must be a genius!