Drug reps know more than you think

A reader emailed this to my attention regarding prescriber reports that are in each drug rep’s possession: “By putting together all of this information, the weekly prescriber reports can show the names of the doctors in a rep’s territory and what each doctor prescribed and how much of it. Reports provide reps with up-to-date feedback on just how effective they’ve been in persuading their doctors to prescribe the two or three drugs each rep pitches. The reps are schooled for weeks in a variety of sales techniques. They memorize tightly crafted speeches and volumes of data on their products, and some are even trained in personality profiling, to help them guess whether a physician is more likely to respond to reams of scientific research or to schmoozing. Prescriber reports play a key role in helping reps boost sales””they’re like weekly focus groups that help reps shape their pitches to individual doctors. If Doctor A increased her prescriptions after being treated to a facial and full-body massage, more expense-paid spa excursions are in order for her. If Doctor B didn’t respond to a courtesy five-course meal, then maybe it’s time to try football tickets, or up the free drug samples, or plug clinical research that touts the proffered drug’s benefits.”

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