Drug Reps

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by volvulus, May 29, 2002.

  1. volvulus

    volvulus Senior Member

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    Is it true that drug companies are cutting down on the "perks" they hand out to hospital staff? I don't want seem like a mooch but those drug lunches hit the spot when your having a busy day.
     
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  3. med student

    med student Senior Member

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    I hope not and I have no problem looking like a mooch. :cool:
     
  4. atsai3

    Joined:
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    The new industry "volungary guidelines" have been reported on extensively. Check out the following articles attached at the end of my posting.

    Cheers
    -a.

    <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1019176543599142000.djm,00.html" target="_blank">http://online.wsj.com/article/0,,SB1019176543599142000.djm,00.html</a>

    Drug Industry Moves to Curb 'Dine and Dash' Marketing

    By SCOTT HENSLEY
    Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    The party may be over for some of the drug industry's most controversial
    sales tactics aimed at doctors.

    The prescription-drug industry's main trade group has approved a voluntary
    code for its members that would curtail many types of entertainment and
    giveaways that salespeople use to win over doctors, people familiar with the
    matter said. The guidelines would prohibit sales reps from currying favor
    with doctors in "dine and dash" events in which doctors listen to a brief
    sales pitch while ordering meals to go, selecting gifts or even having gas
    pumped into their cars.

    Also prohibited would be token consulting arrangements that commonly
    disguise financial inducements to lure doctors to meetings.

    An entertainment arms race in the industry during the past few years has led
    to excesses that embarrassed some companies and caused sales budgets to
    balloon. The move to cut back on some of the most egregious behavior could
    save face for the industry and stave off regulation. It remains to be seen
    if the voluntary code will hold, though.

    The executive committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of
    America approved the code unanimously at a meeting on Wednesday in
    Washington.

    Executives from a dozen industry heavyweights, including Pfizer Inc.,
    GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. sit on the committee. All
    those who voted for the code are expected to agree to adhere to it, people
    familiar with the talks said, as are other members of the trade group.

    The guidelines take effect July 1. Although no enforcement mechanisms are
    specified, participating companies are expected to be vigilant in monitoring
    their competitors who subscribe to the code.

    The guidelines spell out that drug reps' primary duty is to educate and
    inform doctors. The guidelines still permit "modest meals as judged by local
    standards." But to keep the focus on education, a spouse or other guests who
    aren't part of the medical practice won't be allowed to tag along.

    Entertainment for its own sake is out, a person familiar with the code said.

    There will be no more golf, movies, or shows paid for by sales reps. Gone
    also are the golf balls imprinted with drug logos.

    The staff in the doctor's office can still get free pizza from the sales
    person, as long as it is delivered with an in-person educational
    presentation. Just dropping off a meal is verboten, though.

    Giveaways to doctors that are linked to patient care must be valued at $100
    or less. An anatomical model is acceptable by the code, but a VCR or CD
    player isn't. The ubiquitous pens and notepads flogging products are still
    permitted, but floral arrangements and tickets to sports events aren't.

    Write to Scott Hensley at [email protected]

    Updated April 19, 2002

    <a href="http://www.nandotimes.com/healthscience/story/369939p-2979693c.html" target="_blank">http://www.nandotimes.com/healthscience/story/369939p-2979693c.html</a>

    Drug industry tightens guidelines on marketing to doctors
    Copyright ? 2002 AP Online
    By THERESA AGOVINO, AP Business Writer

    NEW YORK (April 19, 2002 8:45 p.m. EDT) - The pharmaceutical industry, long
    criticized for its sales practices, has revised its voluntary code to govern
    marketing drugs to doctors.

    Having a sales representative spend several minutes pitching products to
    physicians as they wait to pick up a takeout meal or have their gas tank
    filled - compliments of the drug company - is no longer allowed under the
    pharmaceutical industry's revised code.

    Most of the gifts, entertainment and consulting arrangements drug companies
    have used to ingratiate their products to doctors will be prohibited or
    curtailed under the new guidelines, which take effect July 1.

    The new code comes as a shortage of new drugs on the market has intensified
    competition in the industry to sell existing medications. Critics charge
    that hefty marketing expenses are driving up the cost of medicines and are
    focused on buying doctors' loyalty rather than education.

    Last year, the industry spent $13.2 billion promoting products to doctors.
    Nearly $5 billion of that was spent on the industry's sales force and its
    activities, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The nonprofit health
    policy research group said 61 percent of doctors say they have received free
    meals, event tickets or free travel from a drug company representative.

    "We think there are some very valid concerns and as an industry we are
    looking at ways to address concerns while still continuing the very
    important work of educating and communicating to physicians information
    about new products," said Jeff Trewitt, a spokesman for the Pharmaceutical
    Research and Manufacturers of America, the industry's trade organization
    based in Washington D.C.

    The organization has no way to force its members to abide by the new
    guidelines and critics charge sales representatives have ignored previous
    industry codes as well as their own company rules.

    "It is a move in the right direction certainly. But I'm a bit skeptical. It
    sounds like it could be just a lot of public relations," said Dr. Robert
    Goodman, founder of No Free Lunch, an organization which lobbies doctors to
    reject industry freebies. "Whether anyone will abide by it or whether it can
    be enforced are big questions."

    The industry and the American Medical Association use essentially the same
    code to govern the interaction between doctors and pharmaceutical sales
    representatives. Last August, the AMA announced a new campaign to promote
    the guidelines but it was sharply rebuked after it was discovered the
    industry was funding the effort.

    Pharmaceutical executives say the new code is stronger than one adopted in
    1990. For example, the new guidelines strictly forbid sales reps from
    treating doctors to the theater, concerts or sporting events. Gifts such as
    golf balls, gym bags, flowers and VCRs are off-limits.

    The previous industry code left more leeway because gifts of nominal value
    were tolerated and very broadly defined, drug executives said. It was also
    OK to explain new treatments to doctors over a round of golf or drinks. Now
    the venue is supposed to be "conducive to providing scientific or
    educational information."

    Pens, pads and textbooks are still considered OK, as is a reasonably priced
    meal.

    Drug Industry Adopts Guidelines on Giveaways to Doctors
    <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18058-2002Apr19.html" target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18058-2002Apr19.html</a>

    By Bill Brubaker
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, April 20, 2002; Page E03

    Free steak and lobster dinners are out. But pizza is okay.

    Sports tickets are forbidden. So are tickets to Broadway plays.

    After increasing criticism from health-care watchdog groups, pharmaceutical
    industry executives yesterday announced new voluntary ethical guidelines to
    govern the relationship between drug sales representatives and physicians.

    Beginning July 1, drug companies said, their sales reps no longer will woo
    doctors -- the men and women who prescribe the firms' medications to
    patients -- with expensive meals and other perks.

    The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America will leave it to
    the drug companies to enforce the guidelines.

    "We didn't like some of the things that some companies and sales
    representatives did in the past," said Hank McKinnell, chairman and chief
    executive of Pfizer Inc. "Doctors were being entertained [by sales reps]
    when there was no educational element involved."

    The new guidelines will still allow drug companies to hire doctors as
    "consultants." Some doctors have said consultancy contracts provide a
    loophole that has enabled them to take all-expenses-paid trips to resorts,
    where some scientific conferences are held.

    Scott Willoughby, a lawyer for the drug-industry trade group, said the new
    guidelines "clarify" existing policies and ban gifts such as "floral
    arrangements . . . music CDs or tickets to a sporting event" that are now
    acceptable.

    "Previously a physician could attend a baseball game with a sales
    representative," Willoughby said. "That was something that was [under the
    guidelines] 'less than substantial value.' And the sales rep was to provide
    [educational] information to them [at the game]. We feel that is not the
    type of venue where it's . . . even believable that you're providing good
    information.

    "A round of golf with a physician may only cost $50. But under the new code
    that's not acceptable," Willoughby said.

    Under the new guidelines, a sales rep can still buy a doctor a "modest" meal
    at a function that has a scientific or educational component. What's
    "modest" is left to each drug company to decide.

    "In downtown D.C., I'd consider $50 a modest meal," Willoughby said.

    McKinnell said "modest" to him is a pizza -- not dinner at the Palm in
    midtown Manhattan.

    The American Medical Association called the pharmaceutical trade group's
    plan "a positive step" that addresses "inappropriate . . . marketing
    practices aimed at physicians."

    Last summer, the AMA launched a campaign to increase awareness of its own
    gift guidelines, which were established in 1990. Some doctors say the AMA
    guidelines are vague and have been ignored.

    The new drug-industry guidelines were criticized yesterday by a consumer
    group. "This is a thinly disguised public relations campaign," said Sidney
    M. Wolfe, a physician who heads the health research group at
    Washington-based Public Citizen. "I don't trust the pharmaceutical industry
    or the AMA to practice what they preach because they have articulated
    similar guidelines for 11 1/2 years. And in the last couple of years alone
    we have found large numbers of violations of these."

    ? 2002 The Washington Post Company

    ** Drug industry curbs dine and dash marketing **
    Drug makers approved a voluntary code to curb many types of entertainment
    and gifts that salespeople use to win over doctors.

    <a href="http://www.msnbc.com/modules/exports/ct_email.asp?/news/740920.asp" target="_blank">http://www.msnbc.com/modules/exports/ct_email.asp?/news/740920.asp</a>

    Drug industry curbs
    'dine and dash' marketing

    By Scott Hensley
    THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

    April 19 - The party may be over for some of the drug industry's most
    controversial sales tactics aimed at doctors.

    THE PRESCRIPTION-DRUG industry's main trade group has approved a
    voluntary code for its members that would curtail many types of
    entertainment and giveaways that salespeople use to win over doctors, people
    familiar with the matter said. The guidelines would prohibit sales reps from
    currying favor with doctors in "dine and dash" events in which doctors
    listen to a brief sales pitch while ordering meals to go, selecting gifts or
    even having gas pumped into their cars.
    Also prohibited would be token consulting arrangements that
    commonly disguise financial inducements to lure doctors to meetings.
    An entertainment arms race in the industry during the past few years
    has led to excesses that embarrassed some companies and caused sales budgets
    to balloon. The move to cut back on some of the most egregious behavior
    could save face for the industry and stave off regulation. It remains to be
    seen if the voluntary code will hold, though.
    The executive committee of the Pharmaceutical Research and
    Manufacturers of America approved the code unanimously at a meeting on
    Wednesday in Washington.
    Executives from a dozen industry heavyweights, including Pfizer
    Inc., GlaxoSmithKline PLC, and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. sit on the
    committee. All those who voted for the code are expected to agree to adhere
    to it, people familiar with the talks said, as are other members of the
    trade group.
    The guidelines take effect July 1. Although no enforcement mechanisms
    are specified, participating companies are expected to be vigilant in
    monitoring their competitors who subscribe to the code.
    The guidelines spell out that drug reps' primary duty is to educate
    and inform doctors. The guidelines still permit "modest meals as judged by
    local standards." But to keep the focus on education, a spouse or other
    guests who aren't part of the medical practice won't be allowed to tag
    along.
    Entertainment for its own sake is out, a person familiar with the
    code said.
    There will be no more golf, movies, or shows paid for by sales reps.
    Gone also are the golf balls imprinted with drug logos.
    The staff in the doctor's office can still get free pizza from the
    sales person, as long as it is delivered with an in-person educational
    presentation. Just dropping off a meal is verboten, though.
    Giveaways to doctors that are linked to patient care must be valued
    at $100 or less. An anatomical model is acceptable by the code, but a VCR or
    CD player isn't. The ubiquitous pens and notepads flogging products are
    still permitted, but floral arrangements and tickets to sports events
    aren't.

    Copyright ? 2002 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
    All Rights Reserved.
     
  5. shorrin

    shorrin the ninth doctor

    Joined:
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    great! put the money into R&D...I don't like golf anyway
     

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