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Following the Script: How Drug Reps Make Friends and Influence Doctors

In 2000, pharmaceutical companies spent more than 15.7 billion dollars on promoting prescription drugs in the United States [2]. More than 4.8 billion dollars was spent on detailing, the one-on-one promotion of drugs to doctors by pharmaceutical sales representatives, commonly called drug reps. The average sales force expenditure for pharmaceutical companies is $875 million annually [3]. Unlike the door-to-door vendors of cosmetics and vacuum cleaners, drug reps do not sell their product directly to buyers. Consumers pay for prescription drugs, but physicians control access. Drug reps increase drug sales by influencing physicians, and they do so with finely titrated doses of friendship. This article, which grew out of conversations between a former drug rep (SA) and a physician who researches pharmaceutical marketing (AFB), reveals the strategies used by reps to manipulate physician prescribing.

To continue reading, click here : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1876413/pdf/pmed.0040150.pdf

Retrieved On : 18 January 2014
From : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1876413/pdf/pmed.0040150.pdf

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