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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 3983

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: Journal Article

Thomas J 3rd.
National survey of recent changes in hospital policies on pharmaceutical sales representatives' activities.
Am J Hosp Pharm 1989 Mar; 46:(3):565-9


Abstract:

Data from a national survey of recent changes in hospital policies on the activities of pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) are presented. Data were collected by means of a mail survey sent in October 1985 to
pharmacy directors of 857 randomly selected hospitals. The questionnaire asked them to identify recent (since 1983) and anticipated changes in restrictions on policies concerning products that PSRs are permitted to detail and sample, persons with whom PSRs can have business contact, requirements for drug exhibits and displays, and areas where PSRs can detail products. Respondents also were asked to describe which PSR services they found to be most useful, which services they would like to see discontinued, and what new services they would like PSRs to provide. Data from 446 of 451 (52.2%) returned questionnaires were included in the analysis. For each of the four policy areas, approximately one fifth of the directors indicated that changes had been made during the previous two years, and nearly all of the changes involved increased restrictions. Half of the respondents reported that their hospitals planned to increase restrictions on products that PSRs would be permitted to detail or sample. The most common reason given for anticipated policy changes was a desire to improve control of the formulary. The directors viewed information about new products as the most useful PSR service, most directors wanted PSRs to discontinue sampling or excessive sampling, and most desired greater educational support from PSRs. From late 1983 to 1986, approximately 20% of hospitals had increased restrictions on the activities of PSRs, and many of the respondents anticipated further increases in restrictions. Most increased restrictions appeared to be related to a perceived need to contain costs. A few pharmacy directors view all PSR activities as undesirable, but most appear to believe that PSRs provide useful information.

Keywords:
*analytic survey/United States/sales representatives/hospitals/regulation of promotion/pharmacies and pharmacists/PROMOTIONAL TECHNIQUES: DETAILING/REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: CONTACT WITH MEDICAL STUDENTS AND HOSPITAL STAFF/REGULATION, CODES, GUIDELINES: HOSPITALS Drug Industry/economics* Marketing of Health Services Pharmacy Service, Hospital/organization & administration Pharmacy Service, Hospital/trends* Policy Making United States

 

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As an advertising man, I can assure you that advertising which does not work does not continue to run. If experience did not show beyond doubt that the great majority of doctors are splendidly responsive to current [prescription drug] advertising, new techniques would be devised in short order. And if, indeed, candor, accuracy, scientific completeness, and a permanent ban on cartoons came to be essential for the successful promotion of [prescription] drugs, advertising would have no choice but to comply.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963