10 Updates

If You Don't Market Drugs, How Do You Expect To Sell Them?

Jan 2 2014, 8:39am CST | by

The sales and marketing of new medicines provide a lightning rod for discussions about all that is wrong with the biopharmaceutical industry. Certainly, there have been over-aggressive practices...

Filed under: news

 
 
 

29 weeks ago

If You Don't Market Drugs, How Do You Expect To Sell Them?

Jan 2 2014, 8:39am CST | by

The sales and marketing of new medicines provide a lightning rod for discussions about all that is wrong with the biopharmaceutical industry. Certainly, there have been over-aggressive practices used by the industry in terms of free dinners and paid conferences, but these practices are becoming less utilized. However, sales reps need to interact with doctors to prescribe their drugs. After all, this is their life blood.

GSK has recently announced that it is changing the way that sales reps will be compensated. Instead of tying compensation to the number of prescriptions written by doctors with whom they interact, the reps will be paid based on their technical knowledge, the quality of service they provide to clients, and the company’s business performance.  The GSK changes have inspired a lot of comments, many applauding GSK for this and speculating on whether other companies will follow suit.

However, there are some comments that totally exasperate me. The most egregious to me was the post on Forbes.com by psychiatrist, Dr. Dale Archer, entitled “The Dark Side Of Big Pharma”.  Archer feels that the entire practice of compensating sales reps based on prescriptions written is: “a practice rife with conflict of interest, leading to over-prescription of medications that may not even be the most appropriate for patients…” He goes on to say that: “When you incentivize a sales person with a hefty bonus check based on the number of prescriptions emanating from their territory, they’ll find a way to get doctors to write their drug.”

Archer describes why this is a problem. “This is key, because, no matter how principled we believe we are as doctors, we are only human, and the dark side of Big Pharma casts a long shadow. There can be no doubt when a charming drug rep visits your practice and introduces you to the latest product, it’s going to be at the top of your mind the next time you pull out your Rx pad.”

Is this really the case? Do sales reps so entrance a psychiatrist that he/she can’t wait to start writing prescriptions? If this is the case, why do physicians even agree to see sales reps in the first place? Actually, Archer answers that himself: “And to be fair, pharmaceutical reps do serve a need by bringing new information to doctors that may be too busy to keep up.” So, he admits that sales reps do bring value. When Archer was practicing psychiatry full time, he was undoubtedly seeing various sales reps who were touting the benefits of various antidepressants, such as Paxil (GSK), Prozac (Lilly) and Zoloft (Pfizer). He was also getting information from sales reps on antipsychotic medications like Geodon (Pfizer) and Abilify (BMS). I find it hard to believe that he changed his prescribing practice each time a sales rep left his office and that a new antidepressant or antipsychotic was now “at the top of his mind”. My guess is that he tried a variety of medicines, found what worked best for his patients and stayed with that particular drug as is the habit of most doctors. But the information from each sales rep helped to shape his views. Why is this bad?

Certainly, sales reps will highlight the benefits of the drug that they are selling. They will also talk about why their drug is better than competitive agents. As a result, when a doctor hears about a number of drugs, he/she can get a feel of the strengths and weaknesses of each drug and then treat patients accordingly. That’s not a bad system. However, at the end, it all comes down to the doctor’s judgment. Articles like Archer’s make it seem that doctors are mindless and prescribe new medicines whimsically. I think that this does all doctors a disservice. If a doctor prescribes a drug based on how “charming” a sales rep is, we have a major problem.

While some might find it unfortunate, the reality is that, for medicines to reach patients, they must be sold through sales and marketing. Without this, new drugs will never recoup the enormous investment needed to support the biopharmaceutical industry. A doctor can get information from a variety of sources – medical journals, scientific meetings AND sales reps. But the latter are a key component of getting new drugs to patients and, unless a better system can be devised, this practice will continue.

Source: Forbes Business

 
Update
10

7 weeks ago

RM47mil KWSG contributions still unclaimed

Jun 9 2014 7:54am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: About RM47 million of contributions in the Teachers Provident Fund (KWSG) still remain unclaimed, the Dewan Rakyat was told today ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
9

7 weeks ago

Gold shop lost almost RM1mil

Jun 9 2014 3:50am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KANGAR: A gold shop owner lost almost RM1 million after after the safe on in his shop was broken into by ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
8

7 weeks ago

Motion to debate MAS losses in Dewan Rakyat rejected

Jun 9 2014 3:39am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: AN emergency motion to debate the losses incurred by Malaysia Airlines last year, amounting to RM1.2 billion was rejected by the Dewan Rak ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
7

7 weeks ago

MH370 Tragedy: Hisham: RM27.6 mil spent on 1st phase of SAR

Jun 9 2014 2:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia spent some RM27.6 million in its first phase of the search operations for missing Malaysia Airline flight MH370, said Acting Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
6

7 weeks ago

9.1m litres of diesel seized in a month

Jun 8 2014 1:11am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: The Domestic Trade, Cooperatives, and Consumerism ministry has seized some 9.1 million litres of diesel and property worth RM58 million since mounting ‘Operasi Diesel Selatan’ in the southern states ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
5

7 weeks ago

Girl, 9, awarded RM2.78m compensation for medical negligence

Jun 6 2014 4:56am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: A nine-year-old girl who suffered brain damage during her birth at a government hospital was awarded over RM2.78 m ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
4

7 weeks ago

Malaysia's total trade in April up 12pc

Jun 5 2014 11:52pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's total trade in April 2014 rose by 12 per cent from a year ago to RM123.86 billion due to growing trading activities, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Se ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
3

7 weeks ago

Works Ministry to spend RM20m for upgrading works at 50 accident black spots

Jun 4 2014 11:35pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

JOHOR BARU: The Works Ministry will implement upgrading works at 50 accident prone locations in the country that have been identified this year involving an allocat ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
2

7 weeks ago

Najib launches loan scheme for Ramadan traders

Jun 4 2014 10:24pm CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PUTRAJAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today launches RM45 million Ramadan Bazaar Scheme 2014 ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 
Update
1

7 weeks ago

Residents bring up objection against Kidex to Suhakam

Jun 4 2014 4:49am CDT | Source: Business Times Malaysia

PETALING JAYA: A group of 20 Petaling Jaya residents held a meeting with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) over their objection against the proposed RM2.2 billio ...
Source: Business Times Malaysia   Full article at: Business Times Malaysia
 

 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

Green spaces impact birth weight positively
London, July 29 (IANS) Where expecting mothers live can also have a bearing on the birth weight of their babies as researchers have found that mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher birth weights.
 
 
What makes you a pessimist?
London, July 29 (IANS) Cannot see thing turning out to be all right? A hyperactive habenula, half the size of a pea in the brain that tracks predictions about negative events, could be the key, a study suggests.
 
 
Russian space 'sex geckos' are safe for now
Moscow, July 29 (IANS) There is good news for the geckos aboard the Russian Foton-M4 space satellite meant to study the effects of microgravity on sex and reproduction.
 
 
This is why dogs sniff each other's butts
New York, July 29 (IANS) You may have witnessed this scene on the road quite often but the answer to why dogs sniff each other's butts is hidden in the chemical communication at the rear end.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

More EU humanitarian assistance for Syria
Brussels, July 29 (IANS) The European Union (EU) Tuesday approved an increase in humanitarian and development assistance to Syria by 50 million euros ($67 million), an official statement said. In reaction to the...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
India's woman wrestler Vinesh bags gold
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Indian teenager Vinesh Phogat clinched the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal in the women's freestyle 48kg wrestling competition with a thrilling win over England's Yana Rattigan here Tuesday...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Indian wrestler Amit Kumar wins gold
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Indian wrestler Amit Kumar won the gold medal in the men's freestyle 57kg category beating Nigerian Ebikweminomo Welson in the final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games here Tuesday. Amit won the...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are parenting 'team'
Nicole Richie and Joel Madden don't want to follow the example of their own parents. The couple - who have children Harlow, six, and Sparrow, four - both saw their parents divorce when they were younger so vowed as soon...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Justin Theroux's eggy gifts
Justin Theroux gives eggs as gifts. The 'Leftovers' actor and fiancee Jennifer Aniston keep chickens at their Los Angeles home but he admits his kind gesture actually does him a favor as the birds lay more eggs than...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ariana Grande reveals rift with father
Ariana Grande no longer talks to her father. The 'Problem' hitmaker - who recently had to cope with the death of her grandfather - has revealed that she fell out of touch with her dad last year but has come to terms...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Ricki Hall feared meeting Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne
Kelly Osbourne's new boyfriend dreaded meeting her parents. Ricki Hall, 27, was thrilled to find rocker Ozzy Osbourne and his wife Sharon to be ''really welcoming'' as he was feeling intimidated ahead of their first...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Rajput clinches men's 50m rifle 3 positions silver, Narang bronze
Glasgow, July 29 (IANS) Indian shooters Sanjeev Rajput and Gagan Narang claimed the silver and bronze, respectively, in the men's 50-metre rifle 3 positions at the Commonwealth Games here Tuesday. With 452.9 points,...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
China's former minister investigated for corruption
Beijing, July 29 (IANS/EFE) The Communist Party of China (CPC) Tuesday announced a probe into allegations of "grave violations of discipline" against former public security minister Zhou Yongkang, the highest-ranking...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Apple Releases Updated Versions of 13-Inch and 15-Inch Retina MacBook Pros
The previously reported rumor has become true, as it refreshes the 13-Inch and 15-Inch MacBook Pros with Retina display on Tuesday.According to Apple Insider, the Retina MacBook Pros have been equipped with faster Intel...
Read more on Apple Balla