Unformatted text preview: PLoS Medicine | www.plosmedicine.org 0625 Physicians view drug information provided by reps as a convenient, if not entirely reliable, educational service. An industry survey found that more than half of “high-prescribing” doctors cited drug reps as their main source of information about new drugs . In another study, three quarters of 2,608 practicing physicians found information provided by reps “very useful” (15%) or “somewhat useful” (59%) . However, only 9% agreed that the information was “very accurate”; 72% thought the information was “somewhat accurate”; and 14% said that it was “not very” or “not at all” accurate. Whether or not physicians believe in the accuracy of information provided, detailing is extremely effective at changing prescribing behavior, which is why it is worth its substantial expense. The average annual income for a drug rep is $81,700, which includes $62,400 in base salary plus $19,300 in bonuses. The average cost of recruiting, hiring, and training a new rep is estimated to be $89,000 . When expenses are added to income and training, pharmaceutical companies spend $150,000 annually per primary care sales representative and $330,000 per specialty sales representative . An industry article states, “The pharmaceutical industry averages $31.9 million in annual sales spending per primary-care drug…Sales spending for specialty drugs that treat a narrowed population segment average $25.3 million per product across the industry.”  Conclusion As one of us (SA) explained in testimony in the litigation over New Hampshire’s new ban on the commercial sale of prescription data, the concept that reps provide necessary services to physicians and patients is a fi ction. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars annually to ensure that physicians most susceptible to marketing prescribe the most expensive, most promoted drugs to the most people possible....
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This note was uploaded on 10/10/2010 for the course ENG 000121 taught by Professor Mcgrand during the Spring '10 term at Cornell.
- Spring '10