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Articles Posted in Sales Representatives

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I have a great dentist. My wife has been going to him since she was a teenager, and when I moved to Maryland I signed on, too. He’s personable, understands a little about out-of-the-box marketing (he’s the only one of my health care providers who actually sends e-mails), and does a great job. However, my wife and I have an inside joke that his office is really a front for the mob.
deadliest-warrior-mafia-bat.png.jpgHow do I know? Before any appointment, I get crazy calls to confirm the appointment. By crazy, I mean they will start calling a week before, and if I don’t return the call within 30 minutes, they call again. And again. And again. I know—they lose money if I don’t show up because that’s time they could reserve for another patient. But, their practice of repeated (I won’t say harassing, but it feels that way) calls makes me wonder if it isn’t a matter of time before they come out with wood baseball bats and thumbscrews if I were to ever miss an appointment.
The Red Cross is the same way.

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Here are some stories to follow this week:

  • Tylenol Recall: Johnson & Johnson’s statement about the recall is here, and they have a blog post here (with some interaction with consumers via comments).
  • Vyvanase and Off-label Marketing: John Mack has an interesting post analyzing an ad that might be promoting off-label use through subtle imagery. Is it off-label, or is just a picture? You be the judge!
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We’ve been getting a lot of questions over the past few days about Seroquel. That usually means I need to put up a new post, especially considering recent events.

Earlier this week, AstraZeneca (the manufacturer of Seroquel) agreed to pay $520 million to settle a federal inquiry into Seroquel marketing practices. As we have stated before, Seroquel is approved to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. However, investigators and plaintiffs believe that AstraZeneca marketed the drug for myriad other unapproved uses, including depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dementia, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

whistle.jpgThere are no criminal charges associated with the deal. Giving credence to plaintiffs’ claims (aside from the credibility arising from the mere fact of a whopping large settlement), is that federal investigators got much of their information from AstraZeneca whistleblowers, drug sales rep, James Wetta (who had some involvement in the whistleblowing at Eli Lilly around 2003).

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Life-and-Times-of-Time.jpgI saw a link the other day to CNBC’s “Pharma’s Market” by Mike Huckman titled The Funny Business of Selling Drugs. Unsure if it was truly funny or more simply “funny” in the sense of “something funny is going on here,” I clicked the link.

Turns out it’s a little of both. It’s a brief article about an HBO Comedy, “The Life and Times of Tim” (which, admittedly, I’ve never seen nor heard of).

According to the article, one episode has the following premise:

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Here are the stories we’re following this week:

  • Fosamax and Statute of Limitations: Recent Fosamax case and application of American Pipe mass tort/class action tolling (HT: Drug and Device Law Blog)
  • Drug Pushers: Are sales reps who promote their companies drugs with direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising “pushers?” (HT: Pharma Marketing Blog)
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A short article by FiercePharma, a monitor for the pharmaceutical industry, got me thinking about sales reps. The article, “Pfizer, Merck reps are tops to cardiologists,” summarized a poll of cardiologists sales representatives from the top pharmaceutical companies. Here they are, in order of “best to worst”:

  • Pfizer
  • Merck
  • Schering-Plough
  • AstraZeneca
  • Novartis

Among the issues graded were product knowledge, understanding of doctors’ schedules, conduct, and samples. I don’t know how many pharmaceutical companies were graded—for example, is Novartis really bad, or were these the top five out of, say, 100 companies? At any rate, the article prompted me to think a little more about drug and device sales reps.

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