As an increasingly important player in the medical industry, it seems hard to imagine the modern world without sales reps. However, it is because of their increasingly pivotal role that we are obliged to pursue a world without them. With the inundation of information constantly being thrown at physicians, the sales rep provides a means to acquire information quickly.
The problem is that most drug reps are salespersons not experts in the field of medicine. Their agenda is aimed at meeting a quota and doing what is necessary to increase market share which causes “a lot of doctors (to) write for who they like” (Elliott,83). Thus, prescriptions are being written not for the patients best interest, but by the drug reps best sales plow. Although the detail man of the past were, perhaps, beneficial to the industry in itself, the only purpose it now serves it to create greater monetary gain.
Being a physicians has always been considered prestigious largely because of the ethical responsibility associated with being a doctor, but with the increasing manipulation of the sales rep “whatever was left of an ethic of service gave way to an ethic of salesmanship”(Elliott,89).
We must seek to rid the world of the drug rep since it appears their negative contributions to the industry, in itself, vastly outweigh the positives, which are primarily financial. As noted by Adriane Fugh-Berman and Shahram Ahari, “the concept that reps provide necessary services to physicians and patients is a fiction.”
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