The marketing practices followed pharmaceutical companies attempt to sway consumers as well as healthcare providers to use their products. From misleading direct-to-consumer advertising, to gift giving, the industry has often been accused of pushing the envelope. Marketing representatives from pharmaceutical companies, or "Drug reps" as they have become known in the industry, solicit medical providers in many ways to entice them into using their products. With changing guidelines established by the FDA, inappropriate marketing practices can become costly to a pharmaceutical company, as well as to a provider. In a review of several of the different strategies used by these companies, I will analysis the techniques most frequently used, and how they influence consumers and providers.
BACKGROUND AND SIGNIGICANCE
I have chosen this topic, as I am currently employed as the Office Manager of a 9-physician primary care group. I have seen thousands of these "drug reps" come in and out of the practice. Patient confidentiality is a serious issue. These individuals often stand around patient care areas waiting to pounce on a provider the minute he/she walks out of a room. They show little or no respect for the patients' right to confidentiality, nor to the provider's time. They plaster notices offering dinners, tickets to football games, free movie passes, and even bring in lunches for the providers and staff. Many offer to help with practice events such as the company Christmas party. Some pay for physicians' conference fees in which the physician is able to travel to exotic locations for seminars and educational meetings. Although some of these perks seem wonder...
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