This is a follow-up to a recent post on why I think direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs is wrong. This post is going to look specifically at marketing by drug companies aimed at health care professionals. Primarily this marketing targets physicians, since they’re doing the majority of the prescribing.
There are multiple different forms this marketing can take. One example is the drug reps that go around to medical offices. They’ll schmooze with physicians and do things like provide written information about the drug, give samples, and hand out assorted merch like pens and notepads so that their product name is in front of the prescriber’s eyeballs more often. While drug reps receive training on their particular set of drugs, in most cases they don’t have health professional training.
Drug companies will also sponsor educational activities. They may sponsor a hospital’s departmental grand rounds, providing free lunch…
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