Ethical Issues of Big Pharma Sales Reps and Doctors

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Ethical Issues of Big Pharma Sales Reps and Doctors Have you ever walked into your local doctor’s office and noticed sometime when you sign in that there is sometimes a pen with a drug company logo on it? Or have you waited in the exam room and looked around the room and noticed various Big Pharma logos around; typically on different posters and such the walls. If so, you doctor has been visited by a drug company sales rep. Pharmaceutical sales representatives (formerly detailman) are salespeople employed by pharmaceutical companies to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs to patients. Drug companies in the United States spend ~$5 billion annually sending representatives to doctors, to provide product information, answer questions on product use, and deliver product samples. Companies maintain this provides an educational service by keeping doctors updated on the latest changes in medical science. Critics point to a systematic use of gifts and personal information (details) to befriend doctors to influence their drug prescriptions. Usually these sales reps come by to sale or to advertise their company’s drugs to the doctor for them to prescribe to their patients to use (Fugh-Berman & Ahari, 2007). Typically the sales reps will offer samples, and gifts to help get the doctors interest in what they are selling so that they will prescribe their drugs to us over other companies’ drugs, even if it is not in our best interest. The question I ask here today is this ok? Is it ok if these companies are allowed to persuade our doctors to sell us one drug over another? And if so, do we know if our doctors and the sale reps putting our best interests here ahead of their own interest? To better help us to understand a little more of what happens in the Pharma industry, here I have a sample writing from Ben Goldacre new book Big Pharma. Drugs are tested by the people
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