Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) have been shown to influence the prescribing patterns of physicians. Some of the blame has been shifted from physicians to PSRs…
Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) have been shown to influence the prescribing patterns of physicians. Some of the blame has been shifted from physicians to PSRs due to perceived inadequacies in PSRs' education and certification. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature regarding the current certification requirements for PSRs, motivation for nationally standardized certification and the controversy surrounding pharmaceutical detailing impact on physicians' prescribing behavior.
Articles related to certification for PSRs were identified via searches of PubMed and IPA from inception to March 2011. Search terms included PSRs, PSRs certification, PSRs registration, PSRs education, and PSRs requirements. Articles describing the roles and responsibilities of PSRs, physician and public perception of PSRs, certification processes, and the future of PSRs' roles were included. An internet search was also performed to identify articles in the lay press related to this topic.
This paper shows that the certification for PSRs may become necessary, or even required, to help ensure that the prescribing patterns of physicians are not negatively affected due to false information coming from the PSRs. Therefore, ensuring that PSRs are well certified can lead to better health outcomes for patients. Although pharmaceutical companies do not require certification to gain employment as a sales representative, the certification provides a good knowledge base and insight into the industry.
The paper shows that appropriate training and certification of PSRs may be on the rise for this career path.
The purpose of the study is to review The False Claims Act (FCA) settlements and challenges facing the industry to suggest the motivation behind firms’ alleged fraudulent…
The purpose of the study is to review The False Claims Act (FCA) settlements and challenges facing the industry to suggest the motivation behind firms’ alleged fraudulent activity. FCA has been applied against pharmaceutical companies by the US Government to combat marketing fraud including kickbacks, improper pricing and off-label promotion. The interests of the US Government and medical professionals are also considered. Changes to the law governing pharmaceutical marketing practices are recommended.
Cases settled under the FCA between 2005 and 2012 were identified by accessing the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Corporate Integrity Agreements Web site and annual reports and the quitamhelp.com Web site. Case details were collected from US Department of Justice press releases, DHHS annual reports, and case documents in the Public Access to Court Electronic Records database.
Of the settled cases in the final sample, improper pricing practices were evident in 33 per cent of the cases; off-label promotion in 52 per cent; and both in 15 per cent of the cases. Forty-eight per cent of the alleged fraudulent marketing activity occurred within the brands’ first year and 68 per cent within the first two years on the market. Reported settlements ranged from US$4 million to US$4.3 billion.
This research simultaneously considers business issues facing the pharmaceutical industry and alleged fraudulent marketing activity to recommend changes to the law governing drug promotion. Changes have the potential to improve the balance between the respective interests of industry, medicine and government and to improve compliance and patient care in the future.