Well I am a research coordinator, but I work in an academic setting and we deal mainly with outpatients in a specialty clinic. Our nurse case managers deal with patient complaints and comments about different meds our docs prescribe. In my opinion, (at least in this type of environment), it is helpful to approach the nurses. Our physicians value the input of the nurses. Try asking the nurses "What are your patients saying about drug X?", "What are your docs saying about drug x?", "are you hearing complaints of this or that", "how do patients feel the drug is/is not helping them?"
I am in agreement with KellyJ on the fact that we have pretty much NO say in what is prescribed. It is up to the physicians to decide what they do and don't want to try out with patients. Our pharm reps occasionally come in and do a little inservice about their drug (lunch/breakfast/snack provided, of course!). Getting nurses and MD's together at some type of gathering (during lunch or early in the am before it's busy) seems to be an effective way to get input. Food is the key! Gets everyone's attention.
Keep in mind that I am not describing a scenario that is likely to occur on your average busy, understaffed hospital floor. I am talking about an outpatient setting. Don't get me wrong--it's gets busy here, too, but you could work in a little "talk" somewhere in the day. Our pharm reps are welcomed by all! Good Luck