Drug Rep Hassles

  1. 0
    Does anyone else have issues with drug reps? I realize that they have a job to do, and I would never attempt it. What I take exception to is when they park themselves in the middle of traffic and refuse to move, even when they can see we are incredibly busy.


    We have a designated area for samples and that is where the reps are expected to wait. That rarely happens. Either they're parked in our triage area or in our lab. Some try to grab me as I go by with a patient. Some have been so bold as to tap me on the shoulder WHILE I'M DRAWING BLOOD and ask if I have 'just a minute'.


    And then there's the one who finally took the hint and quit coming. She had the gall to tell me that the reason I didn't like her drug, which was a new formulation of a very old medicine, was because I 'didn't have enough under my belt'! She just could not understand that Doc and I had not had one successful trial of said drug. Every complaint a patient made, she blew it off. It took me telling her that I would never write it again to sink in. She insisted on speaking to Doc, and set up camp in our triage for over an hour before she got the hint. We had been telling her we did not like the drug for six months.


    Do your clinics have a designated area for reps? Any ideas about how to streamline this situation a bit?

    I love my reps, they're great! I know they have a job to do, but I'd like to do mine, too.
  2. 18 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I haven't had any negative experiences with drug reps. The ones I deal with are polite and respectful, and don't interrupt us when we're with patients. They've helped me learn about their products, and have often gone the extra mile to help me get medications for patients who can't afford them. I work in a specialty practice so I'm dealing with a narrow range of diseases and medications, and am not inundated with a million reps, and that may make a difference.
    JeanettePNP likes this.
  4. 1
    Wow, all the reps I've come in contact with have all been good to go. Good info about a disease process is always good. I'd contact the pharm company they represent and tell them they are not being represented very well. I'm pretty sure you'd see either a change in attitude or personnel.
    EvergladesRN likes this.
  5. 1
    I worked in apractice in the past that did not allow any reps to come in. It was a teaching practice and they didn't want the interns and residents to be influenced in their prescribing choices. Pros: No interruptions to patient flow and no obligation to stop what you're doing to chat or have lunch. Cons: No samples of products for patients and no info on new drugs coming to market.
    SHGR likes this.
  6. 1
    I never talk to them. Heck, I can google more trusted info about a drug than that from big pharm reps.
    ladybugmo likes this.
  7. 0
    I have always had positive interactions with the drug reps that call on the clinic that I practice in. My medical assistant is great about serving as a gate keeper, because my schedule is usually packed tightly with 15 minute med checks. The MD that I replaced did not talk with drug reps. I have found that the information they provide can be useful (if considered with other sources of EBM). I appreciate the samples that they provide (especially for a couple of anti-psychotics that my patients could otherwise not afford) and the information regarding what is being covered by insurance plans, etc. The staff enjoy the lunches they provide too.
  8. 0
    I like the drug reps. Went to my first drug rep dinner the other night and enjoyed myself. They do seem to come around at the most inopportune times though, but then again there is no real good time to come anyway. I appreciate the samples because so many patients do not have insurance or the ability to pay cash for their scripts. Of the collective samples they do provide, there is only one that I am enthusiastic about and actually prescribe. The others are just given when the patient has absolutely no resources and has to be started on something or the patient has tried just about everything and nothing has worked so why not.
  9. 1
    My experience with drug reps is 50/50. Half are nice and are doing a decent job while the other half are overly pushy. I've been to drug rep dinners and actually learned some good information and I've been to dinners where I wanted to scream from the over zealous peddling of wares that made me not even want to consider the drug. My point...there's good and bad to drug reps but at the end of the day they're just trying to do their job.
    Le'chaim likes this.
  10. 5
    I don't go to pharma dinner programs, my off hours are family time. I earn a great living and can pay for my own food at any restaurant in town and I'd rather go with my wife/kids. Our evenings are pretty jam packed. I can't imagine telling one of my kids I'd be missing their debate tournament in favor of a pharma dinner. I don't think so. Besides, I'd rather go to a real educational seminar and earn actual CMEs than get food I probably wouldn't otherwise eat/order.

    We do have pharm reps come into the bldg, but they are only allowed into the conference room. As long as I have been there, I have never once seen a drug rep in a patient care area. Never. They distribute their samples to the accepting providers in the conference room. I don't take samples from reps or distribute samples to patients, it is just too much of a hassle. I don't think samples are the answer to problems re: the cost of prescription drugs. You can't provide samples indefinitely and a free supply for 30-60 days of a $200 medication helps no one when they can't pay for it the third month. I'm not a drug deal pr a pharmacist, and I do not want to deal with that mess.

    We generally have breakfast and lunch provided by reps every day. Sometimes we also have a mid-morning or late afternoon snack as well. I do take a free lunch from time to time, but I earn it. If I'm going to eat their food, I sit through their presentation. There is a provider in my office who fixes a plate and leaves, which I think it rude. I rarely have breakfast with drug reps (I eat at home before I go to work) and typically only participate in drug rep lunches/snack
    a) if it is food I want to eat (I'm pretty picky and I work 3 minutes from my house, I'd rather walk or ride my bike home to eat most days)
    and b) if they have something to actually teach me: new drug, new trial info, etc.

    I try to go every once in a while because if enough of us providers don't go, they will stop coming, and the staff are sort of counting on getting free breakfast and lunch most days. I"d hate to see them lose that benefit, so I show up often enough to keep them coming.

    I know this is an old thread, but if anyone's office is having difficulties like those described in the OP, the practice manager is not doing his job.
    LibraSunCNM, knnyz, ladybugmo, and 2 others like this.
  11. 0
    I think the OP is making things up. In the way back days, reps used to take us to dinners (without the talk), cater lunches, and they always had the best tickets to everything. I am not saying it happens now, but they can be your friend also.

    Reps also know a lot of stuff. They get around. They here and see. And they usually know their product and the competitor's product for that category. Everyone needs a refresher. New research comes out all the time.

    I have never seen a rep that was less than polite. They never enter patient areas without permission, and are very aware of patient rights. I have worked in many procedure areas where reps entered the procedure areas. In fact, we have one coming in a few weeks to set us up with a new product we will be using in our specials lab.

    Like I said, reps see and hear. They get around. That can be pretty valuable.


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