Monday, March 23, 2009


The End of an Era for Detailers?

As everyone here will know, there have been significant cuts in detailers across all major companies. It also appears that fewer docs are willinng to meet with with reps, at least not without an appointment. A good summary can be found here:

This development has seemed to be a long time coming. Obviously, the cutbacks are related to the economy as well as a kind of mutual "disarmament" as companies mirror each other in reducing field staff.

Could it also have to do with reps not being allowed to bring the goodies (the larger ones) they used to?

It is hard not to be at least a bit ambivalent. I've known some terrific and dedicated people who have been reps and really served patient interests. But a sales force is a sales force, and--according the them--they sometimes had to do this by bucking the incentive structure.

Detailing also has a very long history--in my view, it is best summarized in Howard Brody's _Hooked_.

What do you think?


  1. It could also be that doctors want to distance themselves from pharma as they are being questioned more by patients, insurance companies and the law.

    I believe what is happening with drugs is comparable to the recession; the problems started before we realized we were in trouble. Routinely we read stories about bad drugs and doctors receiving large sums of money from pharma in exchange for promoting/prescribing them. Currently several doctors are under Congressional investigation.

    While disregarding others, pharma, et. al., have done well; however, paybacks are a bitch.

  2. Makes sense, Katharine.

    Happens I had dinner tonight with some industry folks as well as docs. Lots of war stories. The scuzziness of some docs matches anything the industry can come up with. Again, I would not tar a whole profession any more than any other group. But, after all the stories I heard, it is pretty hard not to be impacted.

    So maybe the less docs have to do with industry the better--to save us from _them_.


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