Drug Reps Now Hospital Reps

I do not hate drug reps.   That being said, I understand that Maine is a whole different animal and maybe the reps are different here.  I have been around long enough to remember the heyday of golf tournaments, expensive dinners, etc.  Heck, I wrote the parody called Diary of a New Pharmaceutical Rep all by myself about 8 years ago and it spread virally around the internet.  Even the NY Times quoted it.  But the job of a drug rep has changed.  There are so much less of them now and they can’t try and buy a doctor anymore.  This is a good thing.  Not allowing me to accept a pen, however, is just stupid but that is another story.   Now that are only about 25% of them left (sounds like I am talking about an animal going extinct in the wild, right?) it is more manageable to sit down for 5 minutes and listen to their pitch.  I only do this ONCE a day at around 3 PM so I do not take time away from patients.  I think there is value in this.  So what happened to the other 75% of reps?  Some of them are now working for hospitals to make sales calls on doctors.  Why?  The hospitals want those docs, usually surgeons,  to send their patients to that facility.    Uh oh, this may be a problem.  Reps are trained well.  They are usually aesthetically pleasing (hospitals aren’t stupid) and they go after the doctors with the best insured patients.  They mine data just like the drug companies did to find the target doctors.   Read this article in the USA Today for more info.  I understand why hospitals are doing this but there is something here that just doesn’t sit right with me.  I sure wish they would reinvest their money into nurses so that their patient load is less instead of paying beautiful looking reps to flirt with doctors.   Seems wrong.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Drug Reps Now Hospital Reps

  1. mamadoc
    December 21, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    I liked my XYBX rep much better before she went to work for St. *&^) hospital and started calling on us pushing St. *&^) hosptial’s specialists. Did I mention said hospital is not our local hospital and is in fact across town and locked in mortal combat with the local hospital?

  2. William Mast MD
    December 21, 2011 at 8:13 am

    This is my first visit here.I should say that one of my sons is a drug rep and I’m sure he is quite ethical and does understand at least some doctors. He does note that some reps are less so but that some docs have issues too! Probably ’nuff said.
    William E. Mast MD

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