Philosophy 2074F/G Study Guide - Rationality, Pharmaceutical Sales Representative

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13 Apr 2012
Department
Professor
Marketing Drugs to Doctors 4/12/2012 3:43:00 PM
Building Relationships
Many of the tools that the drug reps use involve building
relationships
o Can involve spending a lot on money on the interests of the
doctors
The relationship sets up the idea of a tit-for-tat obligation on the
doctors
o Seems to trade on fairness, but this may violate other ideas
of fairness
o The nature of the relationship must be somewhat dishonest
When an encounter between a rep and doctor goes well, it is a
delicate ritual of pretense and self-deception
o Reps pretend they are giving doctors impartial information
while doctors pretend to take it seriously
o Drugs reps try their best to influence doctors while doctors
must tell themselves they are not being influenced
o If the real purpose of exchange is accidentally revealed, the
charade and masks come off and the “real identities” come
forward
The relationships between pharmaceutical companies and doctors is
not always a one-on-one relationship
o Drug-company sponsored consultancies, advisory board
memberships and speaking engagements have become so
common
o Company reps ask doctors to speak about illnesses to small
groups, which often leads to the reps persuading the doctors
to speak about new medications to larger groups for more
money
Violating Rationality
Medical communities have debated whether or not gifts and perks
from reps have any real effect
o Doctors insist they don’t
o Studies show that doctors who take gifts are more likely to
prescribe that company’s drugs
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