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Anyone else get annoyed with Pharmaceutical Reps?


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Anyone else find drug reps annoying? I mean, I know they have to promote their product. Sometimes, they catch in the hall and tie up my time and I end up running late on seeing a patient.

I like the free lunches and all but a lot of times, it's just not worth it; I'd rather spend the time on my own catching up on notes or just being by myself and taking a social/mental break for lunch.

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I haven't seen a pharma rep in years. We don't allow them, and only prescribe generics for the most part anyway.

 

At my last job we had a rep lunch every day, which I miss. I typically just let them give me their spiel and eat the free food, so it never bothered me. And the ED drug reps were always attractive, so that didn't hurt...

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Feed me you can have 20 minutes of my time. Otherwise I am busy. I know what you are representing and I'm sure it is the very best. I used to stop them before they would whip out the 3 fold color slick and ask them if it said they were second best or third. Of course not. Sooooooo why are we wasting my time.?

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We have drug reps that stop by the office to drop off medications to "restock" our closet and then they will also schedule lunches periodically - ends up being about once per week.

We used to let them go into the closet themselves, which is in the treatment area.  Every d*** time they would always try to stop me and talk to me about the "latest and greatest change."  It was very annoying, especially when they would be told I'm running behind and would still try to interrupt.  I try to be cordial, but the last straw was a rep that needed my signature to accept samples and as I go to sign says, "Not so fast!"  and then proceeds to begin what is undoubtedly a several minute long spiel.  I just walked off...and later that day put into place that they do not make it past the lobby. The front desk checks for what we need and will then bring me the tablet to sign.  If they want to talk with me then schedule a lunch and I will sit there and act like I am listening - and sometimes I even do actually listen.  I appreciate the samples because they can be extremely helpful, and some of them can also be helpful getting meds covered through different programs, but the majority are just rude and insulting to my intelligence and some of their information is just plain wrong.  The way they skew their studies is astounding!

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The VA doesn’t allow reps or samples. On my own to learn about the newest drugs for general knowledge.

I have befriended several reps over the years. My favorites are calm, speak evenly and don’t beat you over the head with gloss and glitz. The best were the ones who could read the mood and know if we were slammed and either go or be super brief.

Several were banned over the years from my office due to pushy behavior. We just told them no. 

I actually really missed pens and post it notes after they changed the laws. The little squishy brains or hearts were my kids’ favorite. 

I still have a tiny Seroquel psychiatry couch business card holder that starts a lot of conversations.

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We have drug reps that stop by the office to drop off medications to "restock" our closet and then they will also schedule lunches periodically - ends up being about once per week.

We used to let them go into the closet themselves, which is in the treatment area.  Every d*** time they would always try to stop me and talk to me about the "latest and greatest change."  It was very annoying, especially when they would be told I'm running behind and would still try to interrupt.  I try to be cordial, but the last straw was a rep that needed my signature to accept samples and as I go to sign says, "Not so fast!"  and then proceeds to begin what is undoubtedly a several minute long spiel.  I just walked off...and later that day put into place that they do not make it past the lobby. The front desk checks for what we need and will then bring me the tablet to sign.  If they want to talk with me then schedule a lunch and I will sit there and act like I am listening - and sometimes I even do actually listen.  I appreciate the samples because they can be extremely helpful, and some of them can also be helpful getting meds covered through different programs, but the majority are just rude and insulting to my intelligence and some of their information is just plain wrong.  The way they skew their studies is astounding!

 

I’ve come to realize that most folks don’t know how to review studies and don’t understand the significance of sens/spec, PPV/NPV, etc. Any study that begins with “retrospective review” immediately raises my attention to “garbage in/garbage out”. Pharm studies that compare to only placebo versus another, older, cheaper drug that is used in the same capacity also raise my eyebrows.

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22 hours ago, EMEDPA said:

The place I did a family med preceptorship as a student had a different drug rep scheduled every day for lunch. they were welcome in the office only between 1230-1 pm. 

This! I was out in rural SE Washington and there was free food. Every. Dang. Day.

Loved it. They would just watch the poor student cram his face full while they sputtered on about some IBS med...

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Sadly, before I was a PA, I did a brief stint as a drug rep... Lasted all but 6 months. I couldn't stomach the bias we were forced to push to make our product sound superior without saying it was superior (legal thing). Also the non clinical people involved (most were sales and business people) had ZERO clue in what Medicine really is about. I was too much a clinician to hang in there and went back to my clinical job the day after I quit.

Before the sunshine act in 2006ish we had many perks from pharma. I got a Littman's stethoscope once and several conferences where they put me and the wife up at a posh Hotel with food covered etc. Also watched local sports teams on their dime lol. Those days are gone. And I wasn't even a PA then. Just managed the practice and was the head MA.

My last practice allowed reps but my current one doesn't. I do miss the food everyday but I am so busy now that I barely have time to inhale something quick for lunch so I can finish my morning charts and get ready for the afternoon ones.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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Drug reps = waste of time and money

 

all the old drugs work just fine, new ones cost to darn much and most the time are no better then the old ones....

 

I refuse to see reps now... and will attend their dinners to listen to a speaker only if i am allowed to pay my own way

 

 

The dirty little secret is that they did and do influence your prescribing habits.... period.... so

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Drug reps have provided a lot of value for my practice and my patients. Some can DEFINITELY be more annoying than others, but for the most part, they have been some of my greatest allies and have become great friends to me. Not to mention, they are in the "know" about which offices are hiring and I'm currently in the process of getting out of my horrible job situation (see my previous post in my history). 

In dermatology, there are a lot expensive medications that not many of my patients can't afford and I appreciate them stocking the sample closet for things that even the generic is too costly for my patients (clobetasol and doxycycline can be so expensive for my Medicare patients!!!). 

When I was brand spanking new in practice (and still am a newbie), they introduced me to other dermatology PA's in the area and meeting them was a huge blessing because now I know other derm PA's I can talk to. Their lunches and dinners have also introduced me to various providers in other specialties and who now refer patients to me and vice versa. 

In my office, my front desk staff know when my schedule is super busy and will tell the drug rep up front that I can't stay and chat, but I will respectfully sign for samples at the window. It's a system that works out well. 

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Drug reps = waste of time and money

 

all the old drugs work just fine, new ones cost to darn much and most the time are no better then the old ones....

 

I refuse to see reps now... and will attend their dinners to listen to a speaker only if i am allowed to pay my own way

 

 

The dirty little secret is that they did and do influence your prescribing habits.... period.... so

I disagree somewhat with the assertion that newer meds are no better than older meds. Having come from HIV Medicine background and having been involved in HIV medicine (treated Hep B&C as well) since the late 90's until about 4 years ago, newer meds are much better than previous generations in both efficacy and tolerance/AEs.

 

I would go further to say that without "Big Pharma" and their drive for profits, medical breakthroughs and novel, more effective treatments likely would grind to a halt.

 

Having said that, some of it is ridiculous. I mean how many PPIs or PDE5 inhibitors do we really need? It's like when all those ACEis that came out in the 90's then ARBS came out there were a rush of these to market with very little if any benefit over the other. Another huge example of reps overstepping their bounds was the big push for COX2 inhibitors in the late 90's early 2000's where VIOXX Reps were telling us to use it for everything from headaches to any acute pain. It led to rampant overuse and CVD/Strokes in elderly an d those at higher risk and was pulled off market. It was a great drug though by the way had it just been used within its parameters.

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

 

 

 

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My primary care preceptor in school made sure that there was a free pharm lunch everyday for the 20+ students that he took on at a time.  He would tell the pharm reps that the only reason they were allowed to be there was so the students could get a free lunch, and would tell the students that the only reason we got the free lunches was so we would choose to come back there for an elective.  He wanted as many students as possible because "if I play my cards right, I won't ever have to do any more work."

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I work up in a rural mountain town in the Rockies. The only "drug rep" I see is our vaccine reps for flu and shingles season. As I type this, its 3F outside and snowing, with a foot on the ground already. I doubt my little clinic is that enticing for them to battle the winter to get up here. XD

I do remember some of my best lunches were thanks to pharm reps during my training in OB/Gyn while on clinical rotations though....

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I work in family med and we get a drug rep 2-3x a week.  I listen to their pitch and then ask ok, how much will this cost my patient?  80% or more of my patients have either no insurance or have Medicaid, half have a hard enough time getting a ride to the clinic and pharmacy.  Then comes the shameful, well those pt's wouldn't be covered.....

The drug reps that really piss me off are the ones that are only interested in talking to our doctor.  We have 1 doc and 4 PA's/NP's.  They will brush us off, I've had some barely even pause to acknowledge me while rambling on to our doc who is so set in her ways.  I see more pt's a week than my doc, so you're really failing there

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