MD discusses decision to ban pharma reps

Several years ago, Wall Street Journal contributor Dr. Benjamin Brewer decided to stop seeing drug reps at his practice. Brewer felt the visits were sapping too much of his time, and aside from having fewer free samples to hand out to his patients, he doesn't miss having sales people visit his office. At the same time, however, it is important doctors stay abreast of the latest prescription medication developments.

As an alternative to in-office pharma rep visits, Brewer comes up with an interesting proposal. "Rather than employ a host a people to make sales calls or bring lunch for my staff, I'd like the industry to put their educational programs online and make a charitable donation each time I view new material. There is a possibility of bias in the information, as with most any form of communication or marketing. But at least with the Internet I can filter it better and won't be as susceptible to slick in-person pitches." Does Brewer's idea sound good to you? Is it a viable alternative to the current system? Email me with your thoughts.

For more:
- read this Wall Street Journal article (sub. req.)