Things a Pharm Rep should never say (or do)




You’ve all seen them. They walk around doctor’s offices in power suits or skirts. They’re always dressed for success and have some information to hand out and a spiel to recite about the drugs they represent. God love ’em, they are usually very pleasant and useful, but sometimes they cross the line. Here is a list of the top few things that a pharm rep should never do or say. Please keep in mind that this is exaggerated and just for fun!

Never beg:
One of the dumbest things a pharm rep can do or say is, “Can you please prescribe a few more Viagra’s this week.” Look, doctors are not dumb. If a patient needs your drug, they will get it. Please do not ask, nor beg, for more scripts. That is insane! If I like your drug, and can’t prescribe a cheaper alternative, I’ll prescribe it. Otherwise, stop begging! You look like a pathetic moron. We all have jobs to do, and we know you have to do your job. But please don’t beg! Just represent your drugs and good bye.¬†[more]

Never threaten:
Okay, this strategy defies logic and defies sanity. Do not threaten physicians to prescribe your drugs! Saying things like, “I have access to your prescribing numbers, I know you aren’t prescribing XYZ” is idiotic! Stop it! If we aren’t prescribing your drug…. it’s because your drug sucks! We can’t fix that, neither can you.

Diarrhea of the mouth:
If you are interesting, we will talk to you! For God’s sake, don’t just talk to talk. If you want to talk football, I will talk with you all day, and may be even invite you over on Sundays. You want to talk about your pet fish’s diabetes, save it for someone who cares. Don’t force conversation! Nothing is more irritating than having to listen to someone force conversation. “Hey, did you hear about the five-legged cow?” No. Just stop.

Delay patient contact:
If you stop by to see a busy physician, stop interrupting patient care. Our job is to see patients, not pharm reps. Drop your paraphernalia off and leave. Patients and doctors hate interruptions and waiting. And they have already waited enough for their appointment.

Stop flirting:
Ok this may be stating the obvious…. power suits and miniskirts won’t buy you any favors. Nor do we care for flirting and giggling. Yes, some of the 60-70 year old physicians may find this playful harassment intriguing, but most of us don’t! Just stop!

Stop lying:
Stop telling¬†physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants that Actos is a first line drug for type 2 diabetes! IT’S NOT! Just stop with the lies. Don’t tell me that PrandiMet (prandin and metformin) works if you take it twice a day, when prandin is supposed to be three times a day, but you found a way to combine two generics into one brand name so you can charge more. Don’t tell me Ambien CR works better than Ambien, when Ambien just went off patent and is generic. Don’t tell me Coreg CR is better than generic Coreg and has better outcomes because compliance is better because they only have to take it once a day instead of twice, and that you can charge ten times more for it. Don’t tell me that the PROVE-IT trial showed that Atorvastatin is better than pravastatin (we knew that), when it really showed that Atorvastatin should be given at the highest dose in acute MI. Don’t tell me that Caduet is better than either generic by itself. The most irritating things is misrepresenting information. WE AREN’T DUMB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While not all doctors, nurses, and PAs are brilliant, stop trying to confuse people that are easily confusable!

Stop being overwhelming:
Some people just have a high energy, overwhelming personality! They come in and take over your office. They bring cake, and chocolate and start hanging things up, wear flamboyant clothing, and the list goes on. It’s a lot of work dealing with sick (sometimes dying and depressed patients) and then having to deal with Ms. Sunshine. Just settle down, do your job, and relax!

Don’t be dumb:
If your job is to know your one drug, then please know it. “Let me get back to you on that” and “I’ll find out for you” should not be your response to everything!

Don’t overstay your welcome:
If you are still standing around and everyone has gone back to work and is ignoring you, it’s a good time to pack up and leave. Stop waiting around thinking we are suddenly going to regain interest in hearing about Viagra for the ten billionth time. Just smile and leave. Don’t be offended. We either already know your drug, or already have a preconceived disinterest in your drug, or really find your personality irritating. Either way, just leave!

Dress nicely:
Sometimes you get a pharm rep that looks like a tornado blew through their car on the way to your office while a hurricane blew their face up when they woke up. For God’s sake, your job is to dress nicely, smile, and say a few incoherent things about some drug. You can easily accomplish the last part. Try harder at looking the part. I especially like the “pimps”. They come in wearing three piece, pinstriped, orange suits, with a purple hat and white shoes. Wow!

Don’t get me wrong folks, the vast majority of pharm reps are decent and fun people. These are just some exaggerated examples of what can go really wrong!

One of the more useful uses for pharm reps is when the can help get patients expensive drugs that they could never afford. Please keep doing that!

Anything else? Add them below, I will incorporate them when I edit this later on… Thanks!