Is certification for pharmaceutical sales representatives necessary?

Is certification for pharmaceutical sales representatives necessary? Purpose – Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) have been shown to influence the prescribing patterns of physicians. Some of the blame has been shifted from physicians to PSRs due to perceived inadequacies in PSRs' education and certification. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature regarding the current certification requirements for PSRs, motivation for nationally standardized certification and the controversy surrounding pharmaceutical detailing impact on physicians' prescribing behavior. Design/methodology/approach – Articles related to certification for PSRs were identified via searches of PubMed and IPA from inception to March 2011. Search terms included PSRs, PSRs certification, PSRs registration, PSRs education, and PSRs requirements. Articles describing the roles and responsibilities of PSRs, physician and public perception of PSRs, certification processes, and the future of PSRs' roles were included. An internet search was also performed to identify articles in the lay press related to this topic. Findings – This paper shows that the certification for PSRs may become necessary, or even required, to help ensure that the prescribing patterns of physicians are not negatively affected due to false information coming from the PSRs. Therefore, ensuring that PSRs are well certified can lead to better health outcomes for patients. Although pharmaceutical companies do not require certification to gain employment as a sales representative, the certification provides a good knowledge base and insight into the industry. Originality/value – The paper shows that appropriate training and certification of PSRs may be on the rise for this career path. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1750-6123
DOI
10.1108/17506121111172220
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs) have been shown to influence the prescribing patterns of physicians. Some of the blame has been shifted from physicians to PSRs due to perceived inadequacies in PSRs' education and certification. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature regarding the current certification requirements for PSRs, motivation for nationally standardized certification and the controversy surrounding pharmaceutical detailing impact on physicians' prescribing behavior. Design/methodology/approach – Articles related to certification for PSRs were identified via searches of PubMed and IPA from inception to March 2011. Search terms included PSRs, PSRs certification, PSRs registration, PSRs education, and PSRs requirements. Articles describing the roles and responsibilities of PSRs, physician and public perception of PSRs, certification processes, and the future of PSRs' roles were included. An internet search was also performed to identify articles in the lay press related to this topic. Findings – This paper shows that the certification for PSRs may become necessary, or even required, to help ensure that the prescribing patterns of physicians are not negatively affected due to false information coming from the PSRs. Therefore, ensuring that PSRs are well certified can lead to better health outcomes for patients. Although pharmaceutical companies do not require certification to gain employment as a sales representative, the certification provides a good knowledge base and insight into the industry. Originality/value – The paper shows that appropriate training and certification of PSRs may be on the rise for this career path.

Journal

International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare MarketingEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 6, 2011

Keywords: United States of America; Pharmaceutical industry; Pharmaceutical sales representatives (PSRs); PSRs certification; PSRs training; PSRs education; Roles and responsibilities of PSRs; Physician perception of PSRs; Medical prescriptions

References

  • Electronic detailing (e‐detailing) pharmaceuticals to physicians: a review
    Alkhateeb, F.M.; Doucette, W.R.
  • Prescribers prefer people: the sources of information used by doctors for prescribing suggest that the medium is more important than the message
    McGettigan, P.; Golden, J.; Fryer, J.; Chan, R.; Feely, J.

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