Drug Firms Shift Sales Calls From Doctors To Administrators Controlling Hospital Formularies
Since many hospitals now work to help keep costs down by watching what drugs are used, pharmaceutical representatives must include administrators in their sales pitches. Also in the news, new concerns about the government's plan to open a database next week on drug makers' payments to doctors.
The Wall Street Journal: As Doctors Lose Clout, Drug Firms Redirect The Sales Call
Kendall French used to pitch drugs to doctors who could prescribe them. But many of those doctors now work for hospitals that don't give them final say over what is on the menu of medicines they can pick. So when the GlaxoSmithKline saleswoman began plugging two new lung-disease drugs to a big San Diego hospital system this spring, it was to an administrator who doesn't see patients but helps write the menu, also called a "formulary," of approved medications. Ms. French urged the administrator in the system, Sharp HealthCare, to consider the two drugs' effectiveness. It was the kind of pitch she once used to persuade doctors to write prescriptions (Rockoff, 9/24).
The Wall Street Journal’s Pharmalot: Pharma Pushes CMS For Transparency On Sunshine Database, Again
With just one week left before the launch of the controversial Open Payments database – which will reveal how much money doctors receive from drug and device makers – three of the biggest industry trade groups are complaining they have not had an opportunity to review important background information about relationships with physicians. And the trade groups – the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, BIO and AdvaMed – are reiterating concerns expressed last month that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has still not explained why one-third of the payment information submitted by drug and device makers, as well as group purchasing organizations, was removed from the database (Silverman, 9/24).