pharmaceutical detailing

Detailing is a marketing technique used by pharmaceutical companies wherein a pharmaceutical representative visits and attempts to persuade a doctor to prescribe a certain company’s product more often.

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Pharmaceutical detailing is a 1:1 marketing technique used by pharmaceutical companies to educate a physician about a vendor's products in hopes that the physician will prescribe the company’s products more often. Although this practice is controversial, many drug companies spend billions of dollars a year on this legal tactic.  

Canada, Australia and some U.S states like North Carolina and Maine have initiated programs called academic detailing in which health care professionals, physicians and pharmacists educate prescribers about new prescriptions. This program differs from traditional detailing because the educators have no financial links to the pharmaceutical industry and  they strive to be as neutral as possible when talking to physicians. 

In another variation of detailing, e-detailing, pharmaceutical representatives use the Internet to build one-to-one relationships with physicians by using social networking and other Web 2.0 technologies. 

Many states, including Vermont, have mandated reporting requirements for to discourage pharmaceutical detailing. Vermont now bans most gifts and requires that all free samples of pharmaceutical products and medical devices be reported to the State Attorney General's Office.

See also:relationship marketing

This was first published in February 2011

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