Educational Initiatives for Medical and Pharmacy Students about Drug Promotion: An International Cross-Sectional Survey - EDM Research Series No. 036
(2005; 61 pages) View the PDF document
Table of Contents
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contentsExecutive summary
View the documentIntroduction
View the documentMethods
Close this folderResults
View the documentSample characteristics
Open this folder and view contentsHow is education on drug promotion included within the curriculum?
View the documentInvolvement of pharmaceutical sales representatives
Open this folder and view contentsMain objectives for education about drug promotion
View the documentDiscussion
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences
View the documentAppendix 1: Sample questionnaire
View the documentAppendix 2: Country breakdown in total

Involvement of pharmaceutical sales representatives

Given the importance of pharmaceutical sales representatives in terms of promotional spending, involvement of representatives in the course can help students to better understand the types of promotional techniques that are used and to respond appropriately. Interestingly, fewer physicians than pharmacists reported use of sales representatives. The rate at which sales representatives were included in course work increased with increasing teaching time. Table 7a describes how sales representatives were involved.

Table 7: Involvement of sales representatives


Sales reps involved n (%)

Entire sample (n=228)

33 (15%)

Pharmacy (n=91)

17 (20%)

Medical (n=137)

16 (12%)

Time allocated to education


Half day or less (n=69)

6 (9%)

4-9 hours (n=66)

10 (15%)

More than 10 hours (n=89)

17 (19%)



Europe (n=92)

11 (12%)

Americas (n=56)

14 (25%)

Western Pacific (n=31)

3 (10%)

South-East Asia (n=20)

3 (15%)

Africa (n=20)

1 (5%)

E. Mediterranean (n=9)

1 (11%)

Table 7a: How are representatives involved?



They are brought onto campus and talk about their products and then these are evaluated by staff afterwards



A promotional presentation by a rep is given and then we discuss what and how they presented
Clinical education consultants discuss outcomes research
Involved when conferences and seminars are organized
Not involved directly but an industry drug information pharmacist lectured about some aspects to pharmacy students
One or more guest lectures a year
Reps discuss day-to-day activities as well as non-proprietary techniques used in their interactions with healthcare professionals
Reps invited to discuss role of manufacturer in providing drug information to pharmacists and physicians. Promotion is not directly addressed but some of the issues are discussed - Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board, Code of Manufacturing Practice.


Debate format, or round-table discussion format
Drug company reps detail a faculty member in front of students, which leads to discussion
Drug Fair - organized meeting with sales reps
We have pharmacists play the role of sales reps
Panel discussion
They participate in a process in which we formally evaluate them

South-East Asia


In our pharmaceutical courses, our institution provides courses involving roles of pharmacist as pharmaceutical representatives. Multinational pharmaceutical company reps are invited as guest lecturers.


Invite guest speakers



A pharmacy marketing course given by a industry specialist
Former students
One and a half hour intervention by people working in the pharmaceutical industry
Invitations of sales reps to explain their promotional strategies


A rep from Aventis addresses the group
MPs Pharmaceutical Marketing
No, but Pharma industry otherwise heavily involved in this course
Brief seminars (seminaires de courtes durées)
Sometimes a teacher is present in promotional situations to medical students
They explain their point of view
They are invited to attend a round-table debate on specific issues
Simulated sales rep visits [visitador simulado]

Western Pacific


The elective students take an eight week practical training course at a pharmaceutical company in their third year summer vacation


Role play of detailing. Answering student questions about drug industry
Role plays with supervision

Eastern Mediterranean


Invitation of sales representatives from pharmaceutical industry

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