Massachusetts may require pharma reps to be licensed

According to the Boston Globe, my home state of Massachusetts may become the first in the nation to require pharmaceutical sales reps to be licensed and have some CE of their own. They would be required to get education about the rules of conduct—and would be banned from "providing entertainment, gifts, payments, or travel to doctors, healthcare facilities, or public officials." PhRMA thinks it would "impose an additional burden on the sharing of new information with physicians." On the other side:

    But Dr. Joseph Gerstein , a whistle-blower in the federal government's case against TAP Pharmaceutical Products for improper marketing practices, said the sales representatives are not engaged in educational efforts.

    "If pharmaceutical companies were really interested in education, as opposed to sales, then pharmaceutical salespeople would be rewarded according to how accurately and effectively they conveyed the crucial information about indications, side effects, and toxicity to physicians," Gerstein said. "They are not. They are rewarded on how much they increase sales. That says it all."

It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

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