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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 17  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 339-345

The Self-Perceived Role and Educational Needs of Pharmaceutical Representatives: A Survey

Department of Medicine, McMaster University, Henderson Site, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
M J O'donnell
Henderson Research Centre, 711 Concession Street, Hamilton, Ontario L8V 1C3
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Introduction: Despite considerable debate in the medical literature about the educational utility of pharmaceutical representatives (PR), little is known about their attitudes towards their role as marketers and/or educators, their ability to provide comprehensive information about products and their learning needs. Design: A survey. Subjects and Method: Questionnaires were mailed to 606 PRs from five Canadian pharmaceutical companies. Results: Of 309 (51%) respondents, 98% strongly agreed or agreed they had a role in educating doctors, while 52% strongly disagreed or disagreed their main goal was marketing. Overall, 92% agreed they had received adequate training to perform a wellinformed detail, and 96% reported the information they provide is accurate. The majority (66%) felt a university-accredited program would improve the quality of their detailing. Conclusion: Most PRs believe their main goal is education. Despite most reporting that they had received adequate training, they felt that a university-accredited educational program would improve the quality of detailing. The number of years that a PR spent in the industry appears to have an effect on how they perceive their role.

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