Best Practices - Vendor Relations

Vendor Relations

Pharmaceutical vendors have often had relatively unrestricted access to large academic medical centers (AMCs), community hospitals, and physicians’ offices. Vendor visits are often accompanied by gifts and meals that have been shown to influence prescribing. Indeed, the pharmaceutical industry spends around $15,000 per physician in marketing (not including samples), a sum that produces significant returns on investment. Moreover, industry sales representatives frequently do not provide complete and accurate information regarding the efficacy of their products.

AMCs should provide quality, evidence-based care, and create an educational environment that is free of the undue influence of pharmaceutical and device industry marketers. AMCs must ensure the privacy of their patients. To this end, leading AMCs have begun to implement policies that limit the access of pharmaceutical and device industry representatives to students, residents, physicians and patients. Most policies controlling the access industry representatives have to medical center areas require: registration of all vendors; badges for vendors that distinguish them from hospital employees; access to physicians only by prior appointment; no gifts or meals.

Policy considerations:
• Compliance with state and local law.
• Restrict interactions between industry representatives and staff to meetings by appointment only.
• Patient Privacy
• Shaping behavior of trainees (residents, students, interns)

Implementation strategies:
• Establish a compulsory registration process for any sales or marketing representatives who will be on medical center grounds for work purposes
• Establish a process for determining who is responsible for enforcing vendor liaison policies
• Enforcement
• Create mechanism to replace industry information.

 Model policies:

Get Our Medical Professionalism Newsletter

Thank You for signing up for the IMAP News and Alerts.

Powerpoint Resources



Download the complete curriculum in PDF format