Professional Persuasion:101 - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Professional Persuasion:101
Do you know a rep that couldn't use a refresher course in presentation skills?


Pharmaceutical Executive


The PI lists all the information that was required and approved by the FDA. In short, the PI is the labeling or prescribing information for a drug. The information approved on the PI is the only information a sales representative can provide to prescribers. It is an excellent resource and is often used in detailing by sales representatives when a prescriber asks questions like, "What does the PI say about visual disturbance with your drug?" "Have you ever heard of anyone getting a rash when using your drug?" You would look in the precautions and adverse events section for this information.

Sometimes a doctor will want to know more about a drug, or has a specific question not addressed in the PI. One thing you can do is send a request to the Drug Information Services department of your company for a literature search to answer these questions for the doctor.

The PI is also used in detailing by sales reps when comparing their drug to a competitor's drug. For example, you might compare the incidence of headache or gastric distress for your drug with a competitor's product. Often the PI has charts showing some of the more common side effects and the incidence of these side effects. Sometimes prescribers will ask how a side effect of your drug compares with your competitor. You can find out by comparing the PI for both drugs.

Catherine Kaputa is a career coach, personal branding strategist, and the founder of SelfBrand in New York. She can be reached at
. Lynn Zimmerman is the founder and president of Pharma Mindshare, a sales training and consulting company specializing in the pharma industry, in Montgomery Village, Maryland. She can be reached at
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