PHARMACISTS’ VIEW OF DRUG PROMOTION BY SALES REPRESENTATIVES: A SURVEY FROM INDONESIA
Interactions between pharmaceutical representatives and pharmacists are increasing. This study aimed to evaluate pharmacists’ views towards the drug promotion conducted by sales representatives in Indonesia. Adopting a cross-sectional survey study design, pharmacists completed questionnaires (n=120) to examine attitudes toward drug promotion by sales representatives, perception of the impact of drug promotion on attitudes and knowledge, and their experience in training in dealing with sales representatives and drug promotion. A total of 120 pharmacists participated in the study, of these; the majority of the respondents were females (80.83%) and aged 30-45 years (45.00%). Most respondents (55.83%) had experience in practice collaboration with doctors. However, only a small number of respondents (25.83%) were trained in drug promotion ethics. Approximately 71.67% of pharmacists do not agree with pharmaceutical company support of conferences and speakers, and the majority of respondents (73.33%) do not agree on the appropriateness of gifts provided by pharmaceutical companies. The majority of respondents believe that discussions with sales representatives impact prescribing (76.67%) and receiving gifts influences prescribing (72.50%). We found that majority of pharmacists accept promotion as a source of drug promotion and promotion as a source of information for the introduction of new medicines. Teaching the ethics or effects of drug company promotion has been never taught in pharmacy education. It is recommended that the structured curriculum of pharmacy education include courses/discussion groups on the ethical relationship between pharmacists and pharmaceutical companies.
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