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Libyan J Med. 2012;7. doi: 10.3402/ljm.v7i0.19708. Epub 2012 Nov 28.

Doctors' opinions of information provided by Libyan pharmaceutical company representatives.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Sebha University, Sebha, Libya.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the opinions of Libyan doctors regarding the quality of drug information provided by pharmaceutical company representatives (PCRs) during detailing visits.

METHOD:

An anonymous survey was conducted among 1,000 doctors from selected institutes in Tripoli, Benghazi and Sebha. Doctors were asked questions regarding the quality of information provided during drug-detailing visits.

RESULTS:

A questionnaire return rate of 61% (608 returned questionnaires out of 1,000) was achieved. The majority (n=463, 76%) of surveyed participants graded the quality of information provided as average. Approximately, 40% of respondents indicated that contraindications, precautions, interactions and adverse effects of products promoted by PCRs were never or rarely mentioned during promotional visits, and 65% of respondents indicated that an alternative drug to the promoted product was never or rarely mentioned by the representatives. More than 50% of respondents (n=310, 51%) reported that PCRs were not always able to answer all questions about their products. Only seven respondents (1%) believed that PCRs never exaggerated the uniqueness, efficacy or safety of their product. The majority of respondents (n=342, 56%) indicated that verbal information was not always consistent with written information provided. Seven per cent of respondents (n=43) admitted that they did not know whether or not the verbal information provided by PCRs was consistent with written information.

CONCLUSION:

Doctors believe that the provision of drug information by PCRs in Libya is incomplete and often exaggerated. Pharmaceutical companies should ensure that their representatives are trained to a standard to provide reliable information regarding the products they promote.

KEYWORDS:

drug detailing; drug information; pharmaceutical company representative

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