Uh-Oh, Shifting Lines in the Field

Author: Sean McCarthy


You have just walked out of a very good sales call with one of your newly hired sales reps, feeling good and check your phone. There’s a message and emails from the home office, “call us immediately – we’ve gotta talk”.  Regulatory, marketing, and compliance — all with similar messages. Uh-oh, what’s up with this?  “We have received a letter from the FDA in regards to off label marketing by field sales personnel. We need you to come in and discuss what the field sales force is doing out there.” OK, no problem, we have these all the time going over best practices, can we do it at the next managers’ meeting when we get together every quarter you ask. No, we need to do it right away. They tell me:  Our competitor sent a package of information to FDA that was dropped off by one of your reps.  It was not marketing material that we sent out to the field.  It appears to be home grown and produced from his office.  We are concerned as to what your reps are doing out there and if this is happening with your knowledge?

If this hasn’t happened to you, it probably has to a close colleague. Sometimes in the haste to make the number people cross the line.

Where is the line now anyway? Our field sales environment has changed greatly over the past few years. What was once common practice can now put a company out of business or someone behind bars. What we aim to spark here is conversation on how to continue to produce and do your job as a medical sales professional while adhering to the regulations & the changing environment that we face every day. If you choose to run “business as usual” you risk running across the line. Wait a minute, where did the line go again?

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