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PharmaGossip reports on new training programs for medical students and doctors to counter the marketing campaigns of the drug manufacturers. What we have here is akin to the Navy learning how to handle the Army. The training is apparently necessary because Big Pharma has an army of reps (often gorgeous females) who infiltrate the medical community creating unwarranted demand for the newest and most expensive drugs.

From the Department of Irony – Pfizer money used to train med students how to spar with drug reps!

Medical schools in several states are boosting programs that teach doctors and students to challenge the sales pitches of drug companies and avoid being dazzled by them.

Big Pharma spends billions of dollars a year on marketing to doctors; sometimes throwing lavish events to seal the deal on certain medicines.

Critics say slick promotion is unduly influencing how drugs get prescribed, sometimes to the detriment of patients.

A small number of schools are now adding lectures and continuing education seminars aimed at persuading doctors to challenge claims made during sophisticated sales presentations.

The money for some of the university programs about drug advertising comes from a $430 million legal settlement over promotion practices by Pfizer.

The prestigious Manhattan school is including a new type of training at its Morchand Education Center, famous for its use of actors to play patients.

For these sessions, the actors [meaning gorgeous females] will play pharmaceutical company sales representatives. The students will be taught “how to effectively spar with the drug reps” by asking aggressive questions, Halm said.

Another part of Mount Sinai’s program will advise health care providers how to tactfully deal with patients who see a drug on television and demand a prescription for it.

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