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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

24 April 2005 Dear Pharmaceutical Field I was very interested to read your article in April’s edition on ‘Who’s writing the script?’ As someone who has been a medical representative for the last eight years, I have seen vast changes taking place within our industry. It is certainly true to say that today’s influence networks are very different and that the changes that have been made to deliver improved financial control are here to stay. You asked in your article, “And where does this leave the traditional rep sales force?” In a way you answered your own question by saying firstly that GPs still need product information to inform their choice of on-formulary drugs, and secondly that there is a need to meet evolving GP needs in terms of standard product information, and also to support the new increased budgetary focus. In terms of new products, it is also important to remember that most drug and therapeutic committees include a GP, and that a primary care representative can have a key role in gaining formulary inclusion for new products. With regard to your comment on the qualifications and qualities of a medical representative also needing to change, I believe a better phrase would be to say that we need to adapt – and indeed, as these changes are evolving I can see that this is happening now. Through medical representatives increasing their knowledge and understanding of the new PCOs and developing working alliances, we can remain a valued contributor to our primary care customers. These changes are affecting our GPs too by increasing their workloads, leaving them less time for seeing patients. Our challenge is to remain an integral part of the system in order to continue to provide value to them and their practices. Yours sincerely Kim Hollis Primary Care/Hospital Representative Pfizer Ltd

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