Planning a new product launch or a medical meeting? Seeking a prestigious speaker from across the Atlantic? Well, if your chief investigator or top international KOL is based at Harvard Medical School, you better get your skates on and get them over to the Emerald Isle before January 1st 2011. That’s the date on which the renowned institution implements a new conflicts of interest policy that prohibits faculty members from giving promotional talks for drug or device makers. The new regulations also rule out payment for travel and meals.
Is the role and responsibility of the traditional sales representative set to change significantly? Certainly, many observers have been predicting this for some time. They believe the new role of field forces – reduced substantially in size – will centre less and less on direct sales and more on delivering non-product programmes that assist physician and patient. Now, GSK in the US has become the first big player to dramatically reconfigure the way it measures the performance of their field force. And – you guessed it – the company is replacing traditional sales-related performance measures with new indices which determine “the service” sales reps deliver to the doctors they call on.