New Study on Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives Finds Gaps in Patient Safety

A new study published online by the Journal of Internal General Medicine compared information provided by pharmaceutical sales representatives to primary care physicians in cities in Canada, France and the United States. “Minimally adequate safety information” did not differ in the US and Canadian sites, despite regulatory differences. In France, consistent with stricter standards, more harm information was provided. However, the authors found that in all sites, physicians were rarely informed about serious adverse events, raising questions about whether current approaches to regulation of sales representatives adequately protect patient health.