Pharma Sales Reps Enlisted in War on Opioid Addiction

Chicago has drafted a new partner in the fight against opioid addiction: pharmaceutical sales representatives. Legislation that will require pharmaceutical company sales representatives to become licensed was passed by the Chicago City Council Wednesday. The pharmaceutical industry opposed the measure, which requires training for sales reps in marketing regulations, ethics, and laws that govern drug sales. Sales reps will also tell the city the names of the doctors they visit, how many times they visit, and what gifts, samples, or other materials they might have provided, and an estimate of there worth. To get licensed, sales reps will have to pay a $750 fee and renew the licenses each year.    

Chicago has filed lawsuits against drug companies, accusing them of minimizing the danger of painkillers and pushing physician prescribing.

STAT: “As a result, the city said it paid for some prescriptions unnecessarily and has previously noted that its health insurance plan has reimbursed claims for approximately $12.3 million for opioids between 2008 and 2015. The city sued Purdue Pharma, Endo International, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Actavis (which is now Allergan), and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen unit. Pfizer reached a deal to avoid the lawsuit.”

Source: STAT