The Washington Post reports that medical schools like Mount Sinai are putting together trainings for their students and are hiring actors to play sales reps, who will perform role plays with students. A professor at Mt Sinai says that students will be taught “how to effectively spar with the drug reps” by asking aggressive questions.

The Post says, “The pharmaceutical industry 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.”

It’s smart that schools like Mt Sinai are starting up projects such as this. It’s definately needed, with the average doctor interacting with 28 drug company sales reps a week!…yep, that’s 28 a week…

And some schools, like Sanford and the University of Pennsylvania are banning all doctors from accepting gifts from drug reps. More schools should follow suit.

What’s the industry’s response on their frequent visits to doctors?

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said sales reps help busy doctors understand the proper use, benefits and side effects of drugs.

“They are providing information that is both informative and important for physicians to know about new medicines,” said Diane Bieri, the group’s deputy general counsel.

I’ll leave you off on one more shocking figure, about 90% of the $21 billion of the marketing budget of the pharmaceutical industry is marketing directed at doctors.