APH 2002, 60, 295-308:

Place des visiteurs médicaux dans l'information pharmaceutique des Médecins généralistes de la région sanitaire de Sousse (Tunisie). The role of medical visitors in the pharmaceutical information of general practitioners in Sousse (Tunisia).

A. Ben Abdelaziz, S. Rahmani, I. Harrabi, R. Gaha, F. Lazreg, H. Ghannem

Keywords: drugs, information, pharmaceutical sales representatives, pharmaceutical promotion, general practitioners

The medical visitors represent the main source of information about medicines used by the pharmaceutical industry. The objective of this work is to study the medical delegate role in the therapeutic information of general practitioners.

We have proceeded by a transversal descriptive survey on all the 140 general practitioners in the region of Sousse during the year 1999. 68 of them were working in the private sector versus 72 in the public sector. Data have been collected through a self administered questionnaire.

This survey showed that 10% of physicians declared receiving medical visitors daily, with a more closer rhythm in the private sector. 84% of general practitioners considered that the medical delegates were a source of useful pharmaceutical information adapted to their practice. However, the side effects and the drugs interactions were signaled to them only in according to 32% an 23% of the cases respectively.

Three facts have been noted for this work: the importance of the recourse to the medical delegates by the pharmaceutical industry, the positive perception of their role in the therapeutic information by general practitioners and the doubtful quality of their promotional information. This imposes therefore, the rigorous control of the advertising message validity to promote the rational prescription of medicines.