From the ASMNP President
After my first ASMNP meeting, I walked away thinking “Why are there pharm reps here?” I thought they were illegal. My employer says to stay away from them. Isn’t it wrong for them to solicit us?
Then I joined the ASMNP Board and learned a few things. First off, let’s talk legality. Many states have become more strict in regards to soliciting healthcare providers. Minnesota statute 151.461 Gifts to Practitioners Prohibited says that “it is unlawful for any manufacturer or wholesale drug distributor…to offer or give any gift of value to a practitioner.” A gift does NOT include a payment to the sponsor of a medical conference or other educational program, provided the payment is not made directly to the practitioners.
We value our vendors. They financially support ASMNP events making it more affordable for all of us to attend. We typically spend $20-30 per person per meal at each of our large group events. The pharmaceutical representatives minimize our out of pocket cost. Moreover, they are a huge educational resource for us. Their companies have performed the research for these medications. Yes, you could say they are biased. Yet, this research is required for FDA approval. At our next large group event, one vendor will speak about new age guidelines and research about a vaccine. We are fortunate to get this firsthand knowledge.
So rather than shy away from our vendors, I would encourage ASMNP members to talk to each of them. Some may have products that don’t apply to your practice. Others may have medications your patients need daily. Ask the tough questions about cost, dosing, access. That’s what they are for!
If you ever have questions or comments about our vendors, please reach out to me. We try to vary the vendors so they are applicable to each of our unique practices.
Lastly, don’t forget to join ASMNP’s Facebook page! We are posting lots about the upcoming election.
Natalie Mohammad, APRN CNP
ASMNP President 2018-2020