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Representatives’ call rates

04/05/2016

​​​​The Authority has received a number of complaints from representatives alleging that the call rates they are set are excessive, in breach of the Code.

Companies are reminded that the number of calls made on a doctor or other prescriber by a representative each year should not normally exceed three on average. This does not include the following which may be in addition to those three visits:

o    attendance at group meetings, including audio-visual presentations and the like
o    a visit which is requested by a doctor or other prescriber or a call which is made in order to respond to a specific       enquiry
o    a visit to follow up a report of an adverse reaction.
 
Thus although a representative may call on a doctor or other prescriber three times in a year the number of contacts with that health professional in the year may be more than that provided it is made clear that only three of these contacts can be cold calls. Briefing material should clearly distinguish between expected call rates and expected contact rates.
 
The Code does not ban ‘call-backs’ or bonusing representatives on contact rates. However, if representatives are bonused on contacts their targets must be realistic so that representatives are not put under unacceptable pressure to solicit gratuitous ‘call-back’ opportunities, use items as inducements to gain interviews or hang around in corridors hoping to bump into a customer.
 
The Authority considers it helpful if all briefing material relating to call/contact rates either reminds representatives of the requirements of the Code in that regard or refers them to another relevant document.