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Sampling

Similar or Alternative Terms Meaning the Same Thing Drug Sample
Related Term(s) eSampling

Definition

Sampling (ie, Drug Sampling) is the process by which pharmaceutical companies distribute free drugs (Drug Samples) to physicians. According to the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, the term "drug sample" means a unit of a drug, which is not intended to be sold and is intended to promote the sale of the drug. According to this act, the manufacturer or distributor of a drug subject may distribute drug samples by mail or common carrier to practitioners licensed to prescribe such drugs or, at the request of a licensed practitioner, to pharmacies of hospitals or other health care entities. The recipient of the drug sample must execute a written receipt for the drug sample upon its delivery and the return of the receipt to the manufacturer or distributor.

According to the Prescription Project: Samples serve two distinct marketing purposes. (1) Physicians value samples and are willing to spend time with sales representatives to get them. (2) Secondly, samples serve as "starter" medications -- an enticement to prescribe new, heavily marketed and generally more expensive medications. Once therapy has been initiated, patients and their insurers are likely to continue to pay for the new, costly drugs.

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