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Executive Summary

MEDI-PROMOTIONS VOUCHER SAMPLING PROGRAM WILL START WITH 10,000 MDs in the Mid-Atlantic region in September 1988. "This new system of drug sampling is being underwritten by major pharmaceutical manufacturers and will provide physicians with a free and continual supply of samples," Medi-Promotions maintains. The Iselin-N.J. company calls the voucher program, the Physicians' Sample Library. "The PSL consists of up to five library units, plus a personalized portable unit, which is distributed by request only to target physicians by a Medi-Promotions representative," the company noted. "Each library unit contains 28 products cross-referenced by drug category and product name. After consulting the index, the physician turns to the appropriate tab page, which contains personalized Business Reply Cards (BRCs) to order samples, as well as personalized Sample-Scripts, to write prescriptions for samples." BRCs can be mailed to the appropriate pharmaceutical company, to have samples delivered directly to the physician. The samples can be delivered through detail representatives or "whatever non-personal delivery system the company currently uses." Medi-Promotions also offers to deliver samples "in regular monthly co-op mailings along with other PSL samples," Medi-Promotions said. After an initial rollout in the Mid-Atlantic region in September, Medi-Promotions intends to extend the program on a state-by-state basis. In 1989, Medi-Promotions hopes to expand the program through the Midwest, with a target of up to 1,000 PSL's per month in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. Sample-Scripts, the pharmacy voucher component of the PSL system, was introduced in October 1987 to a test market of 1,000 physicians in Detroit, Chicago, and Philadelphia ("The Pink Sheet" Sept. 7, T&G-7). The physicians were chosen from lists of high-volume prescribers. Sample-Scripts are pre-printed prescription forms for samples, which are filled by pharmacists at no charge to the patient. The physician must write out dosage instructions and sign the form. "A convenient refill box is provided to enable the physician to complete the balance of therapy and indicate the number of refills," Medi-Promotions said. "Full prescribing information is provided at the end of each pad." The company noted that the Sample-Scripts "must" be signed "DAW" (Dispense as Written) which "assures that the entire course of therapy will be filled with the branded product." Five major pharmaceutical manufacturers are participating in the Sample-Scripts test market program. They are: Ayerst (Inderal LA); Searle (Calan); SmithKline (Dyazide); Merrell Dow (Seldane); and Roche (Dalmane). Pharmacists are reimbursed for the samples and will receive a $ 2.75 dispensing fee, according to Medi-Promotions. The company estimates that "a pharmacy could easily earn $ 15,000 a year in additional revenues" through the program. "Sample-Scripts will offer a 'paper' inventory of a wide range of pharmaceuticals, minimizing the need for physicians to keep controlled substances in the office and insuring that drug samples will not become out of date," Medi-Promotions said. Voucher sampling was strongly urged by the American Pharmaceutical Association during the congressional discussion of sampling abuses during 1986.

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