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The power of drug samples

Executive Summary

Drug samples provided to doctors by brand firms are "probably the biggest thwart on improving generic fill rate," Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Chief Pharmacy Officer Joel Owerbach said at an April 9 briefing on generic drug utilization sponsored by the BCBS Association. Samples, which brand firms say can help reduce costs for needy patients and serve as emergency supplies during catastrophes, are becoming an increasing focus of detailing now that the PhRMA marketing code has limited the other items, such as pens or lunches, that firms can provide physicians (1"The Pink Sheet," March 30, 2009, p. 13)

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