702,000 and counting. That is the estimated figure of deaths related to drug overdoses from 1997-2017 reported by the CDC. Almost 70% of those deaths can be attributed to prescribed or illicit opioids. Many have been quick to place blame and unsurprisingly no one seems to be coming forward to take responsibility. What was the cause of this crisis? A current lawsuit against Purdue Pharma alleges that they are responsible for not only starting but continuing the crisis. (Strickler 2019) One of the initial indications of how the crisis started was due to unprofessional and deceptive sales tactics. Along with this, there have been many unethical practices involving advertising of various pharmaceutical products to exacerbate the issue. These practices range from general advertising to holding conferences with Doctors. Considering how many different parties are involved with the production, sale, prescription, and use of these products I find it difficult to place blame on one party. I wanted to specifically research how sales representatives build trust and relationships with their clients within this industry and how the crisis itself has impacted these relationships. The majority of my research consists of the foundation of relationships, different types of relationships, and how to build and maintain productive relationships. Relationships can be difficult, especially in a professional sales environment because each party typically has their own interests throughout each interaction. By understanding how professional relationships can be built we can aim to avoid a crisis like this in the future, and ultimately save lives because of it.
- Relationship Selling in the Pharmaceutical Industry: Impact of the Opioid Crisis
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