Remote informant. What professional framework? And what do the unions say?

On several sites of find a work the search for a new figure appears, the "Remote Informant".

In reality it is not exactly a recent discovery: it has already been talked about for several years, but lately there seems to be an acceleration in this direction, since some multinationals are now directly looking for this type of worker.

I wonder why, in the famous meetings of the Observatory on Scientific Information on Medicines, between the trade unions of the sector and Farmindustria, the question was not approached: what classification, what type of remuneration, directly employed, rented by services, etc…

Or maybe they talked about it but… it's better not to share it with your Isf members, they could throw a spanner in the works.

In fact, reading the subject carefully, what clearly emerges is that this new professional figure possesses truly remarkable skills and abilities: he must be able to create empathy through the telephone, he must know exactly who to call (and therefore have a perfectly profiled ), have a very well-structured "interview trail", so as to be useful and effective, be included in an absolutely complete customer relationship management (CRM) system, so as to be able to use everything that information technology makes available (and which he must skilfully master) and finally, most importantly, must be strictly in line with laws, regulations, obligations.

Creating a "relationship" with the doctor, because this is what it is, in a nutshell, with the above tools, without interacting "physically", requires skills that are truly the preserve of a few.

What professional framework is offered to these highly qualified figures? What salary? What working hours?

I hope to witness the positive evolution of the figure of the ISF and not, on the contrary, the supremacy of technology over man, reduced to being” the new proletarian, who sells his time rather than his workforce” (Antonio Polito).

Francesca Boni

Editor's note: We wrote on 10 September 2018 in a note:

The real risk that can be glimpsed, often already a reality, is the perniciousness of the information/advertising that is offered to healthcare professionals. There is an oversupply with which all companies (they all do the same things) have (e-mail; telephone; etc) which at best disturbs those who receive them. We are increasingly similar to those who offer us new contracts for gas and electricity or telephony, commercial proposals via telephone unmissable etc etc. In the end with kindness or not the answer always becomes the same NO THANKS. [SB]

In 2006 aFarmindustria analysis noted that the excessive, insistent and harassing "propaganda" of drugs implemented with the excessive increase in the frequency of information visits, especially for some categories/products considered to have high growth potential, had actually produced a whole series of measures aimed at containing that intrusiveness and, again according to the investigation, Farmindustria had ascertained that the doctors only remembered the 4% of all the visits made by the ISFs. That finding had resulted in 15,000 ISF layoffs and ever-tighter rules from regulatory authorities.

The solution proposed by Farmindustria was: reduction of the frequency of information visits where the contents had to have more space to be discussed and the value of the knowledge and competence of the ISFs became more important than the pure relational aspect.

Has history taught us nothing? Those who ignore history have no future. Unfortunately it is our future. [Editor's note]

Now we have to add, in addition to the "normal" legal problems, the operational aspects that arise from the new regional regulations. The remote informant is an excellent trick to skip the regional regulations. Are their names communicated to AIFA? Who do they depend on? Do they have the legal qualifications to practice the profession of ISF? The companies of the remote ISFs are registered in the registry of operating companies the call center activity to the Register of Communication Operators (ROC)? Who checks if they are registered in the Regional Register of ISF? How can they show the regional card? How can they make an appointment to access the meeting with the doctors? Do they send the RCP that the ISF has to leave by e-mail? Is there the doctor's consent to use his data for this purpose?

The recent law n. 5/2018 has introduced specific rules to counter the so-called telemarketing phenomenon, because that's what it is.

The law provides that the AGCOM (Authority for Communications Guarantees) creates two specific prefixes, one for calls relating to statistical activities, the other for research, market and sales activities, so that the user can recognize them in any way and avoid answer. All telemarketing companies and call-centres have the obligation within 60 days to adjust their numbering under penalty of very heavy administrative fines (from €500 to €100,000 in the event of failure to communicate the data requested by the Guarantor Authority and by 10,000 € to 250,000 € in case of failure to comply with the orders of the same)."

Don't worry, the Government has not yet issued the implementing decrees and then you can count on the continuous sloth of AIFA. Keep it up, commercial ISF is around the corner!

Related news: Drug marketing. Now there is also the ISFR or rather ISR. Ed

Now there are also “Embrace Accounts”

The remote informant

Telephone numbers made available to the public and used for call center services


Redazione Fedaiisf

Promote the cohesion and union of all members to allow a univocal and homogeneous vision of the professional problems inherent in the activity of pharmaceutical sales reps.

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Fedaiisf Federazione delle Associazioni Italiane degli Informatori Scientifici del Farmaco e del Parafarmaco