First floor

What role for the Area Manager? Guilty or innocent?

Usually a marriage is done in two, at least that's how it should be. I am convinced that the responsibility for everything we complain about today, as in the case of the commercial drift of our work, has more than one actor involved.

Risultati immagini per capo area e venditoreWe have said several times that ours is a category of workers determined to support a strong propensity for individualism. There are many reasons for this state of mind of ours and one of the many that contributes to reinforcing this particular characteristic is the figure we identify in the role of AM (editor's note: Area Manager or Area Head).

A deliberately commercial figure who goes against the trend of the provisions of the Legislative Decree 219/06 and which acts as a glue between the ISF and marketing. This role (AM) has generated, not by his direct will but specifically by the will of marketing, that distraction from the rules set out in Legislative Decree 219, distorting the meaning of the same law, specifically the art. 122, 126 And 130, which I invite you to read.

No dear colleagues, I spoke of several actors. It would be too easy to single out a single culprit. Returning to the initial joke about marriage, where are we co-responsible, if not actually, the main architects of this commercial drift?

Let's carefully analyze the causes. First of all, don't tell me that no one has ever found it boring to read the provisions of a law that affects our profession.

Second, who has never felt pampered at the first tap on the shoulders, a benevolent gesture, such as to make us feel in the good graces of the lord (read employer, AM etc.)?

Third point no less important, because you are a beginner in the job and therefore due to inexperience. I considered this third point to be "no less important" because, addressing the elderly, how many times have we happened to help/inform our colleague at his first work experience on community and regional laws regarding our work? I rarely think.

To all this, let us not miss the veiled threats from our direct managers who often, in order not to enter into conflict, we have also considered convincing to such an extent that if we have shown particular attention to the constitutional, regional if you like, that sense of guilt, for which our attention / observance, could have put many jobs at risk. How many times have we heard, The company pays you…Aren't we convinced?

Question: Have we ever risked our jobs for asking to respect the law? I don't think so, so much so that the many, numerous layoffs, to our knowledge, have never been motivated by similar reasons.

Every day the press reports news of double-digit industrial profits in the sector, the best among the industrial realities of our country, so why have we lost so many jobs and continue to suffer so many layoffs, purges or streamlining if the sector is so flourishing?

Are we still convinced that our difficulties may depend on respecting the rules? I do not think so,

Speaking of rules, the one that I consider to be the main one with regard to our profession is referred to by art. 122 paragraph 6 of the aforementioned Legislative Decree 219/06: “ Scientific representatives must report to the scientific service referred to inarticle 126, on which they depend, and to the head of the pharmacovigilance service referred to in paragraph 4 of thearticle 130, all information on the undesirable effects of medicinal products, attaching, where possible, copies of the reporting forms used by the doctor in accordance with Title IX." . For greater clarity and completeness, please also read the art. 126 and 130 of the aforementioned Legislative Decree

So, going back to the figure of AM, it is true, it acts as a filter between us and marketing directing, in case we have forgotten, our role towards an increasingly commercial aspect and, that is enough, since nobody opposes it, to believe that they cannot be immune from responsibility for what is happening both at a political and trade union level. Labor contracts and the increasingly strict rules recently imposed by the regions regarding information are a clear example. Have we ever been present at the negotiating table, with the right determination?

Let me be clear, beyond these considerations, I'm not demonizing the figure of the AM because this, carries out the work assigned to him, let's not forget that each of us could one day be called to hold the same position only that, as often happens, once you get on a higher step, you forget that you were an ISF professional before. Furthermore, we cannot fail to point out that a problem is highlighted here, the AMs depend on marketing and not on the Scientific Management and their role is not recognized or mentioned at all by Legislative Decree 219/06. How can this figure be justified when his activity is separated from the dependence of the Scientific Direction?

This is the vulnerability that contrasts with the Legislative Decree On the one hand, the rules for the protection of Public Health on the use of medicines, on advertising among health operators and on our professional figure, on the other, the rules and rights of trade. Two contrasting aspects.

At this point I wonder, does the presence of a figure like AM make sense? Who knows… perhaps the figure of the MSL would be more appropriate (ed: Medical Science Liaison), decidedly more pertinent to the role and responsibilities of a Scientific Directorate.

Reviewing our responsibilities, have we ever been true interlocutors of union representatives? How and with what determination have we been attentive to operations, and how much have we supported the role of our RSUs? How many times have we felt instigated even though we have the ability to understand and want, and without any reason, to think that our colleagues engaged, in a spirit of volunteering, were in bad faith? It will also have happened that in some circumstances there have been cases of bad faith but, one swallow does not make spring. It's time to stop looking to the past and seize the opportunity that presents itself at this moment. If you think that all this is useless then let's not forget that we responsibly get what we deserve.

So, are we still convinced that this marriage is only about one side, or are we too deeply and morally involved?

I forgot, another question I ask myself is on the art. 130, relating to the "provisions concerning the marketing authorization holder", how do we put it with the numerous companies that produce only generics and which are not mentioned in the least in the aforementioned article of law? Excuse my ignorance, are these also AIC holders or not? Do they have, to be clear, a Scientific Direction, a Pharmacovigilance service?

Let's meditate… let's meditate…

Antonio Scano for the Fedaiisf editorial staff


At the time of the enactment of law 219, Farmindustria and Unions included the ISF, in the renewal of the Chemicals CCNL of July 2006, in the Marketing - Sales area, starting to affect its professional profile which will be completed with the hasty renewal of 2012 where with convoluted profiles frankly derogatory concepts of the Law are introduced and above all Level C is introduced (seller/salesman profile) for new hires.

Risultati immagini per piazzistaIn fact, there are some discrepancies with respect to the law in the CCNL. One is the figure of the Technical/Scientific Training Manager who, on the basis of marketing policies, ensures scientific and technical training, also in relation to sales techniques, of the entire scientific information structure.

The Chief of Area Managers of the Pharmaceutical area, coordinating a structure of Area Managers, is responsible for the achievement of the promotional and sales objectives. The area manager ensures, on the basis of company plans and strategies, the coordination and control of a group of FSIs.

Evident in all of this is the ISF's unlawful control of marketing and sales. In particular, the direct superior of an ISF is an Area Manager who must impose the company plans and strategies which are promotional and sales objectives.

It is no coincidence that, according to the law, in the guidelines of the regional regulation on scientific information on medicines approved by the Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces on 20 April 2006, point 5 specifies "PSIs must carry out their activities with doctors alone; the presence of the area manager or other professional figures not related to the scientific information activity is permitted only for functions other than scientific information”. Many regional regulations, adopting the guidelines of the Conference of Regions, forbid the coaching of the Area Manager.

It is evident, also in this case, that, on the basis of the law, the Regions consider the figure of the area manager not related to the activity of scientific information.

The most sensational discrepancy of the CCNL with respect to the law is when it provides that newly hired ISFs "they will be classified in the organizational position C1 – C2. The permanence in C of workers hired as ISF without specific experience in the job will be 36 months starting from the date of recruitment”. The organizational position C1 and C2 relates to the sales operators in charge of traveling with sales duties (salesmen).

Related news: ISF commits suicide after being fired: the prosecutors accuse the area manager

Judgment. An apology email to a doctor for the attitude of the area manager on coaching does not violate the relationship of trust between the company and the employee

Quintiles. ISF recruitment with Commerce contract. Filctem: "Unacceptable"

"Dear Scaccabarozzi, if companies want to contribute to moral growth they will really have to consider the ISF according to the provisions of the law"

Judgment Court of Marsala. The ISF is not a commercial agent

Cassation. The scientific informant is not a commercial agent

Court of La Spezia. Judgment. 370.2016

AIFA. Clarifications on ISF



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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