Table 3

Representative quotes for category II: management of interactions

Lack of useful guidance
Senior colleagues‘I trained in an institution where my head of department encouraged registrar interactions with the pharmaceutical industry.’ (P13)
‘I think the fact that my bosses [did] go to drug company dinners and, you know, [ate] very nicely on them, normalised if for me when I was a registrar, and even as a younger consultant.’ (P3)
‘I don’t think it’s spoken about, particularly. I don’t hear senior colleagues talking about their speaker fees or their honoraria.’ (P6)
Ethical guidelines‘Guidelines are fine. [laughs] I don’t know that anyone reads them.’ (P1)
‘I think they are usually compromised, committee documents that nobody reads and just, basically, say facile stuff.’ (P8)
‘I suspect they would be a huge, long document that no one would read.’ (P10)
‘Waste of print. I mean, I’m no fan of guidelines at the best of times. I think guidelines are generally used by people who already know what’s in the guidelines before they read them. I think guidelines are largely a waste of time.’ (P12)
Reduced interactions due to the COVID-19 pandemic
‘…with COVID, no one was willing to come up and I felt that the phone interactions weren’t as helpful … I don’t know if I got lazy and I found other ways to spend that hour slot on a Tuesday. So I’ve actually stopped [seeing sales representatives] in the last year and a half.’ (P3)
‘I tend to exclusively see, particularly sales reps, via virtual meeting. That’s my own practice, and that’s been something that’s come as a result of the COVID pandemic. Not because I’m worried about getting COVID from them, but that’s been a hospital policy since COVID’s come. And actually I’ve found that it’s an easier way for me to control my time.’ (P6)
‘I think the COVID pandemic dampened things down, to my advantage. I don’t particularly get anything out of meeting with the commercial side of the pharma industry.’ (P11)
‘…these days in the post-COVID world now that we’ve got Zoom, I actually much prefer to do that anyway.’ (P14)
  • P, participant.