A salesman of ethical pharmaceuticals is no ordinary salesman. True, he sometimes earns his commissions based on his sales, as do other salesmen, but there the similarity ends, for he is charged not only with selling his product, but also with unselling it. He is often called the detailman, defined as:
[One who] promotes [the] use of and sells ethical drugs and other pharmaceutical products to physicians, dentists, [and] hospitals ... utilizing knowledge of medical practices, drugs, and medicines. [He] [i]nforms customer[s] of new drugs, explains characteristics and clinical studies conducted with drug[s]. [He] discusses dosage, use, and effect of new drugs and medical preparations.
Thus the pharmaceutical detailman is not the average cardboard box salesman whose misinformation to the customer might lead only to the damage of parcels packed in a carton which is not strong enough to bear the weight of its contents; his misinformation to the customer (i.e. the physician) regarding his products may result in physical injury, pain, suffering, even death, to the ultimate consumer (i.e. the patient).
"Ubiquitous Detailman: An Inquiry Into His Functions and Activities and the Laws Relating to Them,"
Hofstra Law Review: Vol. 1
, Article 14.
Available at: http://scholarlycommons.law.hofstra.edu/hlr/vol1/iss1/14