Supreme Court: Pharmaceutical reps are outside salespersons

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in Human Resources,Overtime Labor Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as exempt outside salespeople under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), even though they technically can’t and don’t sell anything.

Key: While this case directly affects drug companies, it could have a wider impact, since the Court also outlined the circumstances under which the Department of Labor’s (DOL) interpretation of the FLSA should be respected. The case is Christopher v. SmithKline Beecham Corp. (U.S.S.Ct., No. 11204, 2012)

When is a sale not a sale?

Federal law and regulations require that only doctors can prescribe drugs to their patients. Pharmaceutical salespeople, therefore, can’t sell their company’s prescription drugs to anyone. Instead, the salespeople, which the pharmaceutical industry calls “detailers,” visit physicians’ offices with the primary goal of obtaining nonbinding commitments from doctors to prescribe their compan...(register to read more)

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