While drug reps are certainly in sales, I have only personally seen a drug rep step over the line on one occasion. A new rep, who was clearly green, actually said to me and my colleague, “what would it take to get you to prescribe more of this drug?” I don’t think he was suggesting anything like bribery, but the statement was clearly inappropriate.
I’ve been asked that question before. Based on context, I didn’t assume I was being bribed. I took it as “what medical and financial factors are keeping you from using my medication over another?”
My answers have been along the lines of “make it cheaper and/or show evidence of superiority in head-to-head trials”.
Interestingly, the £100 that was offered to the physicians in the referenced article is a lot less than the financial incentive when a patient demands oxycodone while holding a patient satisfaction survey.