Online portal have started a drug sampling service with , ‘iSample’, that will allow doctors to opt in to request free pharmaceutical stock online.

Registered doctors on the site can register for the scheme, which is administered by and medical data company Cegedim UK. They must then download and print off a sample request form, which should be signed and faxed to Cegedim UK. The samples are dispatched to the doctor within 48 hours.

Eric Jan Scholten, commercial director at, said: "This partnership marks a new and innovative method for pharma firms to reach doctors effectively with new product launches as well as non-promoted products.

"The unparalleled access that has to its doctor community is clearly very advantageous to pharma firms, but this service provides doctors with tangible help too, as they can browse online for new products which may be of help to them in prescribing."

Pharmaceutical companies wishing to distribute their samples will need to pay a set-up fee of £3000, and £4.50 per dispatch with a minimum of 500 requests guaranteed. In return, they receive a full listing and batch numbers for all of the doctors and samples sent out.

According to, a pilot project in which samples of a product to treat migraine were distributed was highly successful, with a total of 7500 samples sent out in one month by doctors wishing to try out the drug.

The portal says that there is a clear benefit to pharma firms in using the service; 94% of the doctors participating in the pilot were interested in continuing the pilot, and that 50% would consider prescribing the drug after receiving it. They add that the prescription rates of the migraine drug lifted after the pilot.

Around 112,000 doctors are registered with the portal, access to which is strictly controlled to those with GMC registration or medical students.