The life of a drug sample is somewhat dependent on the life of the sales rep handling your sales calls. From manufacturer to repackager, and then sales rep to doctor, many shippers and reps serve as a rolling pharmacy on wheels.
As indicated below, a drug can take a variety of paths from the manufacturer to the patient. Most often, an article leaves the manufacturer's chain of control and enters a complex system of handoffs that involve the distribution chain to the patient. One of those distribution chains is through the sales representative. Besides spending a gooddeal of time being shipped from location to location, sales reps spend a great amount of time driving back and forth to visit different clients, sometimes as much 150 miles or more in one given day.