Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Pay no Attention to that Man behind the Curtain

Prescription Project has an entertaining post on their blog, PostScript:
"The way to a legislator's heart? Caterers give it a try"

Here's a brief excerpt:

We know that pharma has long found ways to get what it wants by talking through others – physicians, say, or advisors for the FDA. But a tip to the letter-writers of the world: if you don’t want to look like you were put up to something, don’t parrot information you probably couldn’t get doing your job.

The petitioner from RestaurantstoYou moves quickly from entreating to indignant: “How could we think “the most educated people in the world, Doctors, could be manipulated by the offer of a ham sandwich and chips from a pharmaceutical or medical device company sales agent? Instead, the opposite is true. Doctors routinely ask these reps to go do more research for them, at no cost to the doctor, so that they can have additional information for their individual analysis that they will use to make decisions regarding their patients.”

Abt knows this because he says to better understand his clients, he has watched from the back of the room in admiration as the reps performed their lunch and learns. Fine.

But if you are the one making the sandwiches, do you really want to sound like you are reading off the same talking points as the state policy director for the PhRMA trade association? PostScript has been to enough hearings to know those talking points when we hear them. Sales reps with no background in science are providing valuable information about drugs that physicians can’t get anywhere else? And pasta salad.


I recommend you go read the full post, especially if you need a little chuckle.


  1. So ridiculous. Doctor's feed the ham to their dogs, $$$$$$$$ is the name of the game. If this ABT believes this, there is a drug that needs to be taken...mental effort is bizzare. We patients are not from the 1950s, this gig is up, dried and dead.

  2. I'm fortunate in that my Family Physician listens and never prescribes drugs for the easy way out. No cholesterol drugs, no RLS crap, no sleeping aids. Just steroids when the MS wonks me or the occasional pain killer (opiates only plz) ... mostly inexpensive stuff.

  3. The very reason I decide what drug I will or will not take.