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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Finally, the End is Near for Pharma Reps

The NY Times reports on the malsane (for me) habit of big and small pharma to give away free samples to doctors. These samples are then passed to patients, often against suggested first line treatments. now, that's bad. It's also bad that pharma reps invite out for expensive dinner/lunches
doctors, with the pretext of talking them about the latest drug from their companies. I don't say this because my lady is a doctor and I am jaealous of the pharma shills knocking at her door. Well, that doesn't make them wellcome to me, for sure. I am an italian boy, after all. What really pisses me off is seeing all that money being spent in marketing ploys of doubtful effect on doctors. Money which the patients end up paying, at the end, with higher medicines costs, and therefore higher taxes. It's a lose-lose situation, excluded may be for pharma shills which, after all, have to eke out a living (and were more interested in driving a powerful free car than in doing actual science - stab!).

In the great scheme of things, probably, free samples do the least arm, I would say. As a child of a poor family, I have often been treated with free sample coming from my family doctor's cabinet. And, I am also OK with big pharma paying out conferences to doctors (and scientist, although the numbers involved aren't nearly the same - even as orders of magnitude) - but is it really necessary to run every single shitty medical conference at the Sheraton or Plaza? Isn't it enough to talk in the auditorium of some University, equally well equipped and certainly less expensive? I can't tell for sure, but hey, here's my two cents. If that is, doctors really are interested in hearing about the latest treatment, and not merely in getting a free paid holiday in a luxury hotel, all in.

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