New York Times Reports Death of Pharma Kotchkes
Managing Editor's Note: See the lovely syringe pens to promote the Pediarix vaccine? Please keep reminding yourself. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play. Vaccines are exempt from the vagaries of pay to play. I was in the promotional products industry for fifteen years. I sat at a Celebrex marketing meeting in Indianapolis where I presented diamond earrings for the doctors to give their wives as part of the promotional plan. I made Coach leather Rx pads with gold monograms for doctors. I go to confession a lot. Kim
...Last year, besides giving away nearly $16 billion in free drug samples to doctors, pharmaceutical companies spent more than $6 billion on “detailing” — an industry term for the sales activities of drug representatives including office visits to doctors, meal-time presentations and branded pens and other handouts, according to IMS Health, a health care information company.
The industry code also permits drug makers to pay doctors as consultants “based on fair market value” — which critics say means that companies can continue to pay individual doctors tens of thousands of dollars or more a year.
“We have arrived at a point in the history of medicine in America where doctors have deep, deep financial ties with the drug makers and marketers,” said Allan Coukell, the director of policy for the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group in Boston working to promote evidence-based medicine. “Financial entanglements at all the levels have the potential to influence prescribing in a way that is not good.”
Read the full article from the New York Times HERE.
Okay, yeah it's a lonnnngg link but as they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Check it out! Too damn funny.
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis -- To Kristin -- I'm Officially Rolling | January 02, 2009 at 02:39 PM
It was kind of folded in two and had a button that you pushed--then it dramatically unfolded so it looked like...you get the picture!
Who ever designed that one had a sense of humour!
Posted by: Kristin | January 02, 2009 at 01:33 PM
"And I have seen the Viagra pen---have to admit it made me laugh!"
Oooh! Do tell?? Did they have anything *floating around* in the barrel like Lunesta??
Ohhh, the fun one could have with designing a pen like that!
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis -- To Kristin | January 02, 2009 at 07:52 AM
Some quotes from the NYT article:
"But some critics said the code did not go far enough to address the influence of drug marketing on the practice of medicine."
""We have arrived at a point in the history of medicine in America where doctors have deep, deep financial ties with the drug makers and marketers," said Allan Coukell, the director of policy for the Prescription Project, a nonprofit group in Boston working to promote evidence-based medicine. "Financial entanglements at all the levels have the potential to influence prescribing in a way that is not good.""
Howcome NYT writes this way about prescription drugs but is completely snowed by the industry rap on vaccines??
Posted by: Twyla | January 01, 2009 at 12:35 AM
I was happy that my doc's office is no longer allowed to accept these gifts of any value from the reps any more. Of course they still have the "Yes, we have the Gardisil vaccine" flyer on the back of the doors and were grabbing all the pens and stuff they could until Jan 1 when they could no longer accept them. They said it saved money but there has to be some sense of loyalty that goes with it. I only go when I have to but it really does make me cringe to look around the office.
And I have seen the Viagra pen---have to admit it made me laugh!
Posted by: Kristin | December 31, 2008 at 06:42 PM
Someone sent me a link to this photo this morning - it's a doctor standing next to his collection of pharma pens:
Let's not forget to mention how much more everyone pays for the pharmaceuticals they do need just because they need to spend a billion dollars on pens. It's just sickening.
Posted by: Michelle | December 31, 2008 at 03:57 PM
"So are pens advertising the Sepracor sleep drug Lunesta, in whose barrel floats the brand’s mascot, a somnolent moth."
Wow. How ingenious. A mascot floating around in the pen barrel – wonder who got paid the big bucks for coming up with that brainchild??
Oh but wait. There are Viagra pens too!
[And no, I’m not *even* going there -- although I am tempted ;-]
I need to get out more. It's a good thing I'm going to some swanky, country club shin-dig tonight, is it not??
Posted by: Kelli Ann Davis -- The Wonders Never Cease | December 31, 2008 at 01:43 PM
"...Dr. Phillip Freeman, a psychiatrist in Boston, said that physicians who contended that the giveaways were benign might be suffering from denial."
If a free pen can (even subliminally, or minimally) affect one's decision making process, what would "winning the [vaccine patent] lottery" do? How deep in denial would one have to be to see no connection?
“The need to deny influence is damaging to the soul...”
What's left of one's "soul" after continued refusal to disclose the value of their "lottery winnings", as though this (likely staggering) amount could not possibly have any influence at all on any level of judgment or decision making?
Let's face it, if there wasn't some kind of kotchkes ROI, the industry wouldn't have bothered - the $1 billion spent (according to the promotional gadget trade industry) wouldn't have been supported by a business case. Period. The suggestion that these things have no influence in the medical arena is like saying Pharma likes to throw $1 billion a year down the toilet just for sh$ts and giggles. Not likely. This "code" just means the audit trail will be muddier. The money they don't spend on "pens" next year will go into some other sales generating tactics, not so obvious.
At least it's a bit refreshing to see some of these medical professionals displaying their "mocking countermeasures".
Posted by: Randy | December 31, 2008 at 11:50 AM