Angry Doctor

Friday, February 17, 2006

Ven-duh 2

A reader posted this comment under the Disclaimer thread. I decided to reproduce it in a separate post.

i read all the comments about pharma reps and they really are very lopsided from doc's point of views only.

i am a clinical biochemist but decided to work as a pharma rep for 2 years upon graduation. i must say despite all the challenges, rejection, verbal abuses, meeting sales targets, memorising of detailing stories, endless waiting at doc's clinic just so i could see the doc for 5 min, i really enjoyed my job. it broaden my outlook on life, made me more resilience and opened my eyes to see doctors and specialists as human beings just like all of us mortals. a few earned my respect as they are truly committed to the welfare of their patients. but a big number, sad to say, are just as driven for $$ and profits as the businessmen on the streets. how many really update themselves continuously by reading the latest published clinical journals? tho today i am still not in the mainstream healthcare system i still scan medscape and NEJM daily to keep abreast of the latest medical development and findings. we are not just out for the $$ and profits but we also genuinely care for the patients, just like you do.

Thanks for giving us a view from 'the other side'.

I make no apologies for lopsided views - in fact I routinely warn readers about taking all posts and comments on this blog with caution and discrimination.

My only issue is with the last sentence.

I do not question your care and concern for patients. The point I was trying to make was this: sometimes it's not the person, but the job description.

The job, at the end of the day, is about increasing sales.

Regardless of your good intentions, you need to ask yourself:

Have you ever tried to influence doctors to prescribe a product that was more expensive, but no more efficacious?

Have you ever given the doctor information that a rival company's drug has just been shown to be superior to that of your company in the latest head-to-head trial?

Did you ever decide to not give a doctor freebies, because you believed the evidence you presented was reason enough to convince the doctor?

Did you ever give a doctor freebies and literature, knowing that he would not read the literature anyway, but hoping that the freebies would convince him to prescribe your company's product?

How much real difference have you made in improving patient's lives, doing what you do?

We all work in an imperfect system, where the business of poeple's health are tied to profits and bottom-lines. Doctors are not exempted from having to take into account considerations other than medical ones, but at the end of the day, I believe we should all be able to feel that, on the balance, we are still helping people.



  • hmmmm
    we all have choices -- choices to accept the freebies, choices to prescribe that particular brand of drug, choices to make our own decisions, choices to read up and compare for ourselves all the competitive brands of drug in the market, etc etc.....

    at the end of the day, it boils down to the individuals concerned -his character. i can't deny that there are some bad apples around who would resort to questionable measures just to close a sales.

    just like there are committed doctors and there are those who went to med school solely for materialistic motivations.

    have a good weekend, doc.

    i did not take any offense :)
    life is too short for that.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 17, 2006 7:23 pm  

  • "How much real difference have you made in improving patient's lives, doing what you do?"

    May I remind you that without the pharma's drugs, even docs. won't be able to make much of a difference. So it's a pot calling the kettle black.

    Make no mistake about it. Without the Pharma's drugs, docs. are no more than witch doctors dancing round a fire invoking the spirits to bestow a cure for their patients!

    Like the man said, you have choices. No one is pointing a gun to your head to prescribe X if you feel that Y is better. That is, if you have read up all the necessary literature to make an informed and expert(supposedly) decision.

    By Blogger uglybaldie, At February 17, 2006 10:03 pm  

  • Touche, angry doc.

    I tend to concur with an earlier post of yours. There is a symbiosis between pharma and medicine, but a lie is a lie, be it of commission or omission.

    By Blogger Dr Dork, At February 17, 2006 11:21 pm  

  • Conscience....hmmm....

    Watched the "Constant Gardener" last weekend. The plot was on the conspiracy theory on how big pharmaceutical companies using impoverished Africa as their guinea pigs for new drugs; and also dump almost expired drugs to the Africans in the glorified name of 'medical aid'.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 17, 2006 11:53 pm  

  • I think that dumping of such drugs into impoverished countries of the world is still going on.

    But hello, if you can't pay for the good stuff, some still unexpired medicine is better than the witchdoctor's brew of crow's feet in a cauldron of river sewerage polluted water OK?

    By Blogger uglybaldie, At February 18, 2006 11:05 am  

  • is there anything wrong as long as they are still safe for human consumption? at times i also consumed short expiry products.

    what i don't agree is that some critical drugs (e.g. antiretrovirus drugs) are priced way beyond the affordability of the masses. but at least now some big pharma companies are doing something at the global level to overcome this problem with some of the 3rd world countries.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 19, 2006 7:49 am  

  • Angry doctor I think you are great.

    It is so refreshing to hear someone tell the truth about the drug reps. Like you, I have nothing against the individual reps, but they prefer to act like they are helping patients, when in fact they are a crucial part of the profit motive, which is often at odds with patient health.

    Anyone who thinks they can listen to a hot rep with their cleavage pushed in your face without being influenced is a liar or gay. The same can be said about a steak dinner. If you think you aren't being influenced, that is because you are already a prostitute.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At February 25, 2006 1:36 am  

  • Little doubt, the dude is completely just.
    my site | blog | my site

    By Anonymous Jerald, At November 04, 2012 6:29 am  

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