Wednesday, October 26, 2005

What...Me Worry??

I had to take an annual compliance training courseonline today. It was the first time that I had evernoticed that it referenced bad acts by drug companies. For example, during the discussion of theAnti-kickback statute, it mentioned that "there hadbeen a number of high-profile case of pharmaceuticalcompanies..." who had violated various parts of theact. It also referred to "the corrupting influence ofmoney and gifts to the prescriber." I wonder how manyreps were able to to hear that with a straight face? After all, money and gifts to prescribers were theirbread and butter up until quite recently, andarguably, it still is. How else to bag the attentionof physicians on the go, if not for lunches anddinners? "I think you know my position on free food."- Kevin Costner, "The Upside of Anger"

Be Afraid...Be Very Afraid...of what?

A fabulous article that everyone should read appears in the NY Times today. Relative risk, folks. Thisarticle is for all of you idiots who stop using thesubway because you're afraid of terrorists, andinstead drive to work. Everyone I know needs a crashcourse on the statistics of harm (and lotteries too,but that's a topic for another day). Halloween isalso a good time to visit, not to mentionthe Department of Justice crime statistics. Acolleague of mine said today, "You just can't let kidsgo out trick-or-treating these days, like you couldwhen we were kids." Baloney. If it was safe ageneration ago, it's safe now. Our neighborhoods areno more infested with undesirables than they ever were- it's just that we can find out who they are, thanksto Megan's laws.


Anonymous said...

Money and gifts have not been bread and butter for reps since 2001. To be on the clinical side and make such irresponsible blanket statements shows a head in the sand approach to your company. We are all in this together. And you better hope that your sales force isn't out there breaking compliance rules because otherwise your clinical development department will suffer as the beast eats its own tail.

pharmahost said...

An excellent summary of exactly my position. Thank you for that.

Perhaps "quite recently" was not well chosen. 2001 is not ancient history to me, but I understand the turnover in the sales organization is quite high. I dearly hope that our sale force is in compliance - that is a large theme throughout my blogs. Head in the Sand approach? No indeed. I frequently seek out information about our sales practices, for the very reson that I want my head to not be caught unawares if and when the US Attorney comes knocking.