How to get a doctor’s attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Having returned from a major conference like Pri-Med, the pharmaceutical exhibits are always interesting. Essentially, they are engaged in a “top-this” competition of showmanship and extravagance to woo the physicians in attendance. This led to some comical scenes in this pharmaceutical wonderland.

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

So, how does one win a physician’s attention?

Sleeping all day in your pajamas! (The “O” is for Rozerem – and yes, that was a real person sleeping there. Nice work if you can get it.)

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Origami! (Not sure what this has to do with a constipation medication)

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Cool magic tricks!

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Dressing as a . . . I don’t know what! (I think that’s triglyceride on the left, HDL on the right; pancreas is below)

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Golf!

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

Masquerading as a coffee shop!

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

The Truth!

How to get a doctors attention; or, how far will drug reps go?

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  • Borneo Breezes

    Great post Kevin. It says it all. But I am as bad as the rest, running around collecting goodies. I fear it is linked to greed in some way.

  • The Independent Urologist
  • Okulus

    Gotta move those Ellman Surgitrons.

  • TBTAM

    Great photos and a wonderful post! I’m linking it.

  • Anonymous

    Borneo speak for yourself. I don’t take their junk or their food. Just think if we all did that. Most of thoses idiots have no clue what they are pedaling besides what their company’s have spoon fed them.

  • Maria

    Kevin, our man on the street!

    The photos are fantastically absurd. When you had first mentioned your attendance at Pri-Med, I envisioned some stuffy conference (because, you know, the whole Boston bit ;)… I didn’t expect it to look like part swap meet, part carnival.

  • atomichealth

    haha great! …if the public could see them now…they might not have so much confidence in their products.
    do you own these photos? if so, I’d like to ask if I may have a couple to go on my website…www.atomichealth.co.uk…for ‘Poisonous Prescriptions’

  • Anonymous

    Very interesting how primary care detailing at meetings differs from surgical subspeciality meeting detailing. Our meetings have little of this gimickery; mostly speakers, demos and wet labs. Most physicians are dressed in business suits. It seems much more professional than the three ring circus your photos show.

  • Anonymous

    I recently just attended the American College of Emergency Physicians convention. I can’t stand going into the convention hall.

    However I can’t help but notice that the more expensive a drug is with the least marginal benefit — the larger and more ridiculous the promotion will be.

  • Anonymous

    Hell, when the CJD’s and John Edwards of the world are hovering over us like rapists in a prison, when I need to leave the country to practice medicine wihout all the distractions, I have no problem taking a stupid pen from a drug rep. How many of you not in medicine have to use your vacation time to go to court? I just wish the drug reps could simply hand us cash, so I could retire from this mess a little younger.

  • Kim

    Too funny!

    Oh, speaking of Rozerem (no pun intended), the drug rep decideds to meet with my doctor and bring him lunch.

    So my doc knows that I am an avid user of Melatonin for sleep. And Rozerem is actually based on melatonin in some way. So he wants to know what I think of the medication.

    It’s eight times more expensive than melatonin.

    I tried it for three days. Nothing. Nada. Not even the least bit tired.
    What a crock.

    So now I use my melatonin. Good sleep, quick onset and no hangover.

    Told my doc, who said the Rozerem guys wanted to fly him out for a conference.

    He didn’t go.

    Hey, it was sort of fun being a one-woman clinical trial…..

  • beajerry

    Those are priceless!

  • Anonymous

    Sorry to burst your bubble, but those are more than likely NOT reps that are doing card tricks, dressed up like body parts. They are generally hired individuals. At the convention level, you are generally seeing some top flight (young) reps who are limited in what they are allowed to say due to FDA rules. regs and possible investigators at these sites.

  • Daniel Haszard

    Thanks for posting about this issue.

    90,000 pharma reps in the usa,you can’t watch the evening news without being bombarded.

    What irks me is that the Eli Lilly company’s blockbuster Zyprexa has been implicated in causing TEN times greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
    They then turn around and sell other blockbuster drugs to treat the same diabetes.

    Daniel Haszard http://www.zyprexa-victims.com

  • Anonymous

    The magician is hired by Abbott. He has been around the country for them. None of the puppets and other entertainment were reps.

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