Pharmaceutical reps, to me at least, have had it their way for far too long... as have the healthcare professionals who accept cash payments, muffins, concert tickets and dinners from them.
Ironically, many of these doctor's profess to have some sort of insight into the brain, often seen prescribing millions of antidepressants because their patients have some sort of psychological disorder.
What I find astounding is that many of these pill-pushers don't recognise their own psychological disorders, namely living in denial that their acceptance of such gifts makes them prescribe more pharmaceutical wares.
Now, a new campaign is under way to stop the pimping of pharmaceutical wares to healthcare professionals.
“No Advertising Please” was conceived by Dr Justin Coleman, a General Practitioner and President of the Australasian Medical Writers Association.
The campaign is trying to encourage doctors to avoid using drug representatives as their ‘educational’ resource, by pledging to not see drug reps at their practice for one year. Healthcare professionals are being encouraged to add their names to this initiative by signing 'The Pledge' on the “No Advertising Please” website.
It's predominantly Australian based but is receiving worldwide attention.
So, what do medicine regulators think about all of this?
Well, the Australian medicines regulator, Medicines Australia, have taken the unusual step of issuing their thoughts on the whole campaign.
Health journalist Melissa Sweet is reporting that Medicines Australia have issued their own press release stating that...
“…the idea that you can ignore information from a pharmaceutical company that has conducted extensive research and development to help treat disease is laughable at best and negligent at worst,”Once again we see a medicines regulator with its tongue down the rear end of the proverbial pharmaceutical trousers. Hardly surprising given that global medicines regulators are made up of former pharmaceutical employees. One only has to look at who is in charge of the British drug regulator to understand how this mafia-type industry operate.
Dr Ian Hudson is head of British drug regulator, the MHRA. He was the former World Safety Officer at SmithKline Beecham (GlaxoSmithKline) - He even gave evidence (if you can call it that) defending Glaxo and their antidepressant Paxil.
You can watch part of his performance in the video below.
Hudson's video deposition and involvement in the concealment of the Paxil suicide link can be seen around the 19 mins 50 second mark.
Pharmaceutical reps push products on doctors in efforts to fatten their own bank balances and not to help patients... of course, I'm generalizing here, some reps do have a conscience, we normally see this with whistleblowers who refuse to promote unsafe drugs anymore, they are usually threatened with dismissal so, in turn, blow the whistle on the off-label promotional practices of the pharmaceutical companies. Some would suggest that these whistleblowers have, themselves, been paying doctors to promote drugs...but here's the rub - they decided enough was enough, they decided that what they once did was wrong. Yeh, a whistleblower can reap the rewards of any such lawsuits against their employers but it's not an easy ride. More often than not they are lambasted by fellow reps and left penniless during the lengthy process of Qui Tam litigation. They'll also find it difficult to find work in the pharma field during any such litigation due to their employers refusing to give them references or, worse still, laying down poison to any prospective employer.
Scouring through the thousands of pharmaceutical documents that I've been privy to over the years has seen a smooth operation fueled by greed. Most doctors will be unaware that their prescribing habits are recorded by the pharmaceutical industry, they know exactly how many scripts doctors write for each of their products. When a doctor is not seen to be prescribing their particular brands they up the ante, usually in the form of a lavish dinner for the doctor.
it took some weeks before the ads were taken down.
For anyone reading this it may be worth writing down the url and urging your own doctor to take the pledge.
I've just been informed that Medicines Australia aren't even a regulator. Begs the question why they are sticking their noses in.