The devil is the detail people - I

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The devil is the detail people - I

That "Big Pharma" is a dirty word in our house, will come as no surprise to OtBB regulars, both Jeanne and I for different reasons.

On the base level of the pharmaceutical indus­try are the "detail men," field representatives who call on physicians to provide them with information and samples in an effort to per­suade them to prescribe certain drugs!

To some health care professionals they are such an annoyance in their work place that they not only decline to see them, but refuse their inducements... morning coffee and donuts to lunches brought in for the entire office to dinners at pricey restaurants.

"If I'd wanted to play that game," one says, "I'd've long ago put on fishnets and moved to San Diego to whistle at sailors!"

At my level... that of a consumer... drug reps have been an increasing irritant since I first encountered one leaving Dr. Merle's of­fices in the Winter of '69-'70.

I had an upper respiratory complaint, and after the usual thermometer and stethoscope proto­cols, he wrote a prescription for me.

When I took it to Speed's and handed Einar Anderson the script to fill, there was the guy I'd seen 25 minutes earlier at Dr. Merle's.

"Good thing for you it's only a ten-day supply," Andy said as her handed me the vial. "These are a buck a pill!"

Intuitively, all was revealed to me!

"Lemme guess," I said to the man standing at the end of the counter. "These are a product of the company you represent?"

"Yes," he said, "as a matter of fact...."

And so began the formulation of a personal policy about visiting doctor's offices with "de­tail men/women" anywhere in the vicinity.

(Fortunately, they are easy to spot.)

It reached critical mass this week with the con­fluence of the Season 2 debut of cable Showtime's "The Big C" and an appointment at Stony Brook Ophthalmology.

(Concluded: Part II)


1. Hunt Marckwald said...

How about the story of the artificial hip salesman in the operating room showing the surgeon what to do?

Someone had to do something because the surgeon sure didn't!

The story is not a folktale (although a variant on that was dramatized on "Law & Order" in 1999. It happened just up the Island in (see People v. Smithtown General Hospital) 1975.

In short, it's "old news," #1, and, #2, has nothing to do with "drug reps."

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