Was intrigued by the New York Times article Monday detailing how pharmaceutical companies recruit cheerleaders to sell drugs to doctors. The "Gimme an Rx" piece, reported by Stephanie Saul, describes these can-do gals as the perfect salespeople to move the product to physicians, most of whom are male.
It quotes Dr. Thomas Carli of the University of Michigan, not a fan of the practice, as saying, "There's a saying that you'll never meet an ugly drug rep."
Where the article doesn't quite deliver is in giving details of the X-rated parody email, reportedly making the rounds, from a cheerleader-turned-saleswoman.
This is reason No. 492 why Blinq exists.
Found it here. It's called "Diary of a Ethicon Rep!" and is more like R-rated, for adult language, one off-screen sexual liaison, one threatened kick to doctors' private parts, and realistic depictions of an aspect of the business world one would rather not see.
Week Eight, for instance:
First day by myself. Met Dr. Smith. He must be stressed because he cut me off in the middle
of my sentence and walked away. He must have forgotten I was there because he never came back. Dr. Johnson was just the opposite. It was great. It seemed he wouldn't stop talking to me. In fact, he wanted to meet me for dinner to just talk about my drug. What was really funny is that he forgot what drug I even had but after lots of wine promised he would use it no matter what it was? I am one hell of a salesperson!
Ann Bartow, a blogger at Sivacracy.net and law prof at South Carolina, gets exercised about The Times's article, writing:
I'm left wondering whether this is part of the NYT's campaign against uppity women, (see also Sheezlebub), or evidence of sexism of a different sort, an attempt to insult and marginalize women who have chosen to succeed within the patriarchy, on traditional terms. The idea that beautiful, flirtatious drug representatives "persuade" (short of explicitly exchanging sex for 'scrips, which, it is implied, actually happens also) doctors to write prescriptions that are not driven by the merits of the pharmaceutical product is certainly alarming, as the piece apparently intends it to be. Yet I have a hard time believing that this happens nearly as often as doctors writing unnecessary or unwarranted prescriptions because drug companies offer them goodies, or lie to them about the efficacy of their drugs, or because consumers are persuaded by advertising (that appears in places like the New York Times) to explicitly request certain drugs.