Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The anti-drug detailers

…Ever sit in a doctor’s waiting room and see people in Navy blue suits (who never meet your eye) whip past the wretched sick people and go right in? Those are the drug salespeople. Sometimes they even bring lunch and shiny trinkets for the whole staff.

…Now some state governments are hiring ex-detailers to meet with doctors to persuade them to use older, more generic therapies that work comparably well.

..In a story in the WSJ, March 13, one such former drug company employee brought the word according to the state of Pennsylvania, using a Harvard program to push evidence-based therapies.

…As patents expire, perfectly good drugs are now cheaper. The detailers track the doctor’s prescribing practices through the pharmacies and usually push the expensive drugs. The “unsales pitches” are for the generics.

…Sometimes, the unsales woman from Pennsylvania said, she is aced out by drug detailers with their logo-spangled notepads and pens (not to mention food).

…Her counterattack: Some hoagies she had scored in downtown Philly.

…Yes, those docs are all about the health food.

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