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Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:27 am

What do you guys think of the pharmaceutical industry and its marketing practises? As I'm sure you all know, Direct-to-Consumer marketing for pharmaceuticals was once illegal, but was legalized in the late 90's. Among the ethical questions brought up by this action, is it moral to advertise directly to an unqualified and succeptable public? And to trivialize taking medication for small problems?
Of course, the industry has been marketing to doctors for a long time, usually in the form of sponsered conferences at which their drugs are promoted; flying doctors out all expenses paid is common.
If any of you have ever read 'The Constant Gardener' by John Le Carre, is it a plausible plot? Has anything of such a magnitude ever occured publicly?
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 10:49 am

I can say a few things because my mom is in Medical Education/Programming with Reliant Pharm.

1) Its NOT secure in any way
2) Its full of disgruntled employees
3) Sexism surprisingly comes up alot

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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:13 am

In one word; EVIL !

I hate this industry. I'll just say this much, I know some people who are very close to me that's sold there souls and are swiming in $h!t by working for this industry as sales reps.
The things they do are mindblowing. This is predatory capitalism at it's worst.
I don't want to go off on a tangent but I think Direct-to-Consumer marketing for pharmaceuticals should be made illegal again.
In order for that to happen, we need to put the Democrats back in control of Congress.
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:52 am mom is a rep...why do you think their industry is bad? She loves her job.
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 11:58 am

My sister works as one also and she loves her job too. I don't want to come down personally on the sales reps because they're just doing there job. Lots of money can be made in that industry. I just think that it's terrible that they can make commercials making people feel inferior unless they by these pills that have side effects. Also they come up with new medicine when the patents run out so they can still charge astronomical prices for there medicine. That industry is blocking cheaper medicine from coming in from Canada and they have stood in the way of any sort of nationalized health care system.
Bring back the Concorde
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Wed Apr 28, 2004 5:34 pm

The profit margins for pharmaceutical products in the US are huge - it's not for nothing that the US is the key market for the pharmaceutical industry worldwide. Having said that, the cost of developing a new drug from scratch is prohibitive; even tweeking an existing formulation to get a patent line extension is extremely expensive... so the US market more or less guarantees that big multinationals will be able to recoup their huge R&D investments.

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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 5:44 am

God bless the people that first made Percocet!!!!!!
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 7:10 am

Of course sales reps love their jobs, they get paid (very goooood) for visiting doctors and give them study results and some samples... nothing more. Although they claim that they give some advice to doctors regarding the drugs, it is false. How could someone that has a background that does not have to do with medicine advice a doctor on prescribing drugs??

Direct-to-consumer marketing should be prohibited in the US. At least in Mexico it is prohibited, and Pharmaceutical companies use all the money they don´t spend in advertisements to invite doctors to symposiums, conferences, spas, movies, concerts, etc.

Quite an interesting industry if you see from the inside...
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 10:20 am

It always amazes me that after waiting in a doctor's office for an hour or so, in comes a pharmaceutical salesperson in a suit and with a huge attache case, and the receptionist, says (usually calling him/her by first name), "Sure, go on back, the doctor will be right with you". I've heard that the salespeople give the doctors lots more than free samples-- including vacation trips and other big-ticket items. Not trying to indict an entire industry-- no doubt there are lots of ethical, competent salesreps out there.
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:49 am

Does this stuff apply to generic companies as well as brand-name companies?

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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 11:55 am

I agree the direct to consumer market of drugs should go away.

But I don't see the industry as this big evil industry.

Most people when they are debating drug prices don't mention that most generic drugs in Canada are lower in cost then the same drugs in the US. Only name brands are cheaper there because of the price controls they have.

Actually there is great concern that drug companies may stop offering some medicines in Canada, because the price controls make them unprofitable there.
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Thu Apr 29, 2004 12:07 pm

"Marketing practices" means two different things to me.

When a drug manufacturer markets a product in a magazine with a full page advertisement and encourages you to ask your doctor about such-and-such, I have no problem with that at all.

It is the other type of marketing that bothers me:

The availability of narcotic medications (i.e. Hydrocodone, Percocet, Oxycontin) to online users without a real medical examination is no different than scoring a drug deal on a street corner.

They are specifically marketing drugs that a primary care physician would be reluctant to prescribe - or may refuse to altogether.

If your own doctor won't provide these medications to you, it's a obvious clue that they probably are not good for you in the long run.
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RE: Pharmaceutical Industry

Sat May 01, 2004 10:32 am

maybe if there wasn't so much marketing in this industry people like myself could afford to buy our meds. They should spend less $ on marketing and make the meds affordable.

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