I Must Give Big Pharma Credit Where Credit Is Due. I'm Glad They Stopped The Corruption.

It's been almost three years now, and I can't tell you how much better I feel about myself. Today you see, I bought my own pack of pens. With my own money. I earned them, and I couldn't be happier. For the first time since I was in high school the marks I make will be my own, free of drug company influence. I am not proud of this, but for most of my career, I never told a drug company sales rep no. So the free pens came. Along with the T-shirts, ball caps, tape dispensers, a flash drive and a mouse pad, and probably a clock or two. With each plastic trinket I felt like a dirty whore. But I could not stop. The Vytorin tongue depressor was too important to me.

Not to mention the Actonel kitchen timer. I made cookies once using the Actonel kitchen timer and they turned out perfectly. They wouldn't have otherwise. Big Pharma corruption was improving the quality of my life, and I knew it even if I wouldn't admit it at the time.

Fortunately the pharmaceutical industry saw the tangled web they were weaving and saved me from myself. Its been almost three years now since they stopped the flow of pens, saving us both from even the appearance of impropriety.

Thank God. Now I am free to read the morning paper in peace.

Several companies, pressured by Congress or required by legal settlements, have started to reveal the names of the doctors they've paid to deliver promotional talks or serve as consultants.

What? Paid? Like money? Nooooooooooo....surely they mean things like Zantac toboggan hats .

Among the top-paid speakers from that sampling was Santa Monica pain physician Gerald Sacks. Since 2009, he has earned at least $522,113 giving promotional talks and consulting for four companies, according to the data.

Wait. That's half a million dollars.

Sacks, an anesthesiologist, isn't a leader in prominent pain medicine societies, and several top pain physicians told us they hadn't heard of him. He doesn't work in an academic medical center such as UCLA or USC. He hasn't published much research. We tried to talk to him about what he was paid for, but he didn't return numerous messages. 
Sacks' slides from a 2008 educational talk and 2009 presentation before the U.S. Food and Drug Administration describe him as the director of pain management at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica. A hospital spokesman said Sacks has never held that title and that his pain clinic is not part of the hospital. He does have the ability to admit and treat patients at St. John's. 
Drug firms have a pretty fair idea of whether their investment in doctors like Sacks pays off. They pay millions to researchers who buy data from pharmacies and track the prescribing habits of doctors. Pfizer, which gave Sacks at least $318,250 for speaking in 2009 and 2010, according to its data, could find out if and how often he gave patients Lyrica and Celebrex, two of the company's pain medications. Firms can also track whether and how often the people who attended such talks prescribed the drugs that were discussed. 

Yet somehow the problem was my copy of 2000 World Series highlights with a Claritin sticker on the side. Dr. Christian Erik Sandrock of Sacramento gets $156,000 from Pfizer and I'm the one that has to be stopped.


So the post that I started in such a positive way, with a realization that a boost of self esteem was in order, ends with the realization that I am not even a good whore. I feel better at least, about the Whole Foods cupcakes my Lilly rep snuck in last week.

Go Humalog.
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I Must Give Big Pharma Credit Where Credit Is Due. I'm Glad They Stopped The Corruption.
I Must Give Big Pharma Credit Where Credit Is Due. I'm Glad They Stopped The Corruption.
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