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08 February 2011 @ 11:34 am
& suchlike  
'Love and Other Drugs' highlighted, yet again, how weird the US health system is compared to socialised medicine. Here, we let drug reps give us BILLIONS of pens and also, sandwiches. I still prescribe generic at least 80% of the time, and the only reason I ever chart brands is if the patient just knows that name and I'm too lazy to Mims it. Seriously - it's not like eating an Aricept sandwich is going to help me remember what it even is when the time comes to use it. (... What is it?) My current pen pimps Invelon. NO IDEA.

I would have really enjoyed a film that was all about Pfizer and drug reps - a bit like The Social Network made a movie about a jumped-up forum interesting. I don't know if I liked the love story element - signs point to no - but if not, it's because it deserved more time and script-writing effort devoted to it, instead of being shanghied into an entirely different story.

A.Hath could really have done with a bit more research into her role ... that is not what a pill-rolling tremor looks like, yo.

I plan to watch Never Let Me Go tonight, solely for Andrew Garfield, despite my deeply-rooted and essentially nonsensical dislike of Carey Mulligan. I think mainly I get annoyed at actors who look like they're not having fun with their lives. If you're a good actor, it's not something you have to work really hard at, and the pay-off is huge. At least smile sometimes, you know?
Current Location: hospital library ... again
Current Music: hang with me // robyn
the zedmeisterzedmeister on February 8th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
Aricept is donepezil (a cholinesterase ihnibitor cognitive enhancer), so it might help you remember, actually. :D

On a more serious note, you'd be amazed at how well the pharmaceutical industry in the US and Canada has succeeded at convincing both doctors and patients that the quality of generics is subpar.

They pull out all these charts showing you how in trials of generics across the world, they don't measure up to the brand names. They just forget to mention which generics they sampled and *where*. (I'm perfectly willing to believe that there are some countries where the industry isn't well regulated and there are inadequate generics.) I also wouldn't be surprised if some of those "defective" generics were manufactured by the pharmaceutical company itself for the purpose of having such convincing data.

In either case, patients and doctors alike come away convinced that there's empirical evidence showing that generics just don't measure up (AND BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU TAKE THEM!!!11! - this part is left implied, of course).

Edited at 2011-02-08 12:41 pm (UTC)
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: b&w kissesscoradh on February 8th, 2011 07:49 pm (UTC)
See, donepezil I could remember. I'm pretty sure it's also used in MS to help with fatigue. It's the multiple other names for the same thing that gets confusing.

That's so, so different to here. We let them in on sufferance for our journal clubs and grand rounds, so that we get free cake and top up the pen stock, and let them give their little spiel about their great drug that is just like or not better than what we already use. In general we like hearing from established people like Lipitor because they're more relaxed and give better food (more money, obvs).

But as for believing their shit? Uh, no. We read papers for a living, we know what's a good study and what isn't, plus we can also see how those graphs have been doctored (hur hur) so that there seems to be a huge difference between the comparisons when in fact it's like two percentage points. If a RCT in JAMA suggests a change in prescribing practice, we might listen. To a drug rep?! LOL.

'Patients' also believe that cinnazerine will cure vertigo and that surgeons actually listen when they talk. I wouldn't give much credence to that. :P
l.m.: pic#108151946incandescent on February 8th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Haven't seen either movie, though I know some people have professed a profound and devotion-like love for Never Let Me Go. I'm just impressed that you found something interesting in Love and Other Drugs. I've seen a few trailer and...eh.

I randomly dislike all sorts of things. I hope you enjoy Never Let Me Go anyway.
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: jillicons: i'm so high i could eat a stascoradh on February 8th, 2011 07:50 pm (UTC)
To be honest, the romance slash cruiser!J.Gyll didn't draw me at all; it was only when someone mentioned the creepy Pfizer stuff that I grew interested.

I'm hoping it won't be too overwrought, is all. *coughBlackSwancough*
l.m.: pic#107939954incandescent on February 8th, 2011 09:39 pm (UTC)
Black Swan was definitely ah, wrought. Haha. XD
Dr Leezardlizardspots on February 8th, 2011 02:14 pm (UTC)
Drug rep free lunches, the cornerstone of pro-active attendance from students! :D *has just enjoyed a very tasty free sandwich in the name of Combodart*
every Starbucks should have a polar bear: Art: owlsscoradh on February 8th, 2011 07:51 pm (UTC)
My job is quiet these days, so me and my fav SHO always wander down to grand rounds twenty minutes before to wade through the students at the food table. :D One particular caterer does amazing Indian food WITH NAAN BREAD; I encourage all drug reps to employ them.
o hulloah!: art; uhm!bogged on February 8th, 2011 11:29 pm (UTC)
Speaking Pfizer, apparently they have a floor in the building I work in, and this morning one of the girls from Pfizer said the following in my elevator:

"I hate wearing suits. They make me look like a lesbain."

to which everyone else in the very crowded elevator turned around and stared her down until she felt appropriately shamed.