There was a piece in the New York Times Magazine in November entitled "Dr. Drug Rep" by Doctor Daniel Carlat who discussed the interplay of drug companies and physicians, and his own evolution concerning the appropriateness of aspects of that relationship. I thought it was a fascinating article.
Then, this past week, the Magazine published a letter to the editor from Dr. Amy N. Ship, a superb internist in our hospital's primary care practice. Here it is, in case you missed it. Strongly held beliefs, clearly presented.
Even without Dr. Carlat's delayed recognition of the positive spin Wyeth clearly expected him to put on its product, why did it take a year for him to realize that he was being paid and pampered to sell a product? How could he seemingly miss the obvious: that his M.D. and credentials provided for Wyeth a patina of legitimacy that its drug reps couldn't muster independently? Why did it take him so long (while he amassed $30,000) to see that his position was morally corrupt?
The "lessons" that he reputedly learned are not new or unique. I'm proud to work in a medical practice where pharmaceutical representatives are not permitted.