Monday, November 28, 2005

Big Pharma Promotion

So let's take another whack at Big Pharma. The issue is drug promotion through physicians. Although these representatives are characterized as "saleswomen," the people they promote to are prescribers, not customers. And physician's offices tell you they meet with these reps because they provide free samples of medicines for patients that don't have drug coverage.

The Times below, even though the article is written by a woman, might be accused of a bit of sexism. There's little information on what these cheerleader women might have majored in. For example, Otwell, featured in the picture and a Survivor participant, is listed on the Survivor website as a "kinesiology" major [read phys. ed.] It's worth asking whether bachelor's degree people with no health education beyond should be promoting pharmaceuticals at all.

The Dodger has heard that orthopedic surgeons are frequently varsity athletes who went on. The story on orthopods is that they are "Strong as an Ox, and Twice as Smart."


Gimme an Rx! Cheerleaders Pep Up Drug Sales

Published: November 28, 2005

As an ambitious college student, Cassie Napier had all the right moves - flips, tumbles, an ever-flashing America's sweetheart smile - to prepare for her job after graduation. She became a drug saleswoman.

Penny Otwell, a former cheerleader, is a drug sales representative.

Penny Otwell, a former cheerleader, is a drug sales representative.

Ms. Napier, 26, was a star cheerleader on the national-champion University of Kentucky squad, which has been a springboard for many careers in pharmaceutical sales. She now plies doctors' offices selling the antacid Prevacid for TAP Pharmaceutical Products.

Ms. Napier says the skills she honed performing for thousands of fans helped land her job. "I would think, essentially, that cheerleaders make good sales people," she said.

Anyone who has seen the parade of sales representatives through a doctor's waiting room has probably noticed that they are frequently female and invariably good looking. Less recognized is the fact that a good many are recruited from the cheerleading ranks.

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