RAH-RAH FOR BIG PHARMA
I’ve been been around doctors for quite some time, and I’ve known some pharmaceutical reps in the past who seemed to know their business. But more recently I’ve noticed that an extraordinarily high percentage of drug reps seem to be extremely attractive and bubbly. But surely, you say, doctors could not be influenced to choose pharmaceutical products simply because they find the salesperson appealing; surely they would look at the data underlying the company’s boasts about the product’s efficacy and safety, wouldn’t they? Puhleeeze: we’re talking about a group of people who, in shocking numbers, believe that the astonishing rise is autism over the last couple of decades can be explained by better awareness and changing diagnostic guidelines, and that the Verstraeten study actually proves there is no connection between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism.
Physicians tend to be busy souls who do not have the time to look beyond the surface. They’ll take at face value the pronouncements of sources they have deemed credible: the centers for Disease Control, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and that cute cheerleader from the local team. Sometimes the simplest of appeals works.