You Want Evidence Based?
From the New York Times:
The pens, pads, mugs and other gifts that drug makers have long showered on doctors will be banned from pharmaceutical marketing campaigns under a voluntary guideline that the industry is expected to announce Thursday.Medicine may still be struggling with the whole idea that one should be able to show that one's proposed interventions actually work, but there is another industry in this country that has evidence down to a science (if you'll pardon the expression.) This other group has extensive research to buttress every move it makes and every cent it spends. Missteps are rare. Of whom am I speaking? Advertising, of course; unless you want to call it Marketing.
I have no doubt in the world that the recent withdrawal of pens and mugs from the drug reps' goodie bags is nothing more than the result of a consultant's report that the return on that investment is not worth it. That same consultant probably then suggested that the announcement be couched in such a way as to present Pharma as the good guys. "See? We're not trying to buy prescriptions with cheap dreck like that anymore."
Cut me a break. They're still dishing out cash left and right: directly to doctors via "consultant fees," "speakers bureaus" and executive vacations disguised as educational meetings, not to mention direct-to-consumer advertising. That's where the ROI is.