This post provides no surprises for anyone familiar with these matters, but the quote that follows is so direct and succinct that I could not refrain from putting it out.
Shahram Ahari, former drug rep and now faculty member in Pharmacy at UCSF, has become deservedly prominent among critics of Pharma for publications such as:
Recently (Nov. 8) Mr. Ahari spoke to Capitol Hill staffers regarding the Sunshine Law that would require disclosure of all Pharma payments to physicians nation-wide. He kindly shared his testimony with the National Physicians Alliance. He said, in part,
Part of our job as reps is to cultivate the illusion that doctors can’t be swayed by measly drug reps. And we help the doctors rationalize this by being one of the few friendly faces to enter their office not complaining about their symptoms or paperwork. Doctor, how can you who has 4 years of graduate education plus many years of training be swayed by little old me?
We all know that when physicians protest that they are immune to the marketing wiles of the industry, it's rationalization and not reality. This quote simply drives home what we have long realized, that the rationalization process is very much in the interests of the industry, and they are prime enablers in our own unprofessional behavior. (We docs must still own our own lack of professionalism and our willingness to lap up these convenient rationalizations from suspect sources.)