Monday, January 21, 2008

Going Pharm Free, with 20 Shopping Carts

USA Today reports on the efforts of SMDC Health Systems, based in Duluth, to implement its strict new no-Pharma-gifts policy:

Highlights: The clinics decided to get rid of all of what the reps call "reminder items" (pens, note pads, coffee mugs, etc.) along with samples. They disposed in the end of 18,718 items that required 20 shopping carts to haul off. The items are being donated to health facilities in Cameroon. (If, a year or so from now, we hear of a sudden and inexplicable downturn in the public health of Cameroon, we will know the cause.)

The always reliable spokesperson for PhRMA, Ken Johnson, admitted that the industry needed to do a better job of explaining and justifying its marketing practices, adding that until it does so, "Unfortunately there are a lot of cynics in America who want to think the worst."

Do tell.

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