Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hard Sell--the Movie? Oy Vey

Thanks also to our friends at Healthy Skepticism for this news flash from Hollywood:


Short version: a pair of stars has signed on to do a move based on the book Hard Sell by Jamie Reedy, former Pfizer drug rep, describing his experiences marketing Viagra.

When I was writing HOOKED, I did cite Reedy's book, in large part because it offered a very rare look behind the scenes at the drug rep's workaday world. I tried, however, to rely on it as little as possible because Reedy made it clear from the get-go that he was an atypical drug rep. I assume that the average drug rep is a hard-working individual who wants to succeed at her chosen career--however unfortunate, in my view, the impact of that career is on the medical profession (which should stand up for its own ethical values, and not blame the drug reps it if has trouble doing so). Reedy, by contrast, made his goals quite clear in the early pages of his book--he wanted to get as much money from his employer in exchange for doing the least possible amount of work.

Maybe Reedy was creating a literary persona to make his story more fun to ready, but bottom line was that he seemed to be such an all-around sleazeball that I could not be sure whether to believe anything he wrote--hence my decision to quote only those few aspects of his book that seemed to rely only on solid facts.

From Pfizer's standpoint, the bad news is that they are making a movie based on this guy's book (the guy whom Pfizer fired as soon as they found out about the book). The good news is that from the fluff piece about the movie, the film will have virtually nothing at all to do with the book. I personally recommend not seeing it, even though the photo provided of the prospective female lead is quite fetching.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Reidy was half right in his book. In large part, it is the discretion of the individual drug rep. as far as they want to push their vocational autonomy with their drug company employer.