Pharmaceutical Companies are taking YOUR money!!

Nurses Activism


moderators note:

this thread was created from posts in the thread titled "ways to tell if someone is a nurse" in the humor forum. this was done to facilitate discussion on this topic (pharmacutical freebies) without derailing the other thread.

md terminator is not the actual starter of the this thread (i hope you don't mind dave), it only appears so as his was the post that raised this new topic and seemed like a good place to start from.


how about this?

the other day i was in office depot and saw all these piles of post-it-notes. then in another aisle there were ink pens?

you mean these things aren't exclusive to drug reps? i can't imagine somone paying for post-it-notes or a pen, and them not have a logo from zoloft, kadian or concerta!

::shhheeze!:: the things people will waste money on!


Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.
Originally posted by MD Terminator

You mean these things aren't exclusive to drug reps? I can't imagine somone paying for post-it-notes or a pen, and them NOT have a logo from Zoloft, Kadian or Concerta!

Heh - I have to respond to this - One of my pet peeves is all the freebies the Rx and Formula companies give away and then Rx prices are so high in this country. 59% of an Rx companies profits are spent on marketing and freebies!!!!! One formula company gave over 8 million dollars to the AAP a couple years ago so they could build a new building. (Have you SEEN the price on a can of formula these days? If you don't have a baby - you still buy formula - WIC gives free formula out and your tax dollars pay top dollar for this stuff!) MUCH more than the research and development they would like us to believe they are spending the money on. I'm tired of being gouged for Rx's when I go to get medication, and it isn't like it's something you don't need. Many drugs keep people ALIVE!

Check out

so yes - I buy ALL of my own pens and tote bags and post-its and lunches! And I don't attend the free CEU programs unless it is actually clinically useful info and I know who did and who paid for the research that is being presented. And even then I take my own lunch.

ok....stepping off the soapbox now. And back to the topic at hand....

You know you are a nurse when you take your child to the ER and they ask YOU where his one good vein is and you can tell them and said child begs them to let his mother start the IV...

When all your friends relatives and neighbors go to YOUR doctor...

The staff on your unit orders chinese food and you use new bedpans and emesis basins and urine containers to serve it up in, then wash them and put them back in the supply room so patients can use them later!

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

1 Article; 3,619 Posts

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..


Honey, you don't know the half of it, and it is one of the best kept physicians secret.

The drug reps also dish out free concert tickets, game tickets, and wine and dine freebies. And we're all paying for that too.

You know you're a nurse when you're suddenly hit with the shocking news you're now being mandated!


Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

I know the half of it alright - if consumers knew the half of it, there would be blood in the streets! It really is a patient advocacy issue. Some states are already passing laws to disallow certain types of gifts and freebies.

It's also a congressman and senators best kept secret - pharmaceutical freebies, not just for doctors anymore! Take a look at some of the lavish dinners thrown on capital hill in the past year or two related to all the pharm idustry and Medicare brouhaha.

Thats the money they hold out of OUR paychecks to pay taxes and health insurance at work!

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

1 Article; 3,619 Posts

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

How very losing for the poor consumer. No wonder they can't afford meds, and health insurance.

Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

From another thread....moved here for relativitys sake.....

Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

ok - here is the new thread for the pharmaceutical industry stuff....

permission to copy relative material from this thread to that thread asssumed unless told otherwise.....

(thread split, merged and other magic by a moderator)

FranEMTnurse, CNA, LPN, EMT-I

1 Article; 3,619 Posts

Specializes in LTC, CPR instructor, First aid instructor..

Thanks, Guage.


Sarah Kat

229 Posts

The sad fact of the matter is that any and all reforms that take place serve to benefit the drug companies, insurance companies, hospital conglomerates, and the AMA. Patients are just consumers necessary only to line the pockets. The whole healthcare system in the US should be turned on its head. There has to be some middle ground between socialized medicine and this profit based system we have now.

Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

Even the recent medicare prescription coverage that just passed really serves to benefit pharmaceutical companies.

If you havn't been to than go!!!! Here is some VERY interesting things from that site:

"Pharmaceutical Facts

The "Research-based" pharmaceutical industry spends more on marketing and administration than it does on research and development. (Families USA)

U.S. Drug spending increased 17.1% to $154.5 billion dollars in 2001. One-quarter of this increase was due to a shift to the use of more expensive drugs. (National Institute for Health Care Management)

The top selling drug in 2001 was Lipitor. Increase in Lipitor sales contributed more than any other single drug to the increase in drug costs that year (NIHCM). The effect of Lipitor on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality remains unknown.

Pharmaceutical industry profits were 18.5% of revenue in 2001. For the remainder of Fortune 500 companies, median profits were 3.5% (FamiliesUSA).

Since 1995, R&D staff of U.S. brand name drug companies have decreased by 2%, while marketing staff have increased by 59%. Currently, 22% of staff are employed in research and development, while 39% are in marketing. (PhRMA Industry Profile 2000; percentages calculated by Sager and Socolar)

In a study by Avorn, et al, forty-six per-cent of physicians reported that drug reps are moderately to very important in influencing their prescribing habits (Am Journal of Med, 1982).

In a study by Lurie, et al, one-third of medical residents reported that they change their practice based on information provided by drug reps (Journal of Gen Int Med, 1990).

In a study by Steinman, et al, 61% of medical residents stated that industry promotions did not influence their own prescribing, but only 16% believed other physicians to be similarly uninfluenced.(Am Journal of Med, 2000)

Two and one-half billion dollars were spent on advertising to consumers in 2000. Increases in the sales of the 50 drugs most heavily advertised to consumers were responsible for almost half (47.8%) of the $20.8 billion increase in spending in 2000.(NIHCM)

In 2000, Merck spent $161 million on advertising for Vioxx. That is more than Pepsico spent advertising Pepsi. ($125 million), and more than Anheuser-Busch spent advertising Budweiser.($146 million). The increase in Vioxx sales in 2000 accounted for 5.7% of the 1 year increase in drug spending. (NIHCM)

A study by Westfall, et al, found that 96% of physicians and staff had taken samples for personal or family use in the preceding year. (JAMA, 1997)

According to industry estimates, drug companies spent $15.7 billion dollars on promotion in 2000. $7.2 billion dollars worth of free samples were distributed that year(IMS Health).

A study by Chew, et al , found that in the treatment of hypertension, over 90% of physicians would dispense a sample that differed from their preferred drug choice. (JGIM, 2000)

The AMA generates $20 million in annual income by selling detailed personal and professional information on all doctors practicing in the United States to the pharmaceutical industry (NY Times, November 16, 2000).

Submit your facts

(with references)


Fallacies in Pharmaceutical Promotion

(J Gen Int Med, 1994)

Argumentum ad Verecundiam (appeal to authority)

"Doctor, The Chairman of I.D. here says he's using TrovanTM for all his UTI patients; don't you think you should try it?"

Argumentum ad Populum (the bandwagon effect)

"Doctor, everyone over at University is using TrovanTM; don't you think you should?"

Oh and did I mention the FDA advisory . . .

Non Sequitur (the red herring)

"Yes it's true, doctor, that endoscopic ulcerations don't necessarily correlate with symptomatic ulcers, but nevertheless . . ."

Argumentum ad Misericordiam (appeal to pity)

"Doctor, Nexium just has not been doing well in my territory. Do you think you might try it?

and we add:

Post prandium ergo propter prandium

(After lunch, therefore, because of lunch)

The tendency to prescribe a medication following a drug company lunch. In the case of a breakfast, referred to as "bagel bias." "

Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

Hmmmmmmmmm Post #299



Originally posted by gauge14iv

Ok - here is the new thread for the Pharmaceutical Industry stuff....

Permission to copy relative material from this thread to that thread asssumed unless told otherwise.....


edited by kids-r-fun to correct URL


I think it is wonderful that you have so much time to devote to an issue... I just think that nurses working for Doctors in offices are very happy to get that free lunch when they would probably get nothing at all or get no time to take a break except for the fact that there is a lunch there and ready and all they have to do is find a small window of tiime to eat.


"Knowledge is the only tool that doesn't rust" Larry Leeds 2000

IP: Logged

12-01-2003 09:18 AM



Registered: Mar 2002

Location: Big D, Texas

Posts: 39

Post #300

Which is EXACTLY what the marketing reps count on.

As for "Having so much time" I work fulltime, I am chairing one committee at work, and heavily involved with another one, I am a full time student getting ready to be a full time grad student, I have 5 kids and I volunteer. Add to that a heavy dose of sarcoidosis and I don't take it lightly when someone says "I have no time"

It's all about what we choose really. If we are committed to something, then we make choices that reflect that.

Pharmaceutical marketing is VERY insidious. These guys wrote the book on successful marketing strategies and they KNOW how to use it!!! Of COURSE they make meals convenient - they know that people will not turn them down and then there will be an emotional debt created.

I work in a hospital in a critical care unit and I am lucky to get my 30 minutes for lunch, but I manage to get something from the caf or bring it from home rather than eat what the marketing reps bring to our unit on a VERY frequent basis.


"And when you find the one you might become, Remember part of me is you" ... Lyle Lovett - Simple Song

Specializes in ICU, ER, HH, NICU, now FNP.

And would it make any difference for you to know that YOU and I and everyone else who pays for prescription drugs and insurance premiums is buying that lunch?

Its sorta like when the local utility company (prior to de-regulation anyway) spends a bunch of money buying ads on TV. You don't have a choice (or didn't at one time) and the consumer is ultimately the one who is paying for it.

I don't know about you, but my insurance premiums have QUADRUPLED over the past 6 years. It is not docs and hospitals that have gotten more expensive, its drugs. And we are all forced to absorb the costs in one way or another, whether through taxes, medicare taxes, or insurance premiums, or simply higher drug prices.

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