I will admit that I love the stuff that pharmaceutical companies give out. Pens, sticky note pads, T-shirts, magnets, mugs, tote bags, goniometers, penlights, etc.
New voluntary guidelines by some pharmaceutical regulatory agency makes it so that the companies will no longer be dispensing these little goodies.
While I will the miss the goodies myself, I wonder how the swag industry will survive the loss of the 4 billion dollars that big pharma pumps into the novelty business every year. Really. It concerns me that in these rough economic times that a whole industry is potentially put at risk because giving away plastic, ceramic, and fabric junk could be perceived as quid pro quo or something.
I think it’s a silly guideline. It’s one thing to eliminate the giving of expensive gifts to doctors (like trips/vacations) but has a doctor ever truly been manipulated into using a drug by a salesman giving away trinkets to the office staff?
I don’t think so.
It’s another one of those policies, like zero tolerance policies in public schools for weapons, that has gone awry. There’s a good idea in there at the bottom level, but when a kid shows up at school with a plastic table knife in his lunchbox and all hell breaks loose…or a pharmaceutical rep shows up with a pen that says Sanofi-Pasteur on it and all of the sudden he’s bribing doctors, well, then you lose me on the idea. The implementation of the good idea becomes a monster that no longer makes sense.