Well, at least we won't be seeing any BombIraq golf balls... In somewhat more hopeful news, the government has finally suggested that perhaps it isn't such a good idea to allow drug companies to give doctors drug-emblazoned golf balls, notebooks and trips to Bermuda: Aggressive marketing is the norm in the industry. For years, drug makers have treated doctors to free Broadway plays, weekend trips, expensive meals and other lavish perks. Many companies have rewarded middlemen, or pharmacy benefit managers, for putting their products on lists of recommended drugs, known as formularies. Some companies have also rewarded doctors and drugstores for switching patients from one medication to another. and John M. Rector, senior vice president of the National Community Pharmacists Association, said, "Pharmacy benefit managers increasingly take payments from drug makers, with the result that patients are switched from a product that might be the best prescription drug for them to a more expensive brand-name product."
Now, I say "suggested" because the warning doesn't have the force of law, and I don't really trust the same department of Health and Human Services that came up with this lovely rule to enforce it to the necessary extent. Still, it is an encouraging step.
Because really, anyone who insists that the drug companies have anyone's interests at heart but their own is either DELUSIONAL or PAID OFF. These are the same companies who won't allow generic versions of AIDS drugs to be manufactured for the millions of people infected with (and dying of) HIV/AIDS in Africa, because it might interfere with their copyrights or patents!
... As a side note, those drug-emblazoned pens and notebooks don't just show up in doctor's offices--the companies also donate them to say, public schools in need of supplies. I remember the elementary school my dad taught in a few years back had tons of such "donations"--resulting in second-grade bathroom passes with Rogaine® at the top, and fourth-graders doing their homework with Prozac® pens.