For years drug companies have given doctor's offices little junk like pens and post-it notes, with product names on them. This is a typical way of business in America. You see pens and sticky notes out there from paint stores, animal hospitals, car dealers, etc.
But the FDA decided that the bribery of physicians by 5-cent pens was a serious threat to the public health (as opposed to, say, Vioxx, a potentially dangerous drug that the FDA approved). Since a highly trained physician like myself (26 years of schooling all together) can apparently be swayed by a free plastic pen, it was in the best interests of the American public to ban cheap junk like free pens and sticky notes. So this went into effect last week.
So how does the FDA relax, knowing they are working hard to protect the public from abusive giving of free pens? By blowing $1.5 million of YOUR dollars on a "morale-boosting" retreat for their employees. That's how.
In addition, the FDA used some of this money to develop a slideshow portraying their top regulator, Janet Woodcock, as being a great visionary of the same stature as Gandhi.
I'm not making this up. Here's the article.
So, now that you feel good knowing that the FDA is both spending your money wisely and protecting you from medical-decision-altering plastic pens, let's consider what kind of drug marketing goes on overseas. For example, in Italy, where the drug reps went beyond pens, and just hired hookers to provide "services" to physicians.
I'm not making this up, either. Have a look.
And lastly: where else are your tax dollars and medications crossing paths? Why in the war on terror, of course! The CIA is using Viagra as another weapon on that front.
And here's that story.
And that's all I've got to rant about tonight. Actually, I'm sure I could think of more, but at this point am too tired and just want to go to bed.