Thursday, January 8, 2009

The FDA, drug companies, and your tax dollars

Okay, today I am going to rant about the FDA and tax dollars.

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.


Anonymous said...

I loved the pens! I was very annoyed that the FDA banned the pens, and yet cannot adequately regulate drugs coming onto the market.

Eileen said...

Awfully late but I (and my husband)laughed like drains at that one! We now live in Italy!!!! Wonder who the TV personality mentioned was - bet they're a friend of Sig Berlosconi! You couldn't make it up, could you...

MMMLion said...

I <3 you.
I also love free pens. Why just today I went over to a product fair specifically to acquire new pens and sharpies. Also a DNA ladder, but they were not giving those out.
It is obvious that I am easily swayed into major purchases based on free pens.

Anonymous said...

how do you have 26 yrs schooling?...

Anonymous said...

Sooo late, but wanted to speak :D

As an Italian, I have to say this: I love our health care system, but what people don't see is that, in truth, Italy is two state. In the south, every system is filleb by this kind of, perdon, sh*t. From healthcare to government.

There is twince the number of people with disabilities in the south that in the north. Guess why?

With all that, I would never exchange our system with the US one, sorry^^

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