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I Detest Pharma Sales Reps


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An example of a relationship between doctors and pharma reps:

 

http://www.pharmalot.com/2010/06/what-one-doctor-and-staff-want-for-lunch/

 

I have always been hyper aware of pharma reps when I am at a doctors office. It really angers me when they are allowed to walk in when there is a room full of patients waiting. But, I only saw that in psychiatrists offices. I have noticed there is type. They tend to be bubbly, slightly attractive females in cheap suits. Devoid of any intellectual curiosity or critical thinking skills. I like to think of them beauty pageant rejects. 

 

And I can tell you how they develop some of their sales approaches.

 

When I was rebuilding my resume after my job history was ruined by polypharmacy I worked as a an Market Researcher in pharmaceutical research. My job was to solicit doctors to participate in a phone questioner for which they were paid anywhere from $100-$400 for a 20 minute interview. Some doctors offices slammed the phone on me, others jumped at the chance admitting they love doing these and really loved or needed the the money (I would like to imagine a nasty divorce and high alimony payments).

 

The research was always about a specific drug and usually how to increase sales. I would ask them about their prescription habits, their belief about the causes of the disease it treats, how they treat it, what they thought about their competitors products. Usually the interview ended with the MD asking when they could expect their check.

 

So they pick the doctors brains and use to devise their sales pitch.

 

When I graduated from College with a  useless degree in History, the career counselor suggested I go into "Pharmaceutical Sales". My reply was "you mean a drug pusher, no thanks". At that time I had no idea how much I would have hated that field.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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Yes, they are cynical and detestable.

So they pick the doctors brains and use to devise their sales pitch.

Not only do they do this, they pay PatientsLikeMe for information derived from their patient discussion forums -- what patients are saying about their drugs and treatments.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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When I graduated from College with a useless degree in History, the career counselor suggested I go into "Pharmaceutical Sales". My reply was "you mean a drug pusher, no thanks". At that time I had no idea how much I would have hated that field.

LOLLLLLL! I know this is a little OT, but I simply must comment on this. You have no idea how much this resonates with me! I have been following the student loan scandal very closely and it really isn't unusual for kids to graduate some private university with six figure debt for a useless degree like History.

 

BUT what really resonated with me was your story about your counselor. Talk about the blind leading the blind. I detest counselors. They are basically boomer-age beaurocrats who have cushy jobs giving kids obsolete information and feel-goodisms like "you can do anything if you set your mind to it!"

 

Case in point: Here's a brief story of my friend's experience with a guidance counselor at our college:

 

It's near the end of his freshman year and he's unsure if he should stick with his major. When the counselor asks what his major is, he told him it was sociology. The counselor grinned slightly and said that essentially is the joke major. Actually, it was the best bit of advice he had for my friend, because what followed was absurd and infuriating.

 

The counselor then asked if there were any other related fields he might be interested in. My friend racked his brains and said, "Uh, I guess I've always been somewhat interested in being a police officer." The counselor instantly told him you don't need to go to college to be a cop. Then my friend felt even more confused.

 

But as soon as the counselor said that, he looked outside his office window and saw his car. He then said, "Oh no! Is that my car? I think it's unlocked! Patrick, could you go check and see if my car is unlocked and lock it if it is? Thanks!"

 

My friend, incredulous, walked outside the office and checked his car like he was asked. He gave the thumbs up through the window to the counselor that indeed the car was locked. He then walked back to the counselor's office only to find a locked door with a note and sign-up sheet on it. The note read, "Dear Students: Please sign up for an appointment time to see me when I return from my vacation next week."

 

SWEAR TO GOD! The counselor f*cking ducked him to start his vacation early!

 

I'm tellin' ya, between college, student loans, the economy, drug reps, psychiatry, the endless wars on terror, our astronomical debt, fudged unemployment statistics, the bailout of the banking cartel, the obesity epidemic and the mainstream media's idiocy, sometimes I think it's time to just nuke this frickin' country and start over :angry:

 

PS: How in god's name did the counselor come up with "Pharmaceutical sales" as a legitimate career path for you?

Been on SSRIs since 1998:

1998-2005: Paxil in varying doses

2005-present: Lexapro.

2006-early '08: Effexor AND Lexapro! Good thing I got off the Effexor rather quickly (within a year).

 

**PSYCHIATRY: TAKE YOUR CHEMICAL IMBALANCE AND CHOKE ON IT!

APA=FUBAR

FDA=SNAFU

NIMH=LMFAO

 

Currently tapering Lexapro ~10% every month:

 

STARTING: 15 mg

11/7/10: 13.5 mg

12/7/10: 12.2 mg

1/6/11: 10.9 mg

2/3/11: 9.8 mg

3/3/11: 8.8 mg

4/1/11: 7.8 mg

4/29/11: 7 mg

5/27/11: 6.4 mg

6/24/11: 5.7 mg

7/22/11: 5 mg

8/18/11: 4.5 mg

9/14/11: 4 mg

10/13/11: 3.6 mg

11/9/11: 3.2 mg

12/7/11: 2.6 mg

1/3/12: 2.1 mg

2/2/12: 1.8 mg

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Back in my working days, I always asked for a late Friday morning appointment with my personal doctor so I could take sick leave for the entire day. (As an auditor, I often had to travel so far that it didn't make any sense to drive to the audit site, then to the doctor's office, and back to work again. I hated my job and always did my best to stretch whatever sort of leave I could take into a full day.) My appointments were usually at 10:30 AM, but generally occurred around 11:15 AM, and without fail, a "detail man" showed up while I was waiting. By the time I got out of the examining room I could barely navigate the mob of caterers bringing in delectable-looking trays of sandwiches, salads, and drinks. (This is a real, eye-witness account.) <_<

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I'm tellin' ya, between college, student loans, the economy, drug reps, psychiatry, the endless wars on terror, our astronomical debt, fudged unemployment statistics, the bailout of the banking cartel, the obesity epidemic and the mainstream media's idiocy, sometimes I think it's time to just nuke this frickin' country and start over :angry: 

 

Agreed. We are at the end of the road that's for sure. This country is going to be unrecognizable within 50 years. 

 

My bet is that the counselor was advising every student to go into that field. It would have been lucrative as I graduated around the time Prozac came on the market.

 

BUT I can top your counselor story. While in high school my friend and I decided that if we went to see the College advisor we could skip out of English class. The counselor wrote a note that read (names are withheld to protect the innocent)

 

"Please excuse Joe and Jane. They was in my office."

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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College is a farce. Back in Ye Olden Days when I was growing up (1960s), being accepted into college was an honor. Now anyone with the money can buy a degree. I've worked with some incredibly stupid people who have Bachelor's or Master's degrees in Accounting or "Finance" (whatever that means?) and I'm ashamed to say I've even met some truly stupid CPAs.

 

I'm a Post Peak Oil person, and it hurts me whenever I meet parents who are sacrificing to put a child through college. By the time the child graduates, the degree will be worthless and he or she won't know the first thing about gardening or using inborn talents to make a living. Survival skills are the order of the day, IMO.

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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I am grateful that I went to college before college testing and student loans became big business.

 

I agree College is a farce. It serves no purpose other than to foster elitism and political agendas. You no longer have to be intelligent or show potential in a field to go to College, you just have to be able pass tests, write essays all which you can pay someone to help you with. Everything has been quantified so that admission morons do not have to make real decisions. 

 

Big business takes advantage of recent college graduates. They pay them little and pile on the workload. And when the recent college grad starts to hate it, they start looking at law school or MBA programs as if gaining additional education is a guarantee of a high paying job. 

 

My advice to high school graduates is skip College and go into a vocational or technical school and learn a trade or get a government job  with a pension.

Withdrew cold turkey from six medications: Celexa, Zyprexa, Depakote, Ativan, Ambien and Phentermine in 2002. It has been 10 years since I told polypharmacy to take a hike and have joined this forum to let others know that success is possible and to hopefully save people from experiencing the suffering that I did under psychiatric "care".

 

MY STORY

 

"TENSION is when we try to be who we think we should be, RELAXATION is when we are who we really are."

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  • 2 months later...
meistersinger

An example of a relationship between doctors and pharma reps:

 

http://www.pharmalot.com/2010/06/what-one-doctor-and-staff-want-for-lunch/

 

I have always been hyper aware of pharma reps when I am at a doctors office. It really angers me when they are allowed to walk in when there is a room full of patients waiting. But, I only saw that in psychiatrists offices. I have noticed there is type. They tend to be bubbly, slightly attractive females in cheap suits. Devoid of any intellectual curiosity or critical thinking skills. I like to think of them beauty pageant rejects. 

 

And I can tell you how they develop some of their sales approaches.

 

When I was rebuilding my resume after my job history was ruined by polypharmacy I worked as a an Market Researcher in pharmaceutical research. My job was to solicit doctors to participate in a phone questioner for which they were paid anywhere from $100-$400 for a 20 minute interview. Some doctors offices slammed the phone on me, others jumped at the chance admitting they love doing these and really loved or needed the the money (I would like to imagine a nasty divorce and high alimony payments).

 

The research was always about a specific drug and usually how to increase sales. I would ask them about their prescription habits, their belief about the causes of the disease it treats, how they treat it, what they thought about their competitors products. Usually the interview ended with the MD asking when they could expect their check.

 

So they pick the doctors brains and use to devise their sales pitch.

 

When I graduated from College with a  useless degree in History, the career counselor suggested I go into "Pharmaceutical Sales". My reply was "you mean a drug pusher, no thanks". At that time I had no idea how much I would have hated that field.

 

At least you had a career counselor talk to you about a career. My bachelor's is even more worthless than yours--Music History. My Master's is even more worthless--Library Science. I did not have any kind of career counseling post graduation at any time. I no longer attempt to do any further training on anything because I am more than convinced I'd be throwing good money after bad, which is why, after I washed out of Apple Computer, I haven't been able to find anything other the delivering pizza (and now can't find anything!)

History:

1995--Prozac--Quit CT by GP

1995--Effexor--Quit per my GP

1996--Amitriphene--Quit CT when changed GP

2005--Citalopram and BusPar. Prescribed when I decompensated in my GP's office. GP referred me to behavior health. Psychiatrist prescibed these drugs. Taken off citalopram in 2011 due to FDA warning. Quit Buspar during transition to viibryd.

Viibryd--2011 to present. Had a severe reaction in March 2012. Advised both GP and Psychiatrist I was trying to get off these drugs.

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meistersinger

I am grateful that I went to college before college testing and student loans became big business.

 

I agree College is a farce. It serves no purpose other than to foster elitism and political agendas. You no longer have to be intelligent or show potential in a field to go to College, you just have to be able pass tests, write essays all which you can pay someone to help you with. Everything has been quantified so that admission morons do not have to make real decisions. 

 

Big business takes advantage of recent college graduates. They pay them little and pile on the workload. And when the recent college grad starts to hate it, they start looking at law school or MBA programs as if gaining additional education is a guarantee of a high paying job. 

 

My advice to high school graduates is skip College and go into a vocational or technical school and learn a trade or get a government job  with a pension.

 

Don't even bother with government work. I worked as a contractor and was the most demeaning work you ever want to do. (Working as an employee of a Department of Defense contractor is what started by descent into Antidepressants.

History:

1995--Prozac--Quit CT by GP

1995--Effexor--Quit per my GP

1996--Amitriphene--Quit CT when changed GP

2005--Citalopram and BusPar. Prescribed when I decompensated in my GP's office. GP referred me to behavior health. Psychiatrist prescibed these drugs. Taken off citalopram in 2011 due to FDA warning. Quit Buspar during transition to viibryd.

Viibryd--2011 to present. Had a severe reaction in March 2012. Advised both GP and Psychiatrist I was trying to get off these drugs.

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  • Moderator Emeritus

I have always been hyper aware of pharma reps when I am at a doctors office. It really angers me when they are allowed to walk in when there is a room full of patients waiting. But, I only saw that in psychiatrists offices. I have noticed there is type. They tend to be bubbly, slightly attractive females in cheap suits. Devoid of any intellectual curiosity or critical thinking skills. I like to think of them beauty pageant rejects. 

 

 

I live within a few miles of Merck Pharma and have therefore met many of their employees. My impression is that they choose really mediocre, conforming, and stupid people who are too happy with their paychecks to question the source of that money. I once attended a Bible study group that was hosted by a couple in which the wife (who fit the profile) worked for Merck as an overpaid Admin Assistant. She was very materialistic, loyal to Merck, and stone blind to her company's unethical behavior. (I eventually left the Bible study because of her attitude - gimme, gimme, gimme and while you're at it, more, more more!!! Sorry, but that is not Christian!)

Psychotropic drug history: Pristiq 50 mg. (mid-September 2010 through February 2011), Remeron (mid-September 2010 through January 2011), Lexapro 10 mg. (mid-February 2011 through mid-December 2011), Lorazepam (Ativan) 1 mg. as needed mid-September 2010 through early March 2012

"Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity." -Hanlon's Razor


Introduction: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/1588-introducing-jemima/

 

Success Story: http://survivingantidepressants.org/index.php?/topic/6263-success-jemima-survives-lexapro-and-dr-dickhead-too/

Please note that I am not a medical professional and my advice is based on personal experience, reading, and anecdotal information posted by other sufferers.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I understand why you would have the perception of Pharma reps that you do. There are a ton of ego driven reps who don't care about patients or what the "right thing to do is". However, these characteristics apply to many jobs, not just Pharma reps. We aren't all the same. just like any profession or job, so much is up to the individual.

Yes, I am a drug rep who represents psych medications. I've been doing this job over a decade. I got into this field after a two year battle with cancer and my first diagnosed episode of depression and anxiety.

I spend hours making sure I know everything there is to know about the meds I represent and how they are different and for which patients they might be the best choice. I also extensively research the disease states for which they are indicated and all the potential treatment options available for patients a given diagnosis. I study the safety, side effect profiles, and drug interactions of all the medications out there, not just mine.

After hours and on weekends I look up the cost and managed care status and availability of the medications I represent so I can make sure the docs I call on know where they bare covered, if paperwork is required, and what the cost/copay is.

I also empathize with it's like to have depression, anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, etc-I AM a patient too!

You cannot imagine how much work we do behind the scenes. Yes, many of us are well compensated. Is it too much? Maybe, but as it's said, anything is worth what someone is willing to pay.

I see all the different looks from the patients and staff I interact with or encounter every day. I wish they could see what goes on behind their perceptions.

Yes, I am attractive-but NOT young n dumb-over 40

Yes, I am paid well.

Yes, I understand how it looks to you when you see docs talking to me or allowing me to come back.

 

Unfortunately, perception is not reality.

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I understand why you would have the perception of Pharma reps that you do. There are a ton of ego driven reps who don't care about patients or what the "right thing to do is". However, these characteristics apply to many jobs, not just Pharma reps. We aren't all the same. just like any profession or job, so much is up to the individual.

Yes, I am a drug rep who represents psych medications. I've been doing this job over a decade. I got into this field after a two year battle with cancer and my first diagnosed episode of depression and anxiety.

I spend hours making sure I know everything there is to know about the meds I represent and how they are different and for which patients they might be the best choice. I also extensively research the disease states for which they are indicated and all the potential treatment options available for patients a given diagnosis. I study the safety, side effect profiles, and drug interactions of all the medications out there, not just mine.

After hours and on weekends I look up the cost and managed care status and availability of the medications I represent so I can make sure the docs I call on know where they bare covered, if paperwork is required, and what the cost/copay is.

I also empathize with it's like to have depression, anxiety, ADHD, insomnia, etc-I AM a patient too!

You cannot imagine how much work we do behind the scenes. Yes, many of us are well compensated. Is it too much? Maybe, but as it's said, anything is worth what someone is willing to pay.

I see all the different looks from the patients and staff I interact with or encounter every day. I wish they could see what goes on behind their perceptions.

Yes, I am attractive-but NOT young n dumb-over 40

Yes, I am paid well.

Yes, I understand how it looks to you when you see docs talking to me or allowing me to come back.

 

Unfortunately, perception is not reality.

 

This discussion is based on stereotype and not reality. I have seen an unattractive drug rep once or twice in my career. Your work ethic is to be commended. The drugs that you may or may not rep may be the very ones that have taken 11 years of my life.

 

If you rep psych drugs, then the information that your company has given you is IMO, a pack of lies. I am almost, but not quite sorry to be so outspoken this evening. I am just really pissed off at PHARMA, not you. Annej

My Intro
2000-Effexor and Klonopin
April 2011- C/T Adderall, lithium, Seroquel, Lunesta; Pristiq and Klonopin cut by 1/2 due to med-induced "rapid cycling"
May 2011- Pristiq/Lexapro bridge/taper
June, 2011- K cut to 0.5 mg (doctor)
July 18, 2011 - Lexapro done
October 2011- K taper started
Jan, 2012- Off K, Remeron started -bad idea
March 2012- Horrific Tardive Akathisa/TD (Dx: TA versus withdrawal akathisia secondary to K w/d)
May 2012- Reinstatement of K
Current Psych Meds: Klonopin 2 mg + Propanolol 15 mg and titrating up
As of June 2013: TA gone or suppressed - struggling with tolerance to benzos - beta blocker helping

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I spend hours making sure I know everything there is to know about the meds I represent and how they are different and for which patients they might be the best choice. I also extensively research the disease states for which they are indicated and all the potential treatment options available for patients a given diagnosis. I study the safety, side effect profiles, and drug interactions of all the medications out there, not just mine.

After hours and on weekends I look up the cost and managed care status and availability of the medications I represent so I can make sure the docs I call on know where they bare covered, if paperwork is required, and what the cost/copay is.

Yes, I am attractive-but NOT young n dumb-over 40

Yes, I am paid well.

Yes, I understand how it looks to you when you see docs talking to me or allowing me to come back.

 

Unfortunately, perception is not reality.

 

I don't care what you look like, I don't care what the perception is, all I care about is the neuroleptics you are selling. How are you evaluating the research studies? I wonder if you aware Big Pharma, in the overwhelming number of cases, suppresses negative findings so reading the articles themselves will not inform you. Read Robert Whitaker's Anatomy of an Epidemic for starters, then come back and have an honest give and take dialogue with us.

 

Gosh, sad... very very sad. And dangerous.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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Hello, Bridget. Welcome.

 

You might read case histories here http://tinyurl.com/3o4k3j5 to find out what treatment with psychiatric medication looks like to people who have had bad experiences with it.

 

This may enable you to do your job even better.

This is not medical advice. Discuss any decisions about your medical care with a knowledgeable medical practitioner.

"It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has surpassed our humanity." -- Albert Einstein

All postings © copyrighted.

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Alto's right.. I was too tart. Sorry.. I did not have a clue about psychotropics until I decided to come off klonopin, which had been prescribed for 20 years, and which I had not needed for most. I got a slowly unfolding slow moving shock, as it finally seeped in that it would take 24 months to get off. Robert Whitaker's book was an eye opener for me, and read like a suspense thriller. He is a great reporter, and his writing is based on solid facts. Few of us here knew what sort of trouble we were in until we tried to get ditch the stuff.. then a rude and most unwelcome reality set in.

 

Bridget, you are most welcome.

As always, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY! A proud supporter of the 10% (or slower) rule.

 

Requip - 3/16 ZERO  Total time on 25 years.

 

Lyrica: 8/15 ZERO Total time on 7 or 8 yrs.

BENZO FREE 10/13 (started tapering 7/10)  Total time on 25 years.

 

Read my intro thread here, and check the about me section.  "No matter how cynical you get, it's almost impossible to keep up." Lily Tomlin

 

 

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UnfoldingSky

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” --Upton Sinclair

I am not a medical professional and nothing I say is a medical opinion or meant to be medical advice, please seek a competent and trusted medical professional to consult for all medical decisions.

 

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