Psychiatric Pharmas Lay Out the Loot - Goodies for Doctors

By enquirewithin · Jun 8, 2007 · ·
  1. enquirewithin
    Psychiatric Pharmas Lay Out the Loot

    Marty Graham

    06.08.07 | 2:00 AM

    [h3] [/h3] Psychiatrists attending the American Psychiatric Association conference in San Diego last month could stop by the exhibit hall, where reps from 160 companies doled out giveaways. The pharmas spent tens of thousands of dollars on booth space to tempt the docs to use their branded tchotchkes.


    The next time you reach for a tissue in the middle of a weepy therapy session, don't be surprised to see this reminder that depression is nothing to sneeze at. Effexor, an antidepressant, not only provides the tissue, but warns on the dispenser about rare side effects like life-threatening serotonin syndrome, sustained increases in blood pressure and "discontinuation symptoms" when people stop taking the drug.


    Getting this flash memory drive marked with Namenda, a drug aimed at improving memory and function in Alzheimer's patients, meant taking a six-question, multiple-choice quiz.


    Reps promoting the powerful antipsychotic drug Risperdal handed out balls made of gooey gel and shot through with holes -- easily the least-useful promotional item distributed at the conference.


    Pharmaceutical giant Wyeth promoted its green packaging initiative by giving away plastic bags.


    The maker of sleep aid Ambien handed out these trippy stapler-and-tape-dispenser combos -- presumably not to be taken at bedtime.


    Provigil, marketed for narcolepsy and the recently minted "shift-change disorder," is a drug that "improves wakefulness." Provigil reps gave leather-bound, personally engraved journals to attendees who completed a brief quiz, and who can now keep track of every waking thought, including the psychoactive and euphoric effects occasionally brought on by this central-nervous-system stimulant.


    What happens if you mix these stimulating Provigil pads with the snooze-inducing Ambien sticky notes? We don't want to know.


    This nifty Provigil wireless mouse actually came with batteries -- hard to find during those middle-of-the-night online poker and eBay sessions. (Prescribing doctors are advised in the literature to keep an eye on patients who have a history of abusing stimulants.)


    After a heart-stopping moment of thinking Invega's manufacturer was handing out free samples of this powerful new antipsychotic, it turned out to be a hallucination: The box opened into a Rubik's Cube-like calendar.


    Marplan is an old-school MAOI antidepressant used when nothing else has worked. They don't need to wow the shrinks; they just want you to be able to get on a plane.


    Note the handy list of things you can't eat when you're taking Marplan, including aged cheese, tap beer, sauerkraut, red wine and most soy products, including tofu and soy sauce. In case you weren't depressed enough.


    And the pens, oh the pens. Risperdal, Chantix, Namenda, Neurostar, Ambien. The better to write those prescriptions with and be sure you spell the names right.

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  1. Bajeda
    Here are some interesting little papers to put things into perspective!

    Brodkey, Amy C. "The Role of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Teaching Psychopharmacology: A Growing Problem." Acad Psychiatry 2005 29: 222-229

    View attachment 2282

    OBJECTIVE: To describe and examine the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the teaching of psychopharmacology to residents and medical students and to make recommendations for changes in curriculum and policy based on these findings.

    Literature reviews and discussions with experts, educators, and trainees.

    The pharmaceutical industry currently plays an extensive role in teaching psychopharmacology to trainees, both directly and indirectly. Attendance at industry-sponsored lectures and drug lunches, meetings with pharmaceutical representatives, and interactions involving the acceptance of various gifts are the most obvious venues. Less apparent but equally pervasive are the influence of industry-sponsored faculty and research and industry’s effect on the climate of practice and the profession as a whole. Replacing medical education with industry promotion in the guise of scholarship causes demonstrable harm to trainees, the public, and the profession.

    In light of these findings, the medical profession must reassert control of medical education and draw a firm barrier between commercial and professional pursuits. These issues must be actively, explicitly, and rigorously discussed with our colleagues and students.

    Mohl, Paul C. "Psychiatric Training Program Engagement With the Pharmaceutical Industry: An Educational Issue, Not Strictly an Ethical One."

    View attachment 2283

    OBJECTIVE: To analyze the educational and ethical issues involved in interactions between departments of psychiatry and the pharmaceutical industry.

    The author analyzes the history of attitudes toward pharmaceutical companies, various conflicting ethical principles that apply, and areas of confluence and conflict of interest between psychiatric education and the drug industry. These attitudes are applied to a variety of specific types of interactions with representatives of the pharmaceutical industry.

    A number of forms of interaction are found to be on balance, ethical, and productive, while others are found to be problematic.

    Careful analysis of both ethical and educational dimensions can produce meaningful and constructive involvement with the pharmaceutical industry, without inevitably corrupting psychiatric educators.
  2. Bajeda
    On a side note ------> "Note the handy list of things you can't eat when you're taking Marplan, including aged cheese, tap beer, sauerkraut, red wine and most soy products, including tofu and soy sauce. In case you weren't depressed enough." [​IMG]
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