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Pharmaceutical reps

Friday, October 20, 2006 | Read Comments

Pharmaceutical reps

The great pharmaceutical marketing machine requires front-line soldiers -- highly-paid hucksters who sway doctors into prescribing their high-priced brand-name drugs, even when dirt-cheap generic drugs do the job just as well. In the drug marketing industry, those front-line soldiers are pharmaceutical reps. The caricature of a pharmaceutical rep is a young, hot-looking blond girl, fresh out of college, with no medical training, who's good at memorizing sales lines and wooing male doctors with her physical attractiveness.

Why do pharmaceutical reps sell drugs in the first place? To pay the mortgage, of course. Or the student loans. Or to support a lifestyle with a nice car, trendy clothes and a house that's far more expensive than they could otherwise afford. Pushing drugs onto doctors, you see, pays good money. Well, actually "good" is a misnomer. It pays dirty money, because most of the drug pushing is based on lies, such as the lie that all the newer brand-name drugs are better than the older, generic drugs that treat the same symptoms. Truth is, the vast majority of new drugs launched each year are "me too" drugs that offer no new benefits whatsoever (and many actually introduce new health risks to patients).

Every system of profit-generating evil needs front-line soldiers. The Nazis had their punch card prisoner inventory systems sold to them by IBM sales reps (yes, it's an historical fact). Enron had its young, persuasive phone sales monkeys who pushed fictitious "energy futures" onto unsuspecting investors. And Big Pharma has its female pharmaceutical reps that peddle overpriced drugs to physicians and measure their "success" by what quantity of toxic chemicals they can help shove down the throats of children, adults and senior citizens.

It's all in a day's work. Some people, it seems, will do anything to pay the mortgage. As long as the money's good, their ethics are flexible.

Now, the funny part about this comic is not that pharmaceutical reps are compared with murderers and animal abusers. It's that the bimbo blond rep girl is so clueless about reality that she's still wondering if this is where she gets her bonus check. In the drug pushing business, it's all about the dough...

Will drug reps actually go to hell? That all depends on what you believe about the afterlife. But it is generally understood by people of all religions that there is some type of karmic effect that follows from our actions and choices in daily life. Most people agree that we should all strive to take up careers that create a positive impact upon others: educators, artists, inventors and healers, for example. Our individual choices have a ripple effect, and the way in which we choose to direct our energy and intention directly shapes the world around us.

If we are involved in constructive things (education, healing, compassion, etc.), then we help create a more positive world. But if we are involved in destructive things (defense industry, Big Pharma, disease mongering, etc.) then we inevitably share in the co-creation of a more destructive world with unnecessary pain and suffering. Pharmaceutical reps, by pushing whatever chemicals they're told to push, are essentially "chemical mercenaries" who place such a low value on their own honor that they lease it out to drug companies for a weekly check.

When the money is too easy, it's always a good idea to ask yourself why. There's easy money to be made in riverboat casinos, selling cigarettes to Asia and pushing drugs to doctors. Ever wonder why? Because they're all destructive industries that prey upon the financial resources of countless victims. Gambling, tobacco and conventional medicine all have systems of consumer exploitation designed to extract the maximum dollars possible. And any person who is part of that machine is partially responsible for the 100,000 Americans killed each year by prescription drugs, and the 2,000,000 who are injured each year.

For every grandmother who took Vioxx and died of a heart attack, for every grandfather who bled to death on the toilet after taking prescription painkillers, and for every child doped up on antidepressant drugs who put a gun to his mouth and pulled the trigger, there's a pharmaceutical rep behind the scenes who looked a doctor in the eye and told them that drug was perfectly safe.

Pharmaceutical reps can lie to themselves, and to each other, claiming, "it's only a job," but I do not think they can lie to the universe. Karma has a way of coming back around and giving you exactly what you truly deserve.

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