Respectful Insolence

EneMan in danger?

I can understand wanting transparency regarding the gifts that pharmaceutical reps give doctors, particularly those of the more expensive variety, but this is ridiculous:

At least nine states are considering bills that would require drugmakers to publicly report how much they and their sales representatives give to doctors, hospitals and pharmacists each year. A few proposals go further: A bill under debate in Massachusetts would ban all gifts to medical professionals from the drug industry.

“If a doctor needs a Caribbean vacation or a mug or a pen, he or she is probably not very successful and needs to be in another business,” says state Sen. Mark Montigny, D-Mass., who sponsored the bill.

Geez, he sure is lumping a lot together there. I’d fully agree that accepting a Caribbean vacation (or, in actuality anything costing more than maybe $20) is probably almost always questionable. I can see banning such gifts. But a freakin’ pen? (Of course, the thought of politicians lecturing doctors about accepting small gifts from the pharmaceutical industry caused my irony meter to short-circuit and catch fire.)
I guess that’s the end of one of the time-honored tradition that I and other doctors like to pursue at large national meetings: Trying to obtain pens and other tchtotchkes from drug rep booths without actually having to speak to the pharmaceutical reps themselves for more than a few seconds at most (or, better yet, without having to speak with them at all).
Worse, could this mean the end of my yearly EneMan calendars and Christmas decorations? That could be disastrous for this blog…
Fortunately, I think they’re probably worth less than $10, certainly worth less than $20.
(Via Medpundit.)

Comments

  1. #1 Chris in STL
    February 18, 2006

    I agree–pens & cups is clearly past the point of silly. On the other hand, anything that reins in drug companies and their sales reps above & beyond the tchotchke range seems a wise and prudent step. I have to wonder if these 9 states propose to punish doctors, or actually put some brakes on the pharmaceutical industry.

  2. #2 Sean Foley
    February 18, 2006

    Fortunately, I think they’re probably worth less than $10, certainly worth less than $20.

    But surely you can’t put a dollar value on the happiness that EneMan brings to all the children of the world? He’s like a friggin’ rectal Santa Claus. Or something.

  3. #3 J Bean
    February 19, 2006

    Geez, I have mugs left over from my engineering days. I think that I have two engineering mugs and three doctor mugs. I doubt that I was influenced much in either capacity, but if they want to take away my cheesy pen supply, well then so be it.

  4. #4 Greg P
    February 19, 2006

    Perhaps the best way for our beloved legislators to help us is to set a good example by accepting no money from PACs, go on no “fact-finding” tours at taxpayer expense, pay for their own health insurance, and make no pork-laden deals just to get their own legislation passed.

  5. #5 Socialist Swine
    February 19, 2006

    That would be a shame to lose out on the glory that is Eneman.

  6. #6 Greg P
    February 19, 2006

    Perhaps the best way for our beloved legislators to help us is to set a good example by accepting no money from PACs, go on no “fact-finding” tours at taxpayer expense, pay for their own health insurance, and make no pork-laden deals just to get their own legislation passed.

  7. #7 John
    February 19, 2006

    They don’t want the competition you give them…. :-)

  8. #8 Big Al
    February 20, 2006

    They may be worth only $10, but they are priceless.

  9. #9 Scott Simmons
    February 20, 2006

    Yes, but what’s it worth to actually show up on the front page blog list at Science Blogs. Woo-hoo!

  10. #10 Kristjan Wager
    February 20, 2006

    Hey, you are now linked on the front page.

  11. #11 idlemind
    February 21, 2006

    It would be a real shame if I couldn’t drink my coffee out of a mug marked “Haldol.” Just seems so appropriate.

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