i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgVacation time! While Orac is gone recharging his circuits and contemplating the linguistic tricks of limericks and jokes or the glory of black holes, he’s rerunning some old stuff from his original Blogspot blog. This particular post first appeared on October 14, 2005. Enjoy!

Very early on in this blog, I wrote a post that would forever alter its history, entitled Weird stuff doctors get from pharmaceutical representatives.

Why did this post alter the history of this (then) young blog forever?

Why, it unwittingly introduced the character that unexpectedly went on to play a large role in the development of this blog and ultimately become its de facto mascot, EneMan, of course!

But EneMan is by no means the only strange pharmaceutical company promotional product. No, not at all. In fact, I found one that may be just as strange, albeit in a very different way:


(Yes, I realize that I probably should have taken it out of its plastic bag before trying to take a picture of it to keep shine down, but if I did that then it might have lost its value as a collector’s item–or we would have had to actually pop the popcorn. I’m not sure which would have been worse.)

In any case, it’s exactly what you think it is: Risperdal microwave popcorn! No need for you to know how or where I found out about this lovely product, but I just have one question: Who thought it would be a good idea to label microwave popcorn with the name of an antipsychotic drug? I don’t get the promotional tie-in myself. EneMan has an obvious relationship to the product he is promoting, but what does microwave popcorn have to do with schizophrenia?

Ah, well, at least the package assures us that the popcorn “contains no active drug.”

Imagine my relief.


  1. #1 DuWayne
    August 28, 2007

    Chalk up another pharma promo I wish I had. If only med school weren’t so much effort. . .

  2. #2 A. Schaefer
    August 28, 2007

    having worked for a time for a company supplying promotional items ( lighters , ashtrays, USB-flash sticks, radios watches …., fruit with a company logo lasered on, .. whatever [ we had a query for condoms with company logo once – good to know who screwed you ])
    I must say this is one of the weaker ideas – all promotion in the pharm-sector tends towards getting the name burned into the heads of the “prescribers” – and I have doubts that they prepare microwave popcorn for themselves. A coffee-mug that keeps the coffee warm is more likely to remain in view of the good doctor. Or notepads, or specialized little slide rules or rules for dosage calculation.

  3. #3 Lepht
    August 28, 2007

    “fruit with company logo lasered on”

    i am seized by a sudden desire to hack the fruit machine in the lobby of the freshers’ dorm complex at the University and replace those boring plebeian bananas with official TriOptimum-branded apples…


  4. #4 bug_girl
    August 28, 2007

    um. Wow.
    That is pretty odd.

    The best I’ve gotten at an entomology conference was custom forceps.

  5. #5 llewelly
    August 28, 2007

    Thanks bug_girl. Now I’ve got the image of a 19th-century doctor assisting a difficult birth with praying mantis themed forceps.

  6. #6 Kassiane
    September 2, 2007

    I know I know!

    Have you ever TAKEN the stuff? Or ANYTHING in the class? OhmiGOSH do they make people crave carbs. So the popcorn is (theoretically) a healthier alternative than eating, like, a whole box of cookies or something.

    There’s a REASON atypical antipsychotics are notorious for weight gain and insulin resistance…

New comments have been temporarily disabled. Please check back soon.