Opportunistic marketing isn’t new. Mass merchandising of tobacco products to minors delivered millions of “Hooked for Life” or at least until premature death ‘users” for BIG TOBACCO. With recent regulations that allegedly limited marketing tobacco to minors, rapacious advertising agencies and armies of mercenaries (lobbyists) have moved to a new, even more, profitable venue —BIG PHARMA.
“Merck lobbied every opinion leader, women’s group, medical society, politicians, and went directly to the people — it created a sense of panic that says you have to have this vaccine now.”
— Dr. Diane Harper, a professor of medicine at Dartmouth Medical School
Those who follow BIG PHARM have noticed some interesting trend-lines lurking in the infamous ‘9-point Helvetica, grey ink’ Corporate 10-K, Annual Reports. Over the past several years, research budgets trended downward, while “Marketing” expenditures accelerated.
What would be considered a BIG PHARMA marketing expense?
Marketing expenses would include clever print and electronic media ads, along with brochures for health professionals. This print material is usually given to Doctors at “Sponsored” events, “Educational” resort-based retreats, private dinners, and that basic and most appreciated pharmaceutical freebee, the “Free Lunch”! On any given day an army of pharmaceutical reps drop off Lunches and other “Goodie packages” to busy practices with free drug samples and good cheer.
Speaking of “good cheer” Marketing expenses also include BIG PHARMA lobbyists spending largest amongst the very representatives “we the people” sent to our local, state, and federal to look after our interest. The amount of cash laid down by MERCK in 2005-2006 to grease the skids for one of the fastest new drug roll outs yet witnessed is staggering. Whoever said you couldn’t buy happiness, hasn’t talked to a MERCK stockholder.
August 20, 2008 – By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL (NYT) – Front Page –
… DRUG MAKERS’ BIG PUSH A marketing campaign in the United States and Europe by Merck has made Gardasil, its cervical cancer vaccine, a best seller. Cervarix, a similar vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline, has also proved popular, and profitable.
Read the full article and send the link out to anyone who cares about the health issues of women and girls!
Inconvenient Women do not get angry…We get ACTIVE!!
The lobbyist/legislator ‘hook-up’ only works if no one is looking. Make sure your representatives know you are watching them and are holding them accountable for the health and wellfare of the nations’ women and girls.