Monday, May 18, 2009

The Three C's of Medical Marketing

The other day I had a very interesting experience with a pharmaceutical company representative from a leading Indian Vaccine manufacturing company.
He came to me, and showed me a document, extracted from the WHO website, claiming that their Tetanus vaccine was the ONLY WHO approved Tetanus vaccine in India.
After looking at the document, I pointed out that the same document clearly showed that this was not true, and another older Indian Vaccine Company also had WHO approved Tetanus vaccine!
He coolly said, “Sir, but our vaccine is Air couriered to the destination, whilst there vaccine comes from Land Transport!”.
This was quite beside the point and I told him so. Similar misleading statements / outright lies have been made by other Medical Representatives.
At this point of time, I said, “ I believe that all Med Reps go to the same school, wherein you are told to change the topic / confuse the doctor as soon as you are caught out”.
He smiled and revealed a trade secret, he said, “Sir, it is the case of 3 C’s”.
What are these 3 C’s?
CONVINCE a Doctor.
If that does not work CONFUSE him.
And if that fails too, CORRUPT him, by offering incentives to him.
I found this amusing and worrying at the same time, like many truths, I suppose.
Is this how one of our most closely allied profession views us?
And more importantly, are they wrong?
Isn’t it we who have helped create this image?

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