The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is, for lack of a better term, a mess. Protected from serious government reform by its powerful lobbyists and big checkbook, Big Pharma flits away billions on direct-to-consumer marketing and developing patentable reformulations of the same old drugs. Then, they pass along the massive costs of their misguided priorities (along with a substantial markup, of course) to you, the consumer.
Sometime back, the New York Times published a story that, for me, symbolized all that is wrong with Big Pharma today. The story told how Big Pharma is hiring the reps who market its drugs to physicians based not on medical knowledge — but purely (and cynically) on sex appeal. As the Times explained, “Stories abound about doctors who mistook a sales pitch as an invitation to more.”
Which is why pharmaceutical companies are systematically recruiting from cheerleading squads — even spawning a cheerleader employment firm.
As an update on the Times’ story, the eDrugSearch Blog decided to do a quick scan of pro sports Web sites to see the occupations listed by the current roster of NFL and NBA cheerleaders. The following is our All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad — current pro cheerleaders who double (and undoubtedly receive double takes) as pharma reps:
Allison, Philadelphia Eagles
Beth , St. Louis Rams
Brooke, Cincinnati Bengals
Carla, Atlanta Falcons
Kellie, Baltimore Ravens
Lindsey, New Orleans/Okla. City Hornets
Monae, Seattle Sonics
Natalie, San Francisco 49ers
Onya, Washington Redskins
Romney, Baltimore Ravens
Stacey, Charlotte Bobcats
Tara, Baltimore Ravens
Tawnya, Philadelphia Eagles
Traci, Tennessee Titans
Trisha, Kansas City Chiefs
Wanda, Washington Wizards
One caveat to our list: the All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad likely includes only a minority of those pro cheerleaders who also cheer for pharma, as many team Web sites do not include occupational info on their cheerleaders.
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