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PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)
Author:  PharmaVet
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In 2002, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) instituted the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals, commonly called The PhRMA Code. This voluntary code set forth guidelines for pharmaceutical industry interactions with members of the healthcare community. Just a few days ago, PhRMA released PhRMA Code v2.0, which will be effective January 2009, in response to growing concern that doctors might be swayed to prescribe inappropriate or expensive medications in return for a travel coffee mug and a super-cool pen. I am simplifying it somewhat.

The biggest change brought about by PhRMA Code - The Sequel is that companies voluntarily complying with the Code will no longer supply pens, note pads, coffee mugs, or other reminder items of nominal value that benefit the doctor or the practice but do not directly benefit the patient. My initial reaction after hearing this was a yawn, but then I realized that this New! Improved! PhRMA Code will have a significant impact on the U.S. economy. This might be just the thing to pull the our nation out of its financial doldrums AND stop the accusations that the pharmaceutical industry has undue influence on prescribers, all at the same time. Bonus!

In the interest of transparency and full disclosure, let me first disclose my financial ties to PhRMA and to the retail office supply sector of the U.S. economy. I have none. Let me also establish that I am not an economist. I think I would like to be a pundit, though. I must remember to add that to my resume.

Back to the impact on the U.S. economy and its retail office supply sector. I envision the CEOs of Staples and the Offices -- Max and Depot -- excitedly clinking glasses over the announcement that, effective January 2009, there will be an estimated eleventy-jillion medical offices, hospitals, and pharmacies rushing to purchase sticky notes, scratch pads, pens, clipboards, and other assorted office supplies that are no longer provided free of charge by pharmaceutical companies. Think of the boost to the retail office supply sector. Granted, these eleventy-jillion medical facilities will have to settle for ordinary sticky notes -- rectangular, maybe square, perhaps with lines -- without whimsical background illustrations of happy kidneys and such. They will have to get used to Bic Stic pens, or perhaps my personal favorite, the Pilot G2 retractable gel ink pen, if they are willing to lay down the bigger bucks. I am hoping that my shout-out to Pilot for their excellent G2 pen might get me a lifetime supply of them courtesy of Pilot (mostly black, please, and perhaps a few red -- thanks ever so much!). I am not proud. But I digress. So these eleventy-jillion medical facilities will no longer have super-cool pens with a fake antibiotic capsule suspended in liquid and shooting out subliminal marketing messages with every stroke of the pen. If any of you are as old as I am, you might remember the Magic Floating Pen that was once all the rage. I used to have to give those out with a straight face. The Magic Floating Pen was a big round plastic frame that sat on the desk, and the pen would magically float in the middle of the frame WITHOUT TOUCHING THE FRAME! It was magic. Hence the name. It was a promotional item for a prescription diet drug -- the phen of fen-phen -- and I sure hope that my writing about it does not earn me some government scrutiny and a class-action suit for my involvement in the whole fen-phen debacle. But again, I digress. So no more Magic Floating Pens, no more pens that look like a syringe full of something medicinal, no more sticky notes shaped like light bulbs to subliminally remind prescribers that they should write more prescriptions for the overactive bladder treatment that had a marketing campaign in which the bladder was depicted as a light bulb. I cannot imagine why that pharma company went out of business. But I digress.

The new extended-release PhRMA Code ER will have an even more far-reaching effect on commerce. That Pfizer rep who sells Viagra pens on eBay for big bucks? Yes, I am talking about you, teresa7392221. Well, she might be a former Pfizer rep since she got turned in to Pfizer Global Security for selling promotional items for personal gain. But all the other reps who sell large lots of pharmaceutical freebie pens on eBay? Their incomes will certainly be affected now that their supply will dry up. The only things they will be able to sell will be the t-shirts and tote bags they receive at launch meetings. And, of course, the silk Viagra ties and scarves that were a cornerstone of teresa7392221's business. Pharma reps still will not have to buy their own pens and sticky notes -- that is what expense accounts are for -- but some of them will certainly take a significant hit on their off-the-books revenue from selling promotional tchotchkes.

The American public owes PhRMA a big 'Thanks, PhRMA!' Many lives will be impacted in so many important ways with PhRMA Code Part Deux. While the more enterprising -- and crooked -- pharma reps will be cursing PhRMA for taking away their ill-gotten gains, the majority of reps will be happy to free up half their trunk space. This is huge. The U.S. retail office supply sector is giddy with delight at the prospect of increased business. American teens, who are reportedly having just as hard a time finding jobs as everyone else, will see more opportunity to start their careers in the office supply business. Someone is going to have to stock all those office supplies on the shelves. The dry cleaning and Chinese restaurant sectors will not be happy about purchasing their own pens, but someone has to take one for the team. While eleventy-jillion medical facilities will be initially displeased at the prospect of -- gasp! -- actually paying for their own office supplies, I have to believe that they will be mollified by the resulting tax deduction they will gain. And, most importantly of all, the patients. The Patients! No longer will their medical treatment be determined by whichever pharmaceutical company gives out the ultra-premium Super Sticky Post-It Notes. It is a closely guarded industry secret, but there IS a subliminal message in the choice of the Super-Sticky notes vs. the generic sticky notes that do not stick as well -- after all, the more powerful the adhesive, the more powerful the drug. It will be interesting to see the impact that PhRMA Code DS will have on prescribing habits. I, as a pundit, predict that there will be none.

 
 
  Author: xrdychpxrglgmail.com
 
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   ????:?????????? CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN ????,?????????????????????
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  Author: rPSOaMkMaaFonxXkCz
 
    Posts like this brigehtn up my day. Thanks for taking the time.   Log In to Report Post
 
   Posts like this brigehtn up my day. Thanks for taking the time.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   What about for a District Manager
 
 
 
  Author: Talecris Correction
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   I need to correct a statement that I posted here a week ago. I asked if anyone ever heard of Talecris because they wanted to interview me and but they wanted me to cover the expenses of flying and wait to be reimbursed. I completely misunderstood the email they sent me that had a expense report form that was required to be filed out for personal expenses (misselaneous meals). They were a complete class act and covered my flight, hotel stay and meals at hotel were interviews took place. I only need to submit this form to cover any other expenses I incured (airport parking, cab, etc.). By the way, after being posted on this Medzilla website for 10 months, this was the first company that contacted me and I was able to get hired.
 
 
 
  Author: Salepharm
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   Hi Pharmavet I was wondering if you happen to have any insights in the following companies: Labcorp, Astrazeneca, Centocor Ortho-Biotech, or Olympus. I am looking to relocate back to Arkansas and have applied to these companies. Any thoughts would be helpful. Also do you suggest following up with each company once applying to a jobpost online? Thanks so much.
 
 
 
  Author: Bosco
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   I'm trying to break into the Pharma sales career. During the phone interview they ask you what you expect to make the first year on the job: "what do they want to hear?" my answer is around $80 to $90K but i'm not sure
 
 
 
  Author: MBA looking
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   I really have a dilema and would like some insight from an outside perspective. I am an MBA grad with about 7 yrs sales experience currently working in the failing financial market. I have wanted to break into Pharma sales for sometime but don't know the best way to start. Can anyone recommend company that are good for entry level pharma sales, or even just a few suggestions on where to start?
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   For seeing the "hard to see" or "highly influential" doc there are two simple ways. One, find out when he is coming or going from the office staff and catch him before or after work. So as not to make him late for his appointments it might be better after work. I have actually camped out in the parking lot near their car and just grabbed a couple minutes in the parking lot or while walking to their office.
(No waste of their valuable office time)

The other option I see is to write him a letter (better than a note since it will attract more attention and shows more effort). Tell the doctor about why you would like to see him or her for just a couple minutes and promise you won't waste their time and will be very brief. If you have one or two unique features of the drug you could mention them without using the name of the drug as a "hook" to draw the doctor' attention.

Of course thank the doctor for taking time to read your letter and "in advance" for giving you a couple minutes of their time. I used this technique in medical device implants with Cardiovascular Surgeons and really shot above my fellow sales reps. since I got in and they did not. Most of all be sure to tell them you will not waste their time. That is the reason many docs won't see reps. They are busy and don't have time to waste. Ovew a lunch they need to eat anyway that possibility doesn't exist. Good luck.

PS Be prepared to write more than one letter to show you are serious and not just selling something with nothing new to offer. And absolutely don't give them your sell sheet on the drug or tell him the drug name or you will probably be out of the game.
 
 
 
  Author: mrg
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   I was in pharma for a few years and left the industry due to its volatility. I am looking to re enter and wanted to inquire where I can find out about any outstanding issues with PDMA. Thanks.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   Takeda is like all other large Pharma company's thet will cut the sales force if the business is not there. In this economy many pharma jobs are uncertain for any length of time. If you have a soild position right now I would stick with it until the ecomony has an upturn.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   I have had two interviews with Takeda and am being flown to my third interview. I am in a good position in that I have a good position with a company. Just looking to move into a more lucrative and rewarding career. I am concerned with the volatility of pharma and would like to hear your views in general and if you have any insight on the strength of Takeda as a company. Thanks.
 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   does anyone know anything about Ricoh, they just bought out ikon. they sale office solutions. any info on pay? co car? and i heard this is a good way to get into medical device sales is this true? any feedback would be great......
 
 
 
  Author: KAM
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   Thank you for all your helpful information. I have been following your replies on the forum and I am in need of your expertise. I have an interview next week with a diagnostic company. The manager asked me to think about ways to get in to see hard to see docs and decision makers. Aside from the usual (lunches, grand rounds, before/after hours, etc.) do you have a really creative response to this question that will set me a side from the other candidates? I asked this question on the forum and just got rude replies. Obvioulsy if there were a "perfect answer" or solution - access would not be an issue. I have the interview next Tuesday and I would greatly appreciate any help you can offer. Thank you!!!
 
 
 
  Author: diagnostic rep
 
    Fired for driving personal car   Log In to Report Post
 
   Thank you for your advice. I have been completely forthcoming about my situation to potential empliyers and, so far, they have appreciated my honesty. I have some exciting opportunities coming up, so I will keep you posted!

Thank you :)
 
 
 
  Author: PharmaVet
 
    Re: Fired for driving personal car   Log In to Report Post
 
  

Hi,

The reason you can't start a new thread on this blog is because it's my own personal monarchy and I'm the queen of new threads.

So...on to your dilemma. I'm unclear as to WHY you would have been driving your personal car during work hours and filling it up using the company gas card. My response is predicated on the assumption that you have a very good reason for making that mistake. I'd feel better answering your question if I knew the rationale for your doing that. Having said that...

Personally, I think that 'disarming honesty' can go a long way in gaining respect and credibility where you may not deserve it. By that I mean being honest and forthcoming, even when it means admitting to something that doesn't make you look very good. We all make mistakes, some dumber than others, and in this case -- again, assuming that your reason for making this rather dumb mistake is a good one -- I think I'd go with the disarming honesty. The key is that you have to explain your mistake simply and directly, with absolutely no hint of blaming the company for what you may think is unfairness, and following it up immediately by saying that you understand your mistake, understand that ignorance of the rules is not a valid defense, and that you've learned from it and will never put yourself or your employer in that position again. Not all interviewers will be willing to accept it, but I think you'll find that a significant number of them will.

Not long ago, I interviewed a guy whose background wasn't quite right for the job, at least on paper, and I had questions about why he had left a great job after about 14 years at the same company, where he had a rather stellar rise through the ranks to a very good position. He was very honest and forthcoming about the fact that he had been fired, and he explained why he was fired without demonstrating any animosity toward his former employer. I found it very refreshing that he didn't try to hide the truth and was brutally honest yet very calm and professional in his explanation. Even the fact that his background was unconventional wasn't an issue, as he had all the qualities I was looking for. It was a great example of disarming honesty, and he completely disarmed me. I hired him and didn't regret it for a moment. He has since been promoted, and rather quickly. He got all kinds of respect from me, as well as everyone else who weighed in on the hiring decision, for his honesty.

Good luck to you, and please let me know how it all turns out for you.

 
 
 
  Author: Anonymous Medzilla Reader
 
    Fired for driving personal car   Log In to Report Post
 
   Hi Pharmavet,

Thank you for all of your insight over the last few years, as it is invaluable! I was not sure how to start a new thread, but I have a dilemma I would like some advice for. I was recently let go from my company for driving my personal car during company hours, instead of my company car. On these occassions, I used my gas card to fill up my personal car. When they ran an audit, they called me in and I was completely forthcoming about what had happened and that it was an honest mistake and would have expensed it through my amex had I known this was against fleet policy. Now that I have started my job search, I have been honest about why I was let go, in the hopes that potential employers respect my honesty and understand it was a mistake and I learned from it. Is this the right thing to do? What are your thoughts? Thank you.
 
 
 
  Author: Former Sales Manager
 
    Re: PhRMA Code Part Deux (or PhRMA's Economic Stimulus Plan For Recession-Proofing The U.S. Retail Office Supply Sector)   Log In to Report Post
 
   The economy will also benefit as no doubt drug prices will now go down. After all, big Pharma companies will have vastly decreased marketing/promotional item expenses, can now pay for smaller storage spaces for samples and literature only, will be reducing gas costs (statistics prove that extra weight in the trunk affects gas mileage), and can perhaps even go to smaller sized fleet vehicles!

 

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