Whistleblowing: Drug companies in the Phils and the USA


When I was still in the Philippines, right after graduation, I was employed as a medical representative to promote prescription medicines for  international firms.

We undergo stringent and professional  training about marketing and promotions.

Therefore, having done  that,  I consider myself knowledgeable  about  marketing and promoting  anything. Anything at all!

Ignorant people brand that as narcissism which is  truly an  ignorant claim….How can one promote something without promoting oneself? My training was good,  thus, I employ what I learned in  my  society, making it  a lot better.

On the side note, the drug companies I worked for in the Phils, only promote the good side of the product. Product conviction is necessary to promote a product. International companies take in a lot of profits, because one tablet has about 2000% mark up in prices. That is why most medications are expensive.

Most medications have side-effects, we all know that, but in medical promotion, you zero in on its benefits. Some drugs can even kill, but that is beside the point. Nonetheless, I always ask the doctors to read the fine print : side-effects.

In the USA, I was at one time a member the advisory board of a multi-international medical company selling a lot of pharmaceuticals.

One time, they invited me for a huge decision making in Manhattan. They sent a chauffeured limousine to pick me up at home, round trip, and booked me  for an overnight to a four-star hotel with the Empire State building as my view.

The event was to sit for 8 hours and make a final decision,  so they can pre- launch a new hypnotic aka sleeping pill. My take? $1,000. 00  dollars for my input for that day.

Well, during the discussion, I found out that a lot of medical professionals came from different states, all expenses paid for by this huge pharma company.

I was the only one against the sleeping pill, especially for the elderly in the nursing homes. I am disappointed that profit comes first, instead of taking care of these senior citizens who fall a lot secondary to hypnotic use.

This is a proof that most people will go with the flow as long as it does not affect them. I could not believe what I was hearing. Most of them think, that these drugs are necessary, just like you prescribe an antibiotic for every infection. Sleeping aids are one too many already. Where does ethics come in? Hypnotics have a lot of side effects because it is psycho- altering medication, or psychoactive drugs, and for the nursing home residents? the side-effects could be exponential.

They were are looking at me like a villain in that meeting. The pharmacists are also wondering why someone would go against the flow. Some doctors behaved like sheep. All, but two,  were feisty. I was one of them.

At the end of the day, I got my $1000.00 USD for fighting with them, and the well -dressed driver took me home without much  ado.

Of course, the drug was launched. Who am I to disagree?



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