Monday, May 7, 2007

Hey Guys! A Kitty Fight!

A "Cupcake Kitty Fight" is in full swing!

You recall that Peter Rost exposed AstraZeneca's plan to have sales reps distribute cupcakes to chemotherapy patients (see "AstraZeneca's Secret Oncology Plans: Sell Cancer Drugs to Patients with Pink Cupcakes").

This issue has generated heat between some members of the Pharma BlogosphereTM and the pharma trade press, especially "Pharma Blogs: Week in Review," published by Engel Publishing Partners and written by Christiane Truelove, editor of MedAdNews.

Black Kitty -- a rare women blogger member of the Pharma Blogosphere (see "It's Raining Men in the Pharma Blogosphere!") -- in particular has taken exception to Truelove's view that there is nothing wrong with giving cancer chemotherapy patients cupcakes (see "SIN = MedAdNews 'Pharma Blogs: Week in Review'").

Black Kitty (BK) claims not to be shouting, but her all CAPs comments say otherwise:

"DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! THIS BLACK KITTY HAS HER EARS BACK AND IS SPRINGING INTO ATTACK. ALSO SEE YOUR BLOGGERS FOR MORE WOMEN, BUT LOOK AT "DEPRESSION INTROSPECTION" FOR A GREAT WOMAN'S POINT OF VIEW ON PHARMA. ALSO LOOK AT THE KAISER WHISTLE BLOWER, AND OF COURSE, YOURS TRULY!"
YIKES, BATMAN!

Seems that BK is railing more against us guys than Truelove. But BK does lash into Truelove's "I would be very happy to have them" comment:
MAYBE YOU WOULD, BUT WHEN IF I WAS LEAVING CHEMO, I BELIEVE I WOULD FIND THE DISPLAY DISTASTEFUL FOR SO MANY REASONS. IF YOU ASK, I WILL BE GLAD TO LIST THEM.
Why not list them, Black Kitty?

BK goes on to discuss the link between sugar and cancer, by which time I have tuned out. Not that I don't believe there MAY be a link, but BK shifted her fight from Truelove to pharmaceutical marketers, which raises my fur:
DO THE MARKETERS REALLY THINK THE CONSUMERS ARE THIS STUPID? I HAVE YET TO MEET ANYONE, OF ANY LEVEL OF EDUCATION, WHO THINKS POSITIVELY OF THE RECENT MARKETING OF THE MAJOR PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. THE BLUE PILL, THE GAS, THE DEPRESSION, THE PAIN, THE GIBBERISH ADS, THE ALLERGY ADS, AND MOST OF THE DTC MARKETING IS GOING TO BACKFIRE, I PROMISE. I TALK TO HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE, AND MOST PEOPLE IN CANADA THINK THE ADS ARE MISLEADING AND PEDANTIC, AND APPEAL TO THE MOST VULNERABLE INDIVIDUALS, WHO ARE DESPARATELY LOOKING FOR HELP FOR WHAT AILS THEM. TAKING ADVANTAGE LIKE THIS... WELL... IF U ARE GONNA SIN... DO IT IN A BIG WAY...
A ha! BK is Canadian, eh? I did not know that! That shapes the discussion for me in a whole new light! Me thinks the Canadians BK is speaking to are watching way too much American TV to be so critical of DTC! Don't they have anything better to do up there where DTC advertising is illegal?

BTW, if you are going to give gifts to patients, I think BK raises some important points about nutritional appropriateness. I have taken this a few steps further and suggested that pharma come up with "Guidelines for Gifts to Patients."

3 comments:

Dr. BK said...

Thanks for the feedback, John. All your points are very valid. Being an ex-patriot who is in the U.S. half the time for work, makes me victim to watching DTC TV. I will respond respectful to you on my blog, since I tend to be wordy.

I am sorry you turned off to my marketing feedback. I have studied theoretical and medical marketing for years. I *should have* not shouted, John, that was wrong. I had a VERY bad night last night, and my impulse control was low.

I am sorry to took this personally, because I have MUCH respect for you as a blogger. I was preparing a blog rating all the PHARMA bloggers, and your rating shows my opinion about your A PRIOR to writing this :) I apologize if you thought I was SHOUTING at you, My personality is very out there, and I, UNFORTUNATELY was using CAPS for emphasis RATHER than shouting, but honestly, how could you know that. I should have said. My bad. I will in the future.

Great feedback, John. When my students disagree or give me THIS kind of feedback, I throw them CANDY.

This Kitty loves an empirically based discussion, about anything.

Peace and Love,
Joan

John Mack said...

Please BK, no apologies are necessary!

I have NOT taken anything you said personally.

It's all in good fun and hopefully to get more people to read your blog.

Re: Canadians. I've haven't liked 'em since I was stripped searched by Canadian custom agents at the port in Newfoundland!

The shouting, however, is unavoidable when you use all caps.

Have fun.

Devilbluedress said...

I'd have to say that I'm not sure if this particular blog post is more about the cupcake issue than about the issues with marketing drugs.

I think that the issues with marketing drugs is far more important. Drugs should be decided by the physician, and the information that shows up in ads just leads to pressure on the part of the doctor or educated consumers ignoring them! The other side effect of pharmacy marketing campaigns is that searches for real information or help often gets buried behind drug advertisements.