Monday, April 30, 2007

The Drug Pushers - by Carl Elliott

While searching The Atlantic's bloggers Insider got to thinking about one of its old articles he had enjoyed reading.

Here's a taste:

Gene Carbona was almost a criminal. I know this because, thirty minutes into our first telephone conversation, he told me, “Carl, I was almost a criminal.”

I have heard ex–drug reps speak bluntly about their former jobs, but never quite so cheerfully and openly. These days Carbona works for The Medical Letter, a highly respected nonprofit publication (Carbona stresses that he is speaking only for himself), but he was telling me about his twelve years working for Merck and then Astra Merck, a firm initially set up to market the Sweden-based Astra’s drugs in the United States.

Carbona began training as a rep in 1988, when he was only eleven days out of college. He detailed two drugs for Astra Merck. One was a calcium-channel blocker he calls “a dog.” The other was the heartburn medication Prilosec, which at the time was available by prescription only.

It truly is one of the best reads Insider has ever enjoyed!

Read the full artcle here in The Atlantic

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