The recent scandal that rocked the blogosphere, then the national news media, about the unwise comments by an AstraZeneca RSD (prior post here) has created quite a stir.
Mike Zubillaga, an Oncology regional sales director at AstraZeneca, allegedly put it this way in an interview for an internal newsletter: “There is a big bucket of money sitting in every office. Every time you go in, you reach your hand in the bucket and grab a handful. The more times you are in, the more money goes in your pocket. Every time you make a call, you are looking to make more money.”
Now I think it was a big mistake to go to print with this type of statement. And it demonstrates a callousness and greed that should never be encouraged. But to put just a little perspective on this, wherever you have salespeople (which is in every industry, for every product), you will have this type of thing said. That doesn’t make it wise, or good – but let’s be realistic here. This is nothing unique to Pharma.
Let’s change the names and roles and see what we come up with:
Senior Senator Patrick Pork takes the new junior senator under his wing. “There’s a big bucket of money sitting in the Treasury. And every time you successfully attach an earmark, for your district or your supporters, you reach your hand into the Treasury and grab a handful. The more earmarks you put in, the more votes and $$$ goes into your re-election account. Every time we write a bill, you are looking to extract more money.”
Hmmmm…..how many others should be “Zubed” for their practices?
(This episode, and many others like it, bring up a much broader question: how should prescription drugs be promoted and sold? – too ambitious a topic for this post. This prior post only scratches the surface…)!