Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Bad Rep-utation

A Rep came to see me today (by this I mean a drug rep, not a holiday rep, or a repo-man, or a reptile) and commented that I must be very hard working, as of all the vets he knows, I am the most difficult to come and see.

Well....he's sort of right. In the sense that I will find any excuse not to see a rep. People always say to me that euthanasia must be the worst part of my job. They're wrong. It's drug Reps.

(What's that? An infected anal gland? Oh dear, we'd better cancel the Pfizer rep. A constipated cat, that needs the poo hand picked out of it's rectum? Better ring Bob and tell him I can't make my appointment.)

Why? I hear the cry echo across the internet! What could possibly be wrong with spending time with a nicely suited man (or woman) that often brings along with him (or her) doughnuts and free sandwiches?

Why? I'll tell you why. Because I didn't become a vet to prostitute myself to drug companies, that's why. What these sneaky well-manicured men (or women) (why are you always going on about women, Stan?) are doing with their sneaky free foodstuffs is bribing me to use whichever drug they think is in vogue at the minute.

Some vets love it. My boss loves it. My wife loves it. (It's free food! She's muttering at me. Are you mad?) I do not. I like to choose my drugs based on evidence, and there's nothing more likely to get my goat than a drug rep flashing a glossy piece of paper at me with an impressive looking graph showing that n number of dogs would rather be doused in cooking oil and set alight than be denied their latest wonder-drug (where n is usually < id="SPELLING_ERROR_2" class="blsp-spelling-corrected">privilege. The nature of my work is to make money out of pain and suffering. But I like to think I have some ethics, and prostituting myself for the sake of a drug company leaves a distinctly sour taste in my mouth (or maybe that's just the Rum & Raisin doughnuts I was fed by an enthusiastic rep recently)

Consider this - I can, off the top of my head, think of seven very effective flea products on the market for dogs and cats. There is no licenced painkiller for rabbits. Why? Because there's more money in selling flea products than there is selling painkillers to rabbits. (Ehh...what's up with that, Doc?)

(This is not that we don't have effective painkillers we can use in rabbits - they're just off-licence, that's all. Sooner or later some bright spark in a drug company will licence a painkiller that we already use, and charge is ten times the price for the privilege - as has happened recently with Zitac (Tagamet) and Atopica (Cyclosporin) in dogs and cats)

So, I don't like spending my afternoons with drug reps. In fact, I'd rather spend my afternoons arm-deep in pus than watch one more audio-visual presentation about why this NSAID is ever so slightly better than that one, so long you don't mind getting diarrhoea and stomach ulcers.

Drug reps? Bring on the anal glands!

No comments:

Post a comment