“Bon jour, monsieur. May I help syou?”
“I understand there might be a package for me here.” he asks in a hushed tone.
“Shust a moment, Monsieur Phelps.” She retreats behind the desk and returns, carrying a manilla envelope. “Here you are, monsieur.”
He walks quietly to a corner table at the hotel’s dining room, tipping the waiter to permit him some privacy for a few minutes. He sits, opens the envelope, and removes its contents. A small Bluetooth headset and latest Apple iPhone GS-99 XKE is removed. He deftly assembles them and finds the video play button. A man appears.
“Good morning, Dr. Phelps.”He smiled slightly. He liked to hear that familiar introduction. The video continued:
“As you know, Sanofi-Aventis, makers of the new drug to treat atrial fibrillation, dronedarone (Multaq), have been actively recruiting doctors to serve as speakers to promote their drug. They are required to speak verbatim from slides housed on a central server using a protected link to the server's flash-player software. No anecdotes can be uttered lest they be terminated. Most remarkably, Interpol has discovered that when recent physician recruits inquired about the cost of the drug as it compares to its competitors, a lawyer stood and claimed that discussing price was illegal. He claimed that because the price would vary from location to location, to discuss price would put the company at liability risk for false advertising.Seconds later: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Bbbbbzzzaaaappppppppppppp. The iPhone screen went black.
Your mission, Jim, should you decide to accept it, is to find the price of dronedarone that patients and pharmacy benefit managers will have to pay on the open market. Your unique status as a cardiac rhythm specialist, paired with your unique background, should make it easy to infiltrate the organization. As always, if you or any members of your team are caught and terminated, the Secretary will disavow any of your actions.
Good luck, Jim.
This video will self distruct in five seconds."
He pondered the mission as he glanced about making sure no one saw the phone screen.
Somehow, the French woman behind the counter seemed the simpler mission.
Addendum from Interpol: "Good work, Dr. Phelps."