Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mission Impossible

The elevator door opens, and a handsome man wearing dark glasses appears, looking something like a Gentleman's Quarterly magazine model. He makes this way to the swank hotel lobby front desk, and is immediately noticed by the young clerk with the French accent.

“Bon jour, monsieur. May I help syou?”

“I understand there might be a package for me here.” he asks in a hushed tone.

“Ze name?”


“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.

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."
Seconds later: Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Bbbbbzzzaaaappppppppppppp. The iPhone screen went black.

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."


Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

I'd love to comment more specifically, but I see you have not activated the cone of silence, so I will just say - Great post!

Anonymous said...

how are you planning on incorporating multaq into your practice? is there an article you could refer us who might use it infrequently to?

Anonymous said...

First rep came by my office today. The indoctrination begins. Great post. By the way, I had a lawsuit filed against me for amio lung toxicity. Vowed to never use it again. The lawyers do control our practices even if some in our field chose to deny it.

DrWes said...

Anony 01:47PM -

Right off the bat, probably would look for most elderly patients with significant lung disease and afib w/o heart failure to be good candidates for Multaq since CAD prevelant in this age group and most drugs have excessive beta-blocking effect. Harder to know if well-controlled patients on Amio are likely to be switched since Amio is relatively cheap compared to Multaq.

Just some thoughts right off the cuff...

Anony 04:54 -

Saw my Multaq rep today, too. A bit like a deer in headlights, but he meant well...