Tuesday, October 04, 2016

The Day Pharma Tchotchkes Died

Back in February, 2009, shortly after the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) imposed a voluntary ban on gifts to physicians (aka "tchotchkes"), I predicted that tchotchkes would become nostalgia items in the future, reminding pharmaceutical sales reps and physicians of the "good old days" (read "Viagra Boxers: An Example of Proto-Nostalgia tchotchke").

I was reminded of this prediction by a recent article (here) in MM&M, which claimed:

"These relics of the past have a certain value for those on the hunt. One eBay seller hopes to fetch $20 for a blue pill-shaped Viagra promotional clock that doubles as a business card holder, an item that was once a big weapon in the Pfizer sales rep's arsenal of freebies."

I think the Viagra jock strap/boxers would command much much more money on eBay!

In any case, the subtitle of the MM&M article ("The Day the Tchotchkes Died") inspired me to rewrite the lyrics of "American Pie" as "American Pharma Pie." I imagine a physician singing my version of the song. "Read More" to see the lyrics, which also touches upon the ramifications of the Payments to Physicians Sunshine Act.

American Pharma Pie

A long long time ago
I can still remember how
That pharma tchotchkes used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make my patients dance
And maybe they'd be happy for a while
But Sunshine made me shiver
With every ghost-authored paper I'd deliver
Bad news from Congress though
I couldn't make any more pharma dough!
I can't remember if I cried
When I read about this new law now gone worldwide
Something touched me deep inside
The day pharma tchotchkes died

Bye, bye American Pharma Pie
Drove my Mercedes to the Capital but all eyes were dry
And them good ole boys were drinking whiskey and rye
Singin' this'll be the day that pharma tchotchkes die
This'll be the day that pharma tchotchkes die

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