To Big Pharma, a doctor is a piggy bank with a stethoscope

Today would not be a good time to be Michael Zubillaga. The regional sales director for AstraZeneca was fired Friday after he made the following statement in an internal oncology newsletter:

I see it like this: there is a big bucket of money sitting in every (cancer doctor’s) 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.

Poor Michael. After all, he only said what most Big Pharma execs were already thinking — that physicians are no more than stethoscope-wearing piggy banks.

Uber-whistleblower Peter Rost brought to our attention a wonderful comment on the AstraZeneca message board that sums up the issue:

Glad to see the world is finally getting a glimpse of the true motivation behind Pharma’s veneer of supposed benevolence and innovation. I was in the industry for 12 years so spare me your self righteous propaganda. We all know its about money and the power that money brings. This guy MZ actually had the kahunas to admit it. Seems to me he has already has more credibility than most of the industry. Trash him all you want but it’s the culture behind the scenes that needs to be exterminated not the employees that reflect it.

You can find a couple more takes on the subject here and here.

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