Introducing … the All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad!

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The U.S. pharmaceutical industry is, for lack of a better term, a mess. Protected from serious government reform by its powerful lobbyists and big checkbook, Big Pharma flits away billions on direct-to-consumer marketing and developing patentable reformulations of the same old drugs. Then, they pass along the massive costs of their misguided priorities (along with a substantial markup, of course) to you, the consumer.

Sometime back, the New York Times published a story that, for me, symbolized all that is wrong with Big Pharma today. The story told how Big Pharma is hiring the reps who market its drugs to physicians based not on medical knowledge — but purely (and cynically) on sex appeal. As the Times explained, “Stories abound about doctors who mistook a sales pitch as an invitation to more.”

Which is why pharmaceutical companies are systematically recruiting from cheerleading squads — even spawning a cheerleader employment firm.

As an update on the Times’ story, the eDrugSearch Blog decided to do a quick scan of pro sports Web sites to see the occupations listed by the current roster of NFL and NBA cheerleaders. The following is our All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad — current pro cheerleaders who double (and undoubtedly receive double takes) as pharma reps:

Allison, Philadelphia Eagles

Beth , St. Louis Rams

Brooke, Cincinnati Bengals

Carla, Atlanta Falcons

Kellie, Baltimore Ravens

Lindsey, New Orleans/Okla. City Hornets

Monae, Seattle Sonics

Natalie, San Francisco 49ers

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Onya, Washington Redskins

Romney, Baltimore Ravens

Stacey, Charlotte Bobcats

Tara, Baltimore Ravens

Tawnya, Philadelphia Eagles

Traci, Tennessee Titans

Trisha, Kansas City Chiefs

Wanda, Washington Wizards

One caveat to our list: the All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad likely includes only a minority of those pro cheerleaders who also cheer for pharma, as many team Web sites do not include occupational info on their cheerleaders.

About Cary Byrd

eDrugSearch founder, Cary Byrd, has been called an “e-health innovator” by MarketIntellNow, interviewed by top pharmaceutical industry journalists, invited to Matthew Holt’s Health 2.0 Conference and a Consumer Report's health summit, and highlighted on numerous health blogs. - Search. Compare. Save.

0 thoughts on “Introducing … the All-Pharma Cheerleading Squad!

  • I saw Romney at my doctor’s office on Thursday…a few days before the Big Game (which the Ravens lost). She was cheery and handed out autographed pictures to patients who asked for them.

    I was sick and irritable and I wondered if my docs would see her before me, even though it was 11:45 and my appt was at 11. To their credit, they did not.

    In fact, Romney never saw my docs. She left after waiting patiently for about 20 minutes, time she spent cheerfully chatting with a patient who offered this non sequitur as a conversation starter: “I saw a Janet Jackson video the other day. It was really good.”

    I threw her death stares the whole time, which makes me think that you probably need the pep of a cheerleader to spend so much time in rooms full of sick people who are either shooting dirty looks at you or trying to make odd conversation.

    S0 I say, Go Romney, Go!

  • I was a pharmaceutical rep and pro cheerleader for five years. Upon interviewing, the pharma company did not know of my cheerleading position. I graduated, like all these women, from a top rated university, studied hard to become a pharmaceutical rep and know more about my products and the disease state associated with them than most of my physicians. Because one chooses to dance as a hobby as opposed to fish or golf or other past time, does not mean she is unqualified.

  • Thanks for leaving a comment. Our criticism is of Big Pharma and not of cheerleaders. We know here are many highly intelligent and capable cheerleaders, but the evidence suggests that Big Pharma has singled out cheerleaders in their recruiting efforts for more prurient reasons.

  • Phil McCubbin says:

    With due respect to Stacie, the idea that sales reps provide scientific information or need to have some great understanding of disease states is fallacious. This is like saying that used car salesman are experts on automotive engineering.

    They are salespeople. If it was knowledge that was valued, you’d see a very different crowd.

  • It seems that most of the pharma cheerleaders listed only have qualifications in business/marketing. Only 2 or 3 had qualifications in vaguely relevant areas, such as biology, chemistry, nursing and psychology. This underlines what Phil and Cary have stated above.

  • Ruth says:

    It seems that most of the pharma cheerleaders listed only have qualifications in business/marketing. Only 2 or 3 had qualifications in vaguely relevant areas, such as biology, chemistry, nursing and psychology. This underlines what Phil and Cary have stated above.

    Excuse me, but how is chemistry only vaguely relevant to drug sales? These reps are supposed to educate the doctors about their drugs. I would hope all of them would have prior coursework in the fields mentioned above.

  • Dr Buttmunch says:

    I work at a community health center where patients only AFFORD generics-if that. The reps “Lipitor is 2nd tier twenty dollars crestor blah blah how much does a HOSPITAL stay cost?” My supposedly liberal Father says drug development costs money and some like pfizers HDL raiser DO flop. OK so tax the heck out of the top 5% of tax payers don’t make the working poor shell out a grand a month or ME fight their insurance companies on the phone!

    PS the male reps are big jock guys (for window witches or maybe they think I go both ways!)

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