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
Allison, Philadelphia Eagles

Beth ST. LOUIS RAMS
Beth , St. Louis Rams

Brooke CINCINNATI BENGALS
Brooke, Cincinnati Bengals

ATLANTA FALCONS Carla
Carla, Atlanta Falcons

Kellie M BALTIMORE RAVENS
Kellie, Baltimore Ravens

Lindsey HORNETS
Lindsey, New Orleans/Okla. City Hornets

Monea SONICS
Monae, Seattle Sonics

Natalie SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
Natalie, San Francisco 49ers

Onya WASHINGTON REDSKINS
Onya, Washington Redskins

Romney S. BALTIMORE RAVENS
Romney, Baltimore Ravens

Stacey BOBCATS
Stacey, Charlotte Bobcats

Tara C BALTIMORE RAVENS
Tara, Baltimore Ravens

Tawnya PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
Tawnya, Philadelphia Eagles

Traci TENNESSEE TITANS
Traci, Tennessee Titans

Trisha KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
Trisha, Kansas City Chiefs

Wanda WIZARDS
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.