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Three Cheers for Big Pharma

Jeffrey Lacasse, a PhD. candidate in social work at Florida State University, has co-authored a paper claiming that pharmaceutical companies allowed to market directly to consumers take maximum advantage, exaggerating the benefits of their products in large part because the F.D.A. doesn’t pay much attention to the ads. Here’s the paper. In related news, here’s an article from today’s New York Times about where pharmaceutical companies find their sales reps: cheerleading squads. Seriously. At the doctors’ offices that my family and I visit, I have often noted the comely nature of the abundant reps, and tried a few times to formulate a question that would get to the bottom of the situation, but the right words never came. Now I know.