Friday, October 12, 2007

Medical Sales

Growing up, I don't recall seeing a single ad for non-OTC medicine anywhere. Slowly, though, during my teenage years, it became more and more common to see a brand name drug touted, first on the pages of magazines, then on billboards, then radio, then TV.

Now, you can't get through the evening news without being bombarded with messages for Vitorin, Viagra, Loestrin, Lunesta, Xanax, Wellbutrin, YAZ, Seasonique (who's message goes something like this: Blah blah Seasonique! Blah Seasonique! blbabalrSeasonique! Try Seasonique! Your body is gross for having a period (gasp!) every month, banish it with Seasonique! Seasonique! I have very bright teeth and nice hair! Seasonique!)

Ahem. Anyway....

So I wasn't tooo suprised when I was at my GP today for my yearly checkup and she launched into a spiel about calicum. Like most women, I don't get my 1000mg/day of calicum and she suggested Calcetrate. Ok, fine. But then, she started talking about having a daily vitamin regimine. The conversation went like this:

(Her) "Good nutrition is important to good health; eating plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables every day is critical. The American Medical Association recommends that each person get 5-11 servings of raw fruits and vegetables per day..."

(Me, eating right into her hook) "Yeah, but that's nearly impossible. I can get five, maybe, but 11? That's nuts!"

(Her) "Unfortunately, you're not alone. Most people DON'T eat nearly enough fruits and veggies, especially not every day. To do so, you should look into taking a daily vitamin supplement. Have you heard of programs such as Juice-Plus?"

(Me, still stupid) "Oh, is that like V8?"

(Her) "No, Juice plus is made from 7 different fruits. One serving contains 66% of the AMA daily recommended dose. My entire family uses it and we love it!"

This is where I start to get wise to her advertising. Also, I notice that she's rattling off information that's obviously been memorized from a brochure and looking at the wall just over my left shoulder, very rarely meeting my gaze. I nod like I'm listening, but mostly I'm wondering whose wrath she incurred/how much debt she has to have to SO OBVIOUSLY peddle this crap to her patients. Then I wonder if she'll get in trouble for not rattling this promo to me, much like when you call customer service, and you know they have a script and are being tape recorded. And, you know that the poor sap earning $8/hr with whom your chatting will get pistol whipped later if they deviate from asking you if you'd like to open 176 different credit cards, before actually assisting you with your real issue/problem.

I didn't want to get my doctor pistol whipped. We'd just met, after all. So when she asked me if I wanted a brochure, I readily agreed just to save her ass. I had to bite my tongue not to ask her why I should take the brochure if she'd already read it to me anyway.....

Other than that, the rest of the check up went ok. But I thought it was interesting. How many doctors do YOU know who are involved in pyramid schemes?


1 comment:

Roxie said...


I've tried Juice Plus... It was also pedaled to me from a medical type person, who by the way, makes a commission for selling it. I tried to order it online (just to try it) based on the website she gave me & it actually tracks your order to a sales rep. It is impossible to buy Juice Plus independently. Also, I had to contact her to get my name off an automatic reorder cycle. She still contacts me on occasion to ask if I want to reorder even though it has been >1 year & I only ordered 1 set!

My lesson learned: All you need is a good multi. I enjoy flinstones. Its the only vitamin I actually remember to take daily.