The rule of seven touches

Dr. Atul Gwande tells the story in his New Yorker column of asking a pharmaceutical rep how he persuades “notoriously stubborn” doctors to adopt a new drug he’s promoting.  The rep’s response:

“Evidence is not remotely enough, however strong a case you may have. You must also apply the rule of seven touches.”

“Personally ‘touch’ the doctors seven times, and they will come to know you; if they know you, they might trust you; and, if they trust you, they will change.”

That’s why, explained Dr. Gwande, this drug rep stocked doctors’ closets with free drug samples in person.  Continue reading

Big Pharma targets Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

According to a recent study in The American Journal of Managed Care, nearly 97% of Nurse Practitioners (NPs) now prescribe medications, and each one of these writes, on average, between 19-25 prescriptions each day.  That’s about 6,200 prescriptions per NP prescriber per year. In addition, Physician Assistants (PAs) are writing more than 250,000,000 prescriptions each year.In total, these health care providers are responsible for a significant whack of drug prescriptions each year.

That’s why organizers of the annual Maximizing Relationships with Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants Summit provide a platform for the pharmaceutical industry to build cozy relationships with all of these NPs & PAs. Here’s what the summit’s pitch promised:  Continue reading

“Punytive” damages: the biggest corporate fines ever

Since I’ve discovered the website called Information is Beautiful, I’m afraid that all my available free time for at least the next year or so will be consumed by pouring over this fascinating time-sucker of a site. The book of the same name has been published across the world in nine languages. All of it was conceived and designed by David McCandless, a London-based author, information designer and data journalist. As he explains:

“I’m into anything strange and interesting. A passion of mine is visualizing information – facts, data, ideas, subjects, issues, statistics, questions – all with the minimum of words. Love pie – hate pie-charts.”   Continue reading