Ann's Comments: Pharmaceutical Give-aways

Newsletter #74–November/December 2002

Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor:

Diane de Lara’s article “Exhibitionist Behavior” [September/October] was a delight to read. I have attended many medical and other meetings and found [the American Society of Clinical Oncology] to be the absolute worst offender. The gifts and giveaways are huge, and everyone wants them.

Pharmaceutical company representatives offer another tote bag to an attendee at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (Photo: Ann Fonfa)

When de Lara asks, “Are the high prices we pay for drugs subsidizing this pageantry?” the answer is a resounding yes. Add to that the money spent for direct-to-consumer advertising, and their support of advocacy and patient groups for all diseases all over the world, and you find an awful lot of excess profit.

Meanwhile, Congress continues to discuss subsidies so elder Americans can afford their pharmaceutical medications. Hey, lowering prices might work.

Ann Fonfa, Founder The Annie Appleseed Project New York, NY November 2002

Pharmaceutical company representatives offer another tote bag to an attendee at the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium (Photo: Ann Fonfa)

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