Can Pharmaceuticals Legally Sell Drugs?

This is the question that I asked myself (yet again) when I read that two major pharmaceuticals have (yet again) evidenced that the only way that pharmaceuticals seem able to sell durgs is by doing something illegal.

Amgen recently plead guilty to illegally marketing Aranesp for off-label uses and will pay $150 million in criminal penalties and $612 million to resolve charges that it “bilked the government by causing false claims to be submitted to Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs for Aranesp, as well as Enbrel and Neulasta.” As well, Amgen will enter into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement to “increase accountability of individuals and board members.”

Now, I’m not picking on Amgen. Sanofi has also been found to violate similar laws. Sanofi recently “agreed to pay $109 million to resolve allegations that Sanofi US violated the False Claims Act by giving physicians free units of Hyalgen, a knee injection, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, to induce them to purchase and prescribe the product.”

And, to be even clearer, I’m not picking on Amgen or Sanofi, because all major pharmaceuticals have been found guilty of illegal activities in the past.

Why?

It seems as though pharmaceutical executives and their marketing/sales/PR folks still have not figured out how to sell.

Sure it’s easier to buy votes, but the days of “buying” doctors have come to an end.

So, here’s a new concept which we’ve used to help clients increase sales by more than 20%. It’s more effective and has lower marketing costs — find doctors and their patients who have actually found the drug to work.

It’s more effective to have doctors who use and truly a drug’s benefits proclaim its worth. Real doctor stories and real patient stories (not that of celebrities’).

Would love to hear your thoughts and other ideas!

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