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Posted by on Jun 9, 2010 in Ethics, FDA, Legislation, Marketing, Pharma

Pfizer Makes a Point at ASCO

Pfizer Makes a Point at ASCO


Okay, maybe it’s a cloying move by Pfizer to protest the absurdity of government oversight. But it’s also kind of funny.

The world’s largest drug company is advising US physicians who visit its exhibit booth at the ongoing ASCO meeting that they will have to swipe their registration cards if they want a freebie latte, reports Reuters. And oh no, you di’int: MDs from Minnesota and Vermont can’t have one at all, thanks to their state laws that prohibit all swagno matter how trivial.

Moreover, if you do accept a latte from Pfizer, the company may provide your name to US regulators and post the fact that you received caffeinated remuneration at its disclosure website. God knows, you could end up scribbling scores of prescriptions for Aromasin during your 20-minute Pfizer-propagated caffeine buzz.

At least the oversight measures are keeping somebody employed…and amused.

ASCO = American Society of Clinical Oncology.

“angry latte” by Chris Barkeley at Flickr.

06/10/10 addendum: It’s hard to keep up, but Vermont recently amended its existing, relevant law to allow the “provision of coffee and other snacks or refreshments at a booth at a conference or seminar.” The bill became effective on March 27th (without the governor’s signature, according to the FDA Law Blog).

bmartin (1082 Posts)

A native East Tennessean, Barbara Martin is a formerly practicing, board-certified neurologist who received her BS (psychology, summa cum laude) and MD from Duke University before completing her postgraduate training (internship, residency, fellowship) at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. She has worked in academia, private practice, medical publishing, drug market research, and continuing medical education (CME). For the last 3 years, she has worked in a freelance capacity as a medical writer, analyst, and consultant. Follow Dr. Barbara Martin on and Twitter.