Justinian Lane

Vioxx Sales Videos Reveal Merck’s Attitude Toward Safety and Sales

Ed at Pharmalot is hosting three sales training videos Merck used to motivate their reps:

For your viewing pleasure, the following three part series of clips about the ultimate training tool - the obstaclizer. Seriously. The device is supposed to help sales reps overcome hurdles to making Vioxx a success. The clips show up on a web site called VioxxDocuments, which contain myriad documents from the Vioxx litigation. 

Source: The Vioxx ‘V’ Squad: Reps From Another Universe // Pharmalot

If you’re only going to watch one clip, watch the second one.  In it, you’ll see:

  • Merck sales reps ignore their supervisors and use a machine they’re warned is unsafe.  Sure, the video is very tongue-in-cheek, but what does it say about the ethics of Merck that in a training video it chose to reward and praise sales reps who ignored safety concerns?

  • Speaking of safety concerns, you’ve got to see how they depict those physicians who raise questions about the safety of Vioxx.  Here’s a hint: In a very demeaning and belittling way.

  • Who should make the decision on what drugs to prescribe?  Most people think a doctor.  Not Merck.  The video depicts sales reps going over a doctor’s prescribing habits and determining that the doctor was prescribing too much Ibuprofen and not enough Vioxx.  Seems kind of like practicing medicine without a license to me.

Watch the video and decide whether Merck cared more about safety or sales.

P.S. – If FDA preemption were in place, these videos would never have been released.

Justinian Lane: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 2:27 PM, Aug 27, 2008 in
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My name is Tina Harris and i would like to show you my personal experience with Vioxx.

I am 40 years old. Have been on Vioxx for 6 months now. I had quit taking Vioxx long before the recall because it was the only new med introduced into my regimen at the time the symptoms started. I was told that if I continued to take it, I would be let go from my job because of inability to perform simple tasks.

I have experienced some of these side effects -
vertigo, diarrhea, abdominal pain, respiratory problems and memory loss. I still have memory loss and have gaps in my thinking process where I can't even think of common words I am trying to say, even to this day.

I hope this information will be useful to others,
Tina Harris

Posted by: Vioxx Side Effects | January 23, 2009 3:25 PM