Hubby and I went for dinner and a movie last night and saw Side Effects with Rooney Mara, Jude Law, Catherine Zeta Jones, and Channing Tatum. The movie was very well done and I really enjoyed it, but it got me to thinking about the oft sordid and lucrative relationships between physician and pharmaceutical company rep.
In the 37+ years I have been taking insulin, I have NEVER taken a Novo Nordisk product. I started on Eli Lily Lente Insulin and probably about 5 years after the analogs came out I was switched to lantus (Sanofi) and humalog (Eli Lily). In that entire time I never asked why? Did my endo when writing the rx for certain brands of insulin do it because he felt that was the best thing for me ? Or did one of the pharmaceutical reps say "we have a nice trip to Cabo coming up, maybe you would like to go ?"
I now question everything because I have to advocate for myself and I also need to be my own doctor. Granted I can't actually write the prescriptions, but I can certainly steer an endo to see it from my point of view. Last endo visit I switched from Humalog to Apidra because I wanted something with a shorter tail to cover meals but not hang around too long afterwards to cause lows. This endo visit I am going to ask for a few levemir flex pens because the lantus and apidra pens are both Sanofi Aventis products and are just too similar I have already mixed them up in the dark of the car. I'll run my own experiments and see which long acting best suits my needs. But I am my own best guinea pig so the science experiment will continue. Wish me luck.

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Comment by Betty J on February 24, 2013 at 9:22am

Through the years I've been my own experiment, even though I was given the basics I've had to find my way. When I started on insulin in 1959 there were only 2 insulins that I knew about, one was Lilly, they made regular and NPH. They also made regular and then there was Squib haven't heard of them in years. Didn't know about Novo Nordisk until the 1990s...and yes we do have to advocate for ourselves because the medical profession can give us the basics but the nitty gritty living we do.

Comment by Stemwinder (Gary) on February 24, 2013 at 9:23am

I often fear that there is an unhealthy relationship between doctors and drug reps. At best I hope the doctor is taking advantage of the relationship for the good of the patient. My worst fear is that I will receive sub-standard care because of a doctors greed.

We are best off to be our own advocates, do our research and be informed because no one cares for our health as much as we do. I'm going to continue my own science project. I wish you success with yours

Comment by Brunetta on February 24, 2013 at 1:29pm

Tufriends we HAVE to be our own guinea pigs. I very much like and rspect my doc, he was the one who seitched me too apidra so I coulod get better control on thr pump with out the lingering tail.

I wish my Type 2 friends had the education and the knowedge to experiment, as well as the supplies to do so. Almost all the ones I know, in real life, not from the DOC ,are in so much worse health than I. Keep up with what you are doing, clare.

God bless.

Comment by Gerri on February 25, 2013 at 12:41am

It's an unhealthy relationship for patients & a lucrative one for doctors & their pharma partners. Check out

When a doctor has a waiting room of patients & pharm reps get ushered in ahead of patients, that speaks volumes. Seen that scenario often. And, the pharm reps are typically young, attractive women. C'mon. Doctors first line of info comes from the reps.

My first endo told me "all his patients used pumps" & handed me glossy Medtronic marketing. I didn't want a pump & he quickly lost interest. Gee, sorry, I'm ruining your average of 100% Medtronic compliance. I found another doctor.

Been down the same road with statins, though my lipid panel is fine.

Comment by Brian (bsc) on February 25, 2013 at 5:43am

It was exactly the site that Gerri mentioned that led me to find out that my former endo was Feeding at the Pharma Trough BIG TIME. When I found out in 2010, I felt betrayed. In 2009 and 2010, my former endo took in nearly $150K a year from just a couple of companies and the sunshine law had not even kicked in, so that is probably only a fraction of what he took in. I want a doctor to work for me, not be a "tool" of a company that just wants to sell their product.

Comment by Kathy on February 25, 2013 at 8:12am

I too thought the movie was thought-provoking.p
A few years ago I had a cataract removed. Post-surgery, I was supposed to use eye drops that cost $180 for a teeny bottle. My insurance would not pay because they were also available generically. I talked to the pharmacist and he said that Dr D refused to OK the substitute, and that many elderly patients simply went without. I told him it didn't make any sense and he replied, "it's called reciprocity":-)
I was very stresses over the surgery so didn't pursue it any further, but today I would.


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