Right now, when you go looking for "The Whistleblower" on Amazon, they recommend that you also buy "Hard Sell" by Jamie Reidy. Apparently, a lot of readers who bought one book also likes the other. And I feel honored by that.
Here is what I wrote in my Amazon review about "Hard Sell" about a year ago:
HILARIOUS AND PROVOCATIVE, March 21, 2005
I'm an executive at a major drug company and I hesitated at first about writing a review for "Hard Sell." But in the end I just couldn't resist. "Hard Sell" is simply too funny and too important to ignore. It was a long time since I read a 200+ page book like this one in only a day and laughed this much. I simply couldn't put it down.
Jamie Reidy tells the inside story of how he became a drug company rep and all the ways he found out to cash a paycheck while doing as little as possible. If I hadn't already heard many of these creative ideas, shared by drug reps during past sales meetings, I wouldn't have thought this was for real.
But behind the humor this is a cautionary tale to policy makers and patients. "Hard Sell" is brutally honest about what really sells drugs. What sells, according to "Hard Sell," is sex. A couple of the most memorable lines in the book are "I witnessed men undergo complete personality makeovers in the presence of female salespeople," and "The women had the most basic human response on their side; regardless how behind schedule or how crazy the day, a male doctor would snap to attention at a mere whiff of perfume or a glance at a pretty girl, his instinctive desire to reproduce having kicked into gear."
In the end, anyone who has seen the good-looking pharmaceutical sales reps in any U.S. sales force has to ask if we want to have our drugs prescribed based on "male doctors' instinctive desire to reproduce" or based on science.
As a doctor myself, I'm afraid that science is taking more and more of a backseat today.