Pharma Giles is celebrating 400 blog posts!
Pharma Giles has written another must-read article, celebrating his 400th post, with me, I think. Makes me feel quite honored. And now, for the first time, I know who wrote that amazing post on CafePharma!
Here's to PharmaGiles and this is what he writes today:
It seems fitting that I pass the 400 post mark whilst in a run that mentions Dr. Peter Rost again. He was very much the inspiration behind this blog, and I'd like to thank him for all of the material I've ripped off from Question Authority (I still can't bring myself to call it "The Pharma Law Blog") since the beginning of last year when I first started posting.
He has been quite a good sport on the odd occasion where I have lampooned him or his doings, often reproducing those pieces in full on his own blog. So by way of closing a loop, as it were, I'd thought I'd recycle the first thing I ever put on the interweb thingy, and which Dr. Rost gleefully picked up and posted at the time.
He had been getting some stick about his first book, "The Whistleblower" (every home should have one - it really is jolly good) on the CafePharma Pfizer board, and in a way that suggested a clandestine corporate PR involvement. So, for some reason, I thought it was time to redress the balance...
Jeff Kindler looked out from his rostrum overlooking the crowded auditorium hidden deep within the underground corporate security and counter-espionage bunker at Pfizer’s New York Headquarters.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” he said, commanding the attention of the hundreds of assembled briefs and corporate security analysts. “Thanks for sparing the time to come along. I guess you all know why we’re here today”.
“Because we’d be fired if we didn’t turn up?” ventured a voice from the back of the auditorium, prompting a small ripple of laughter from the audience.
“Remove that asshole” snapped Kindler to the two burly uniformed Security guards at the front of the stage, pointing in the direction of the dissident so as to narrow down the options on the asshole front. “That’s the sort of wiseacre comment I’d expect from Rost”.
The mention of Pfizer’s arch-nemesis silenced the audience as the heckler was dragged away by the guards.
“Now as you all know,” continued Kindler, “Peter Rost has been generating a considerable amount of adverse publicity for the company since my predecessor fired him last November for daring to publicly criticise his book “A Call To Action...”
Behind Kindler, an image of a handsome, tanned, silver haired, distinguished-looking man flashed onto the vast presentation screen. “Not only has Rost been slating us in his blog for the last two years, but he’s also….”
“Er, Jeff?” ventured a small voice near the front of the audience.
“Rost’s only been blogging for about five months. The two year thing is only what we told the Court when we tried to block the book...”
“Ah. Right. Thanks Ron. Of course. I stand corrected. Anyway, on top of the blog, Rost has now written a book about the way we treated him, which shows every sign of being a best-seller. Hank’s particularly pissed about that, given the mediocre sales of his own book.”
“I thought Rost was fired for taking a non-corporate stance on drug re-importation issues and ratting us out to the FDA about our off-label selling of Genotropin…” Ron queried.
“No no. That’s just business. The book thing was personal”.
A murmur of understanding passed around the auditorium.
“Anyway, things have now got out of hand. Thanks to you idiots…” snarled Kindler, gesturing at the entire right-hand side of the auditorium where a shame-faced collection of corporate legal advisors and lawyers were seated, “…we have another Jamie Read situation on our hands. Why do you dorks have to issue writs and injunction every time an ex-employee makes a goddamn blog posting, or appears on some obscure radio chat show that no-one’s ever heard of until you guys give it publicity? Don’t you ever learn?”
“Er, we’ve just been following your lead, Jeff...” muttered one of the corporate ex-CIA spooks.
“Silence, asshole!” bellowed Kindler, waving to the uniformed Security Guards once more. “Pfizer doesn’t pay $300 an hour for sheep. I know blind obedience to senior management rather than innovation has been the way in the past, but I’m in charge now. Things are gonna change!”
Gasps and an occasional suppressed bleat arose from the audience.
“Great idea, Jeff,” said a small, anonymous-looking man seated on the stage next to Kindler.
“Thanks Dave. That’s the sort of inspirational feedback this company needs. Anyway, you’ve all been working on the Rost case,” he continued, looking across the serried ranks, “and all you’ve succeeded in doing is making a celebrity out of the guy. He’s taken every writ, every injunction, published them and made a laughing stock out of us. So I’ve decided that we need to take a fresh approach…”
“Great idea, Jeff,” said the small, anonymous-looking man seated next to Kindler.
“Thanks Dave. Good work. Have another Global Division to run. As I was saying, Rost has been running rings around you clowns. And it suddenly occurred to me that as you lot are clowns, what we should be developing and utilising is a sense of humour…”
Gasps arose from the audience. “Shame, shame,” said one or two of the braver members.
“Yes, yes, I know the concept of a sense of humour is anathema to you guys, but that’s the underlying weapon that Peter Rost has been using against us all along. He knows that, deep down, the one thing we really don’t like is being laughed at. So we’re going to turn the tables on him…”
Kindler paused and looked down at the small, anonymous-looking man seated next to him.
“Hey, I didn’t get a “great idea” out of you”, he growled. “You’d better watch your ass, Dave. Remember what happened to Karen….”
“Great idea, Jeff,” said the small, anonymous-looking man hurriedly, swallowing nervously.
“Thanks for your support, Dave. Yes, what we are going to do to Peter Rost is exactly what he’s been doing to us. We’re going to satirise him. We’re going to flood every Pharma blog, every open opinion forum and every on-line book channel with anti-Rost propaganda. We’re going to depict him as a hopeless, lonely, pathetic, whiny dweeb. We’re also going to cut down on his Internet book sales and blog hits.”
“Er, Jeff…” said a legal type in the audience. “I know it doesn’t normally worry Pfizer as we can “leverage our scale”, but that kind of Internet Piracy thing is illegal…”
“Idiot! Moron!” thundered Kindler. “Ninety percent of Rost’s blog traffic and book sales are from Pfizer’s legal division or other Pfizer employees! I’ve already ordered our IT department to block access to Rost’s blog and to Amazon’s web site from Pfizer PCs. It’s perfectly legal. And that’ll hurt him…”
“But we’re lawyers” said another member of the flock. “What you’re suggesting in terms of satire seems to involve an element of thought and invention…”
“Which is why you lot won’t be involved,” retorted Kindler. “I’ve decided to approach our middle management in R & D instead. They’re used to making things up and putting positive slants and outright lies into their performance appraisals and clinical trials results and such-like. Finding a few ambitious sycophants to write a bit of anti-Rost copy and put it out on the Net should be a breeze.”
Spontaneous applause gradually broke out from those quicker on the uptake.
“Rost is Toast…” boasted Kindler to his cheering audience…
The comments the article attracted back at QA encouraged me to set up my own blog, in the same sort of (dare I say "trademark"?) style as the CP offering. And here it is, 400 posts later.
So thanks to all of the 40,000+ readers who have read them. The majority of my posts are still in the form of hand-crafted little essays in the John Mack or Pharmalot vein (in style, if not in content or quality), rather than one-liners or cut-and-pastes.
Whilst I write primarily for my own entertainment, it's nice to know that others have enjoyed my output as well.
Labels: Pharma Giles