Thursday, April 05, 2007

AstraZeneca: "There is a big bucket of money sitting in every [doctor's] office"

This just in from an anonymous AstraZeneca employee: A newsletter with an interview with Mike Zubillaga, Regional Sales Director Oncology for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals.

And how does he look at doctors?

This is what he says in Oncology Newsletter Winter 2007 Issue 1:

"There is a big bucket of money sitting in every office. Every time you go in, you reach your hand in the bucket and grab a handful. The more times you are in, the more money goes in your pocket. Every time you make a call, you are looking to make more money."

Mike Zubillaga: Remember it is not wrong to say those things. After all, that's very real. It's just wrong to be caught saying them.

I guess the poor guy will have a meeting with his boss tomorrow.

This just in from Astra-Zeneca's message board on CafePharma:

"For AZ's sake, I hope no oncologists or the press ever get a hold of it. The thing should be burned and whoever said it (and whoever the editor is that allowed it) should be canned."

Too late.

I forwarded this story to a few writer friends, and Pharmalot has his take on this story here, and Brandweek here. I agree with BrandweekNRx who feels sorry for the guy.

And more and more blogs are piling on this bucket of cash . . . the picture winning first price is the one over at PharmaGossip.

It is, of course, still newsworthy, since we rarely hear the drug companies speak this candidly about how they view doctor's offices: As big buckets of green money.



Anonymous said...

I love you and I both know this is as real as it gets. I wish I had a penny for every quote about either a class of people or somebody with a nasty disease...Everyone diseased person is nothing but a money tree to these vultures...

Anonymous said...

One more thing this guy deserves a beating...what smug self righteous I could go on forever...yikes

Anonymous said...

The nerve of this man. I mean, wanting to get paid? C'mon. Obviously the drug industry should give away thier products - not charge for them. The low-life scum on the recieving end need to save all thier money for smokes and booze. Who has money for meds? Not the American public. No way, we're a hand-out nation, not a work and earn nation.

Get a life people - it's called the drug "business" for a reason. Profits are not evil. Morons who think everything should be free are evil. (or Democrats)

Anonymous said...

I agree just bad policy to put it in writing and making yourself sound like a total moron. I am all for making money. The best policy I have ever heard was don't put anything in writing that you wouldn't want to read in the newspaper the next day. I am certainal all drug reps look at medical practices as buckets of cash just don't say it out loud.

Anonymous said...

"One does not get promoted into these positions without understanding sales goals and sales achievement. I know Mr Rost is considered a whistleblower today, but in a previous life he was responsible for increasing the sales of products in specific therapeutic areas."

Hypocrisy knows no bounds. You've gone from targeting the top layer to targeting the lower middle. No money for you there. Once he sells his house - tough to pay a mortgage
with no salary, or settlement. There'll be nothing like your exit package from Pfizer.

Did you chase him so personally just to keep in practice?

Peter Rost said...


1. I got no exit packages from Pfizer. Zippo, zero.

2. I did not chase "Zube," I simply republished what he had already published with his name in big bold letters. He did himself in, not me.

3. This blog is called "Question Authority" for a reason.

4. I can't help if the PR departments of every major drug company is reading this blog. That's called freedom of press.

5. Finally, don't kill the messenger. That would be me. Instead, stand up and go to your bosses at AstraZeneca and tell them they were wrong. They fired him. Not me. Blame them.

Anonymous said...

You never had a big salary at Pfizer? Never cashed an option, a bonus, never stood up at a meeting and said the things you now vilify? Still living in the assets you acquired?

Late to be finding religion.

Anonymous said...

Peter Rost, you work in the industry most of your life, make a very good living, leave on your own will (I assume) and, once gone, decide then that you are going to start stating your opinion about any perceived negatives. Wow - you're brave.

Pharma sales reps that I know are compensated based on sales of their products. I assume that is the same for AZ. That means companies such as AZ have created a salary system that is specifically designed to incent sales reps to increase sales. What Mike Z said was a direct statement of the policy he is pressured to enforce. That's it.

An no, you did not fire him. AZ did. But this statement came out in the winter and AZ did not fire him until you posted it. Now the entire industry knows about it and who will hire Mike?

By the way, Mike has five kids. Given he now has no salary and cannnot collect unemployment benefits can you blog about how he can now provide for his family?

Good job hero.

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)