Convince if possible, confuse if necessary, and corrupt if nothing else works, is THOR complicit?

In the BMJ Last Saturday Anita Jain wrote “Gold jewellery, cars or an exotic foreign holiday, these are among the luxury gifts listed in a parliamentary committee report as being used by pharmaceutical companies to coax doctors into prescribing their drugs”. She goes on to describe the “3C strategy” employed by drug companies. “convince if possible, confuse if necessary, and corrupt if nothing else works”. Many (she says) will say an emphatic no to luxury gifts, but what about discounts, conference fees, hotels and flights?

Since we have been working with more doctors these days (rather than therapists) I am being approached with requests for hotel and flight costs and I confess I have conceded.

Why does this happen?
a) Because this is the world they live in (i.e. it is normal to have industry pay)
b) Academic and educational budgets are tight and industry has more money than it knows what to do with (they think).

So what should I do ?

I have conceded and paid out a few times, but not with any enthusiasm as we are not yet making $ billions in profits, but my conscience wrestles with it. I do not want to be guilty of behaving like bad pharma but then again I want our product to be accepted by mainstream medicine, so what should I do?

Comment below


About James Carroll

Founder and CEO at THOR Photomedicine Ltd. About THOR
This entry was posted in Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Convince if possible, confuse if necessary, and corrupt if nothing else works, is THOR complicit?

  1. Alex Chisholm says:

    James–You should sleep like a baby—-you have worked hard for years to produce good scientific education, and persevered in the face of indifference. You send out free literature updates to all that ask with your newsletter. You participate in fantastic research. Since we have not been able to move light therapy forward without the docs, the reality is we need them to move forward. So don’t lose any sleep over it. You have dedicated years to laser, and you have to pay to get a few docs to the education, so be it.

  2. Wayne Rutter says:

    Hi James,
    Stick to the first bit : convince if possible. Forget the other corrupted 2C’s. I haven’t seen a drug rep for over 10 years because I found it to be a waste of time and became sick of their lies and cheap bribes. I haven’t been to a drug sponsored dinner, conference, seminar etc for even longer and I don’t think I’m any dumber medically by not going. If I want to know something, I look it up on the internet. It’s where I found out about LLLT.
    Big pharma are about as honest as tobacco companies. If you want to go that way, it’s up to you.

  3. John Hayes Jr DC MS DABCO says:

    James, having some 33 years perspective on this stateside, my advice is stay the course! Physicians are scientists first. The big pharma push and now incest with governments and insurers is having a backlash with consumers and professionals alike.

    Healing without drugs first is a consciousness shift and you ARE having an impact. In time, these and more outcome studies will cause insurers to mandate/cover LLLT before medical pain management and surgery wherever appropriate.



  4. frank sheehan says:

    Hi James, all suppliers are propositioned for alms, both from existing customers & potential ones.
    In your annual financial returns it may be helpful to itemise your costs in doing business, eg, conference costs, exhibition costs,advertising costs & bribes & corecion costs.
    Put a limit to these costs at the beginning of a trading period and brief your secretary as to how to polietly tell the client that ‘sorry, but all our bribes have been allocated’

  5. Rhona Darcy says:

    I worked as a rep for a distribution company of scientific and medical products who ‘sponsored’ individuals. I objected to doing so but it was company policy. Later I set up my own, very small, distribution company and when asked by the same customers who had looked for ‘sponsorship’ for themselves, I told them it was my company policy not to sponsor individuals. Instead I would sponsor and help fund scientific meetings, training days or ‘user meetings’ so that I would be ‘sponsoring’ the greatest number of individuals for my euro. It was accepted.
    I would suggested if you had a company policy of not sponsoring individuals but if you organised urser meetings no one could legitimately have any objections. Good luck with it.

  6. Penny Butterell says:

    Hi James,
    I,m sure you need no conscience about paying fares and fees for doctors if the result is that they
    see the alternative to drugs with lists of side effects and you do your bit to counteract the global control of big pharma.You know light is the future and the present of much healing.It does make you wonder about doctors though,that they even ask for a sweetener?Maybe they are for sale to the highest bidder.
    Keep up the great work!

  7. Sue K says:

    Be the change….

    Do you want them to use/buy your machine because you bought their ticket and gave them a discount? Or because they believe in it and want to help people? They have to make a shift in practice as well.

    I choose to use alternative doctors and therapies that aren’t covered by my insurance plan because they work a whole lot better than what is covered.

    Take the high road. Integrity is still an honored character trait. Can you afford to pay for everyone’s ticket who comes to your seminar? Will the doctor who paid his own way be able to recommend you when he hears you are “selecting” who you pay to come?

  8. Michael Lagana says:

    It’s not always easy to follow your conscience….but it’s the right thing to do. At the end of the day what choice will you be most proud of to tell you children and loved ones?

Comments are closed.