December 15, 2006

Diana Chiafair 's Hot, but Is She Illegal?

Diana Chiafair 

from Pharmagossip, but also Dr. Peter Rost's site, edrugsearch (which actually has several rep-models), etc, etc.  She's a rep from Miami (where else) who won Miss FHM 2006.  

Meanwhile, Sunderland at the NIH plead guilty to "conflict of interest" charges-- he had received about $300k over 5 years from Pfizer while he was a director at NIH, but never disclosed the money. 

All of medicine has rules about disclosing financial relationships.  Any academic center, for example, requires you to list all financial entaglements that could be perceived as conflicts of interest, including grants, honoraria, stock holdings, etc.  The idea, of course, is that money can exert undue influence, and at the very least the people around you should be aware of any potential conflicts of interest.

This includes conflicts of family members.   If you are giving a Grand Rounds about how Zoloft is better than Lexapro, but your wife is a Zoloft rep, you could be benefiting financially by getting people to write more Zoloft which gets her bigger bonuses, so you have to disclose this relationship. 

But if you are dating a Zoloft rep, you don't have to.  There would be no way you could be profiting financially from her increased sales, and thus no need to disclose that relationship.

But there's the cryptosocialist hypocrisy.  If it was really about protecting the public from conflicts of interest, we'd have to disclose dating reps as well.  History is full of examples of people behaving unethically for the sole purpose of bedding a woman.  Want examples?  They all come from politics.  Still want examples?

So why aren't we worried that I'm praising Zoloft because my rep is hot?  Perhaps we should mandate all reps be ugly?  You know, to protect society?

This sounds silly not because hot reps don't have influence, but because we're lying: it's not the influence that actually bothers us.  It is specifically the money.  "It's not fair that a doctor gets all that money from..." 

So let's stop kidding ourselves, it's not about protecting the public after all; it's really about resentment that the doctor makes so much money off the people; that they get sent on trips first class while others can't afford healthcare; about the rich getting richer at the expense of the poor.  &c., &c.  Pick up any copy of the New York Review Of Books for further examples.

Taking the convenient moral high ground just because it has better soundbites ("the public has the right to know!") and saves us from having to perform any critical thought is lazy and unproductive.  If you want to argue that doctors make too much money or Pharma's profits are excessive, we can go down that road and try for an honest and productive debate.  But let's stop pretending these disclosure rules have anything to do with protecting the public from bias.  They have everything to do with the current zeitgeist of income redistribution and class warfare.


As an cultural observation, look for the drug rep to become the next fetishized job, like cheerleader and nurse.   A profession becomes sexualized not because the members are themselves hypersexual, but because they represent a particular balance of the "unattainable slut:" "sleeps with everyone but me."  "e.g. the only reason that bitch (nurse or rep) isn't sleeping with me is that I'm not a doctor."  In this way suppressed misogyny is given a cover story to make it acceptable.  It's narcissism protected by an "if only" delusion.  Violence is never far behind.


--- And there's your free association bringing me back to what I was really thinking when I saw Diana Chiafair's photo: marxism and healthcare reform.  Hot rep--> fetishized--> commodity fetishism.  Because we never see the labor that went into the objects, we never see that social relation; the laborer disappears, all that is left is the commodity to which we ascribe value-- fetishize it. 



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