Sunday, June 22, 2008

5* Hotels and the Pharmaceutical Industry

You will probably know that pharmaceutical companies (despite quadrillions of ethics codes of conduct that were usually produced by bioethics consultants of sorts) try hard to persuade doctors to prescribe their medicines as opposed to equally effective cheaper products. So they go about this by means of giving doctors plastic pens, inviting them to fanciful dinners, and much much more. Anyway, one way of keeping selected medics on their side has been to invite them to 'educational' events, usually in a nice city like Paris, Sydney or Berlin. All expenses on those junket trips are naturally paid for by industry.

Well, there has been a bit of an outcry over this, seeing that many people are unable to afford the medicines their obliging doctors prescribe them, private health insurance fees have gone thru the roof, and public health care systems resort to ever more draconian resource allocation measures to deal with the rising prices. So, unsurprisingly perhaps, it has been suggested that luxury hotel accommodation like 5* outfits for such junket trips are kinda unacceptable. Pharmaceutical companies have, hence, become reluctant to book such venues in recent years. Clever hoteliers in Berlin have found a way to deal with this (and I am not joking!). 5* hotels like the Hilton, Steigenberger, Intercontinental, Swissotel, and the Esplanade are giving one of their stars back to keep the pharmaceutical industry bookings rolling in. The service levels remain the same, of course, and so do the prices. It's a scheme designed to permit freeloaders and their service providers to continue feeling comfy again without having to worry about how it will look like in the public eye.

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJune 23, 2008

    What! Those barstards! Let's boycott them simply by not getting sick, Udo! (Clara)


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