Saturday, June 06, 2009

Roche viewmaster

This vintage drug rep toy is courtesy Dr. Jason Lau in Canada. Apparently the pictures seen through the viewmaster are 3D renditions of kidney damage. Though I'm uncertain which drug they were advertising with this, Roche does make Naprosyn, which will certainly damage your kidneys if taken inappropriately.

Lexiva pill container

This is less of a toy, and more of an example how complicated HIV drug regimens can be. Certainly there's an advertisement here, but also proof that despite the popular impression, someone at Big Pharma cares about the people taking these meds.

Crixivan White-out

From reader Enid Vázquez comes this Crixivan white out. Somehow advertising the ability to erase mistakes along with an anti-HIV drug seems dangerous ground.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Viagra light switch

No comment really needed, and in fact, I'm sure my mother wouldn't approve if there were any. Hi mom!

UPDATE: I received this pic from a reader, and I am not certain it was ever used by Pfizer. I have heard from the designer of the item, Einav Jacubovich, and he has asked for attribution. Clever idea at least, but possibly not a real drug rep toy.

UPDATE 2: I have confirmed this was never used as a pharmaceutical advertisement. Clever idea though.

Ser-Ap-Es pen knife

Here's a drug I'm positive I've never seen prescribed. From an alert reader comes this vintage shot of a penknife advertising an old antihypertensive. There are three component medications in this, one of which is (and I swear I'm not making this up) an extract of Rauwolfia serpentina or "Indian snakeroot." Add that to willow bark and cinchona alkaloids in the list of natural products used in modern medicine.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I am flattered to have been mentioned in the New York Times, and welcome to all visitors finding this page that way.

I've gotten quite a few emails regarding the site, and to answer the most common question, I haven't updated it in a while because I haven't had time, as I am a medical resident. However, thanks to many kind readers, I now have pictures of many, many new drug rep toys and I'll be posting these as I get the chance. In addition, I have a few unphotographed items which I'll add soon.

I briefly allowed comments here, but too many people either didn't get the joke or were using the comments for making statements of their own. I prefer to let the pictures and my commentary stand on their own. Feel free to let me know if you disagree.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vintage Calendar

Courtesy of an alert reader comes this drug rep toy from the era of Nixon and Evita, ABBA and the Ramones. Apparently this has been going on for quite some time.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Humira tool holder

This one's actually decently useful for someone suffering from the disease it treats. Mad props to Abbott.

Lovenox scissors

I'm not sure of the wisdom behind advertising an anti-coagulant with a sharp object, but then, there you are.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Uroxatral Stapler

I'm really not sure about the connection between staples and BPH, but the stapler works quite well.

Friday, January 11, 2008

GlaxoSmithKline Stress ball

From the people who brought you both Avandia and the Avandia stress ball comes, you guessed it, another stress ball. I think further commentary here would be superfluous.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Avelox First Aid Kit

A small water-resistant first aid kit from the nice people at Bayer. Unfortunately, the only things that came inside were four small Band-Aids. No Avelox, but more to the point, if you are going someplace that you need a water-resistant first aid kit, you're probably going to need more than a Band-Aid if you get hurt.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Protonix Cup

This thing is pretty cheap. It reminds me of the flimsy things beer is served in at ballparks. Certainly not in the same league as the Nexium flash drive.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Nexium Flash Drive

The closed door decision makers at my hospital recently took Protonix off the inpatient formulary and replaced it with Nexium. The cynic in me has to wonder if these nifty little flash drives had anything to do with that.