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.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Coumadin pill container

This threw me off. Sure, a pill container is a great little advertisement, and in the quantities this rep gave them away, they are certainly not intended for physician's private use, but what floored me about this was the drug. I had never met a Coumadin rep before. Since they are basically without competition, I don't see the point. It may be rat poison, but it's the only rat poison we've got, you know?

Roche calculator

After complaining bitterly that the drug rep calculators all seemed to be battery powered, what should come along but this lovely solar-powered, modestly-sized implement. I flatter myself that I had something to do with this. But it's probably just serendipity.

Cozaar laser pointer/slide advancer.

I'm thinking this is a developing theme with the reps. First Abbott, then the pleasant people from Merck hawking Cozaar have brought these things.

Abbott laser pointer/slide advancer

This is a really cool toy. It's a combination laser pointer and slide advancer. Works quite well, and comes with extra batteries.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cymbalta pen

This is a great pen. Heavy, smooth, maybe even a bit calming to hold. Just like the drug.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Merrem Sharpie

This is a neat little permanent marker, with a ring on one end to connect it to a lanyard. I'm not planning on actually doing that, but it definitely appeals to the gadget lover in me.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hyzaar Reflex Hammer

Not the greatest reflex hammer. Yes, it's the classic shape, but it weighs about half as much as a regular hammer, and a person would have to be severely hyperreflexic to demonstrate any response with this thing.

Hyzaar Flash drive

From the nice folks at Merck, a neat little flash drive. I also like the fact that, saving on paper, this thing came with the promotional literature loaded on it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Zetia Calculator

Apparently this a developing theme. Maybe the reps around here watch each other and then duplicate each other's gifts, in the odd competition that they have running. Now certainly Zetia and Levaquin are not in direct competition, but I'm much more likely to use this Zetia calculator than the Levaquin one, for a couple of reasons. One, the sides of this are rubberized, and less likely to fall out of my pocket, and two, this has an action figure component to it. Flipping a little switch on the bottom right of the Zetia logo causes a cover to swing open and behind the calculator, producing a little stand. Very cool. My continuing complaint is that there is no "off" button, and that it is not a solar calculator. But hey, if it dies, I can scavenge another battery or pass it off to someone who will.

Zetia gift bag

This is a little impressive. A nice plastic bag, full of drug rep toys: pens, calendars, articles, and invitations to dinner. And the bag isn't bad either, waterproof too. How fun.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Nexium six-pack tote

The purple pill people pulled out all the stops on this one. (And yes, that's quite enough consonance for one day.) What makes me laugh about this particular item is that the rep encouraged me to take it saying "a six-pack fits perfectly in there." This is funny because it is probable that alcohol can exacerbate dyspepsia and reflux, which is of course what Nexium treats. Drumming up business on both ends of the spectrum there. The bag itself is nice enough, but flimsy, and let's face it, a six-pack belongs in a cooler.

Nexium hand sanitizer

Another bottle of hand sanitizer. This one attempts to set itself apart by smell, with a faint grape-scent wafting through the alcohol fumes. Not earth-shattering, but useful around the hospital, and extra points added for having a smell that doesn't linger like that ghastly Merrem stuff.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Vytorin pocket protector

Now I've seen everything. As if doctors didn't have enough problems being seen as nerds, now the folks at Merck have decided that the quintessential badge of one is a great way to advertise their product. No thanks.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Levaquin calculator

Most of September was slow for drug rep visits here, but the last week made up for the drought. Here's the latest offerings.

Definitely a useful toy, as I use a calculator all the time in ICU medicine. It is battery powered, which is a bit of a detraction, but even worse, there is no "off" button. That makes it tough to think about relying on it. Still, a good idea.

Merrem pen

Merrem definitely has the best toys all around, and this is no exception. This pen is soft, rubberized material over the entire body, making it comfortable to hold, it is heavy, making it easier to control, and the ink isn't bad at all. My only complaint is that it is impossible to hide the logo, as that pocket clip makes it into a tiny billboard. Which is the point, I guess.

Cozaar calipers

Another set of calipers. This one places above the Diovan atrocity in compactness, but still below the Coreg or Zetia beauties.

Tekturna keychain

I think this wins the "absolutely least useful" award for drug rep toys. It's lightweight, flimsy even, and adds nothing to a key chain but an advertisement. It isn't a bottle opener, magnifying glass, or penlight. It doesn't do anything. No idea what the rep wanted me to do with this.

Merrem Maglite #2

Another Merrem flashlight. This time in red. I actually asked the rep how much they were allowed to spend per gift, and she told me it's a max of $100. That still seems pretty high to me.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Avandia and Avandamet Stress Balls

It may not be clear from the pictures, but these are those plastic coated NERF-like objects sold as stress relievers. That shiny plastic doesn't really photograph well. Anyway, I don't know what this latest set of offerings means, but evidently GlaxoSmithKline wants me to associate stress with Avandia. Or maybe it is stress relief. On second thought, maybe these are really intended for the GSK execs now dealing with the fallout of the FDA panel on this drug. But the toys are kinda fun, and as a bonus, now I might have an idea what my patients mean when they refer to their pills by color and shape.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Starlix sharpie

Another clickable Sharpie. Hard to argue with a classic.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Tygacil pen

As my team was discussing the best possible treatment for a patient's infection the other day, our hospital pharmacist piped up with "the Tiger can do it." What surprised me more than her using that name was the fact that everyone knew what she was talking about. Including me. Score another for Wyeth.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

VFend pen

Finally, someone at Pfizer figured out that ugly is not the new cool, and that the pre-teen female demographic that inexplicably keeps Troll dolls popular is not prescribing medicines. This VFend pen is far, far better than the previous iteration. In fact, I actually use this now, and I'm not even a Broncos fan.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Boniva pen

Another mildly hideous pen, with that extra irritating foam grip to complete the effect. Boniva is a new medicine for osteoporosis, so maybe they are targeting the grandmother-aged demographic with this color/foam combo, but it certainly isn't going to be used as a bill board by me.

Namenda pen

Another one from Namenda, and pretty functional. I'm not a fan of pens with half the body used as a clicker mechanism though, because they have a tendency to open accidentally, leaving black streaks on my nice white coat.

ReoPro pen

This is front runner for the "tacky yet functional award." Seriously, wearing this much glitter hasn't been popular since the 80s. This is the kind of pen Cyndi Lauper would use to write her lyrics with, assuming she wrote any of them. Not a big fan of the color scheme. The pen itself though, is a run-of-the-mill Bic, with no cool features, but no aggravating ones either.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Maxipime kit

Another one I've never seen before. But it's got crayons, stickers and band-aids, which combination just oozes the bright cheer of a pediatrician's office. Very fun, though I admit I won't be getting much use out of crayons in my day-to-day practice.

Norvasc pen

As cheap pens go, this one is amazing. I love the feel, and the slim body doesn't take up too much space. Nothing special, writing wise, but it doesn't skip. I'm currently using it a lot.

Integrilin pen

This is an ok toy. It writes well, but like quite a few of the pens I've reviewed recently, it feels cheap and flimsy. Still, not bad, and certainly better than the Tekturna pen.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Janumet clipboard

Judging from the reps around here, Merck is pretty excited about Januvia and its sister combination drug, Janumet. A few weeks ago we had the Post-it note pen, and here's the latest I've seen, a clipboard. My complaint about this clipboard is that the writing surface is actually smaller than an 8.5x11 piece of paper, which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Also, as with drug toy ID tags, I don't like carrying such blatant advertising around with me.

Arixtra pen

This is pretty nice pen in terms of writing quality, and the triangular feel is fun. But I'm not a fan of foam grips on pens, mostly because they are bulky and keep the pen from sliding in and out of a pocket easily. This one's going to be given away.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Tekturna pen

Tekturna is a novel new antihypertensive. The biochemistry is interesting on its own, but trying to assist the hype is this pen, which is pretty solid, and writes decently well. Unfortunately, the clicker assembly on top is very cheap feeling, gets stuck easily, and threatens to break if used regularly. Sorry Novartis, I'm not spreading the message with this one in my pocket.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Rozerem linen spray

I guess Rozerem thinks this fits with their program because a linen spray is (I assume) intended to render the smell of your linens conducive to sleep. Now it is no secret to readers of this blog that I haven't been impressed with the scents chosen by other drug companies for their products, so on a positive note, this is the least outrageous smell yet. Mostly it smells like hairspray, with a hint of an unidentifiable floral derivative. Not a winner, but not ghastly.

Coreg CR pen

This is a nice, basic pen. It writes well, and while it's nothing special, at least there are no bells and whistles interfering with function. That means I'm much more likely to use it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Januvia Pen

Merck is pulling out all the stops for this one. Their newest diabetes wonder drug, with a singular pen design I haven't seen before. There are Post-It notes right there in the handle. It isn't bad at writing either.


We now return to approximately weekly postings.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rozerem facemask

Rozerem has really odd commercials that I don't understand at all. Perhaps one would need to be an insomniac to ken what a talking beaver playing chess has to do with sleep. But this facemask is actually quite nice, as trinkets go, and certainly stands out from the pack of drug rep toys.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Viagra pen

Another one that fails to live up to the legacy, perhaps even legend, of great Viagra pens. This pen's clip is flimsy, and the end part that holds it on is so loosely attached that clicking it closed quickly will pop the top of the pen off. Not impressed.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Short Hiatus

Due to a combination of drug rep presentation scheduling with the hospital and a long-needed vacation, Drug Rep Toys will be updated infrequently for a few weeks, with regular posts returning by July 1 at the very latest (since our residency programs schedule most the visits). Fret not, gentle readers, I'm rather attached to this blog, and I won't stop posting forever.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Avandia monofilament

This is a drug rep toy that not only useful, but its use pertains to the drug. Avandia is useful in some diabetes patients, and one of the most important things to check in them is their sense of fine touch. A standardized monofilament is best, and this one has its own case, into which it retracts. I like this toy a lot.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Levitra Reflex Hammer

Not the greatest reflex hammer out there, for sure. Far too lightweight, in fact you might get better results with some of the pens I've reviewed here. The only good thing about it is the microfilament for light tough testing that can be extruded from the handle. But I'm sticking with the one I picked up at the med supply store.

Benicar Post-it notes

Just basic post-it notes, tough to go wrong here.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Namenda hand sanitizer

I don't know what it is with drug reps and hand sanitizer, but all of them are taking bad advice in the fragrance department. Whoever picked this one needs to be told that "nail polish remover" is not a winning odor. Thumbs down, way down, on this toy.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Aggrenox pen

This is an excellent pen. Heavy, wide bodied, with ink that doesn't skip. I'm currently using it as my primary pen.