Former Drug Exec Skewers Mega-Companies in Expose

Ever since last year's release of Fahrenheit 9/11, I've been patiently waiting to find out more details about Michael Moore's next documentary, Sicko, a detailed look at the mega-billion drug industry you can be sure nobody on the business side of pharmaceuticals is anxious about. Until then, we'll have to settle for Side Effects, an interesting skewering of the drug industry as written and directed by a former sales representative!

Writer/director Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau did her "research" on the job, working for Bristol-Meyers and Johnson & Johnson for a decade, scribbling notes about her many experiences in the field. Notable were her recollections of "grinders," sales rep lingo for sessions in which reps would pair up into teams and rehearse pitches they would memorize for doctors and their staffs.

Her film parodies the intense marketing of a fictional drug, Vivexx, by a fictional company. The Wisconsin native also expressed grave concerns, and rightly so, about whether her sales acumen was instrumental in helping drug companies at the expense of a patient's health.

Production of the film couldn't have come at a better time, Slattery-Moschkau says. News about the deadly effects of Paxil then Vioxx hit just as the film's 18-day shooting schedule ended.

Right now, the film is hitting the film festival circuit and looking for a distributor. Also on tap: A book by a former Pfizer drug salesman.

USA Today March 15, 2005

Forbes.com March 10, 2005

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