How well do you know Big Pharma?

Greg Critser is the author of "Fat Land," "Generation Rx" and the forthcoming "Eternity Soup: Inside the Quest to End Aging."

With the pharmaceutical companies at the bargaining table on healthcare reform, and Congress considering new restrictions on drug advertising, it may pay to bone up on some facts about the industry with the following quiz:

1. What percentage of Americans over the age of 65 take at least one prescription drug on a daily basis?

a. 20%

b. 40%

c. 60%

d. 75%

2. In 2005, what percentage of all continuing medical education for physicians was paid for by Pharma?

a. About 25%

b. About 50%

c. About 75%

d. About 90%

3. Who told a congressional panel in 1983 that "we believe direct advertising to the consumer introduces a very real possibility of causing harm to patients who may respond to advertisements by pressuring physicians to prescribe medications that may not be required."

a. The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission

b. The chairman of Abbott Laboratories

c. The head of the Food and Drug Administration

d. The head of the Consumers Union

4. In the same hearings, who said, "The potential pressures of public advertising of prescription drugs on the scientific decisions of the physician are both unwise and inappropriate."

a. The chief of the FDA

b. The chief of Eli Lilly & Co.

c. The chief of the Sioux Nation

d. The chief of the House Committee on Science and Commerce

5. Who, in 1983, first proposed that the FDA roll back its regulation and allow drugs to be advertised?

a. The chairman of the FTC

b. The chairman of Abbott Lab- oratories

c. The head of the FDA

d. The head of the Consumers Union

6. In 2003, what did the head of Pfizer pharmaceuticals say was the key to the industry's future success?

a. That "we should push as hard as we can to get patients to talk to their doctors about our newest drugs."

b. That "we should give patients good, solid facts and encourage them to use logic to make their decisions."

c. That Pharma "must move toward the emotional way of marketing, because in that way we can move toward the spiritual-ethical method."

d. That Pharma should "really think about free Krispy Kreme coupons as a way of encouraging sales."

7. Today, most new prescription drugs are expected to show profitability within:

a. 90 days

b. 120 days

c. one year

d. three years

8. According to the leading scholar on the subject of attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Ritalin, a stimulant, became the leading treatment for ADHD because:

a. It was effective

b. It was safe

c. It was not called amphetamine

d. It made teachers happy

9. In 2002, who said "we are entering what could be the golden age for kids and pharmaceuticals"?

a. The head of PhRMA, the powerful pharmaceutical lobby

b. The head of Eli Lilly

c. The head of Pfizer

d. The head of the drug committee for the American Academy of Pediatrics

10. In ancient Greece, "pharmakon" meant:

a. An untrustworthy agricultural worker

b. A reformed criminal

c. A delicious beverage

d. Both "remedy" and "poison"


Answers: 1-d; 2-d; 3-b; 4-b; 5-c; 6-c; 7-a; 8-c; 9-d; 10-d

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