Ruth Brown, of Waverly, believes her GP's extensive training has inoculated him against marketing tactics like a free "plastic pen or a notepad" (The Age, 10/5/05). The reality is that global pharmaceutical companies employ very clever and highly-motivated psychologists to help market their products, spending far more on marketing than R&D. Furthermore, Big Pharma's return to investors is historically amongst the highest of any industry, so they are very effective at their work.
The logical consequence of Ms Brown's view is that these shrewd people are repeatedly throwing away billions of dollars for no good reason. In light of this, perhaps we should accept the alternative view - that doctors (like everyone) underestimate the impact of marketing. Therefore, steps to curtail the intrusion are warranted.