AstraZeneca Allegedly Recruits Tigger and Eeyore to Sell Seroquel

Last Updated Nov 6, 2008 10:58 PM EST

1960-winnie-the-pooh-eeyore-by-river-print_400_q1l4.jpgSome reps at AstraZeneca -- the ones urging their colleagues to use Tigger and Eeyore to sell the antipsychotic Seroquel -- just don't learn. Last year, AZ got itself embroiled in a federal investigation after one rep urged his colleagues to regard oncology docs' offices as "big buckets of money." That rep was fired, and another left the company in the wake of the incident.

Now, according to Ed over at Pharmalot, "the idea was conveyed at a national sales meeting and on field rides with sales reps, who were told to use Tigger as a bipolar patient and Eeyore -- the down-in-the-mouth donkey -- as a depressed patient. The reps were allegedly encouraged to use Tigger dolls as giveaways, for instance."

AZ says it is investigating the incident. If your déjà vu nerve is jangling, then you're right: this is exactly how the Bucket of Money scandal unrolled just over a year ago.

Maybe this one will end with only a cease and desist letter from Disney. Maybe it won't. Who knows. But just for the trip down memory lane, here's how it all unfolded last time AZ did one of its internal probes.

The reaction over on Café Pharma has been less than serious so far. Can't blame them really. Tigger isn't bipolar anyway, he never comes "down." I'd diagnose him as hyperactive, as this medical book proves.

(Eeyore pictured in the original, not the Disney abomination.)

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