Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway to Star in Movie About Pfizer Sales Rep

Last Updated Oct 28, 2010 2:42 PM EDT

Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway have signed on to do a movie of former Pfizer sales rep Jamie Reidy's book "Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman." The movie will be called "Love and Other Drugs."
Pfizer brass will doubtless cringe at the news. In the book, Reidy claimed he was the company's No. 1 Viagra salesman, and that he employed a comical variety of unethical tactics to make his sales. Among them:
... he persuaded doctors to attend "Pizza-and Dash" events at which Pfizer would buy doctors' families fast food in return for face-time with the physician. Reidy used the Pizza-and-Dash outings to collect doctors' signatures, which he would then use to convince Pfizer he was working when he was actually goofing off.

In another chapter he describes Pfizer's internal logic for avoiding blame for the deaths of some patients who had taken Viagra. It was the exertion of the sex that killed them, Reidy claimed the company argued, not Viagra.
Reidy was fired as a sales training exec by Eli Lilly when the book was published.

It's not clear how much internal Pfizer stuff will make it into the movie. While the book focused on the often hilarious nonsense that Reidy had to endure from doctors, colleagues and his employer, the Hollywood Reporter says of the movie:
Gyllenhaal will play the salesman, who begins a relationship with a woman who has Parkinson's (Hathaway) while on one of his sales calls. Their love story plays out in the political and social context of the time.
Get me rewrite!

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