At the recent Prescription Access Litigation Annual Dinner, (where we announced our first Annual Blockbuster Awards), we featured a pharmaceutically-oriented version of the classic Abbott and Costello comedy sketch, “Who’s On First?” (Original here).
While we make no pretensions of being even remotely as funny as the original, we offer here for your amusement,
Who’s on Pharma, Featuring Mark Etting & Aaron Dee.
(Aaron Dee, a journalist, is interviewing Mark Etting, head of public relations for GloboMegaCostaPharma)
Aaron Dee: Since you’re the head of public relations for GloboMegaCostaPharma, can you give the names of the people in your company who can tell me what I need to know about the pharmaceutical industry?
Mark Etting: I certainly can.
AD: Ok, the first thing I want to know is who can tell me how much the industry spends on research.
MA: No, he can’t.
AD: Who can’t?
MA: That’s right.
MA: You asked if Who could tell you how much we spend on research.
AD: So who can?
MA: No, he can’t. I already told you that.
AD: Who can’t?
MA: Yes. Didn’t we already cover that?
AD: I mean the person’s name who can tell me how much you spend on research.
MA: The person who can tell you how much we spend on research?
MA: I Don’t Know.
AD: What do you mean you don’t know? I thought you said you knew all the people who could give me this information.
MA: I do. And the answer is, I Don’t Know.
AD: Listen, either you do know or you don’t.
MA: I do! And the person you want to ask is I Don’t Know!
AD: What do you mean, I don’t know?
MA: That’s the person’s name.
AD: The person who supposedly knows how much you spend on research is named I Don’t Know.
AD: I guess that figures. So who can tell me how much, say, CVS, pays for your wonder drug Scamafleeceomendacin?
MA: Trade Secret.
AD: What do you mean, trade secret? How can it be a trade secret?
MA: I don’t know, I wasn’t there when her parents named her!
AD: Named who?
MA: No, not Who. Trade Secret!
AD: What, now you’re telling me that the person who can tell me that is a trade secret too?
MA: That’s what it says on her business cards.
AD: On who’s business cards?
MA: Why do you keep bringing Who into it? Can’t you leave Who out of it?
AD: OK fine, let’s move on. I heard that your company was under a criminal investigation, but it got resolved and now you have a strict compliance program. So now I want know the name of your director of corporate compliance.
MA: I Can’t Remember.
AD: What do you mean, you can’t remember? This just happened a few months ago!
MA: I know – and it was a big announcement. All the mucky-mucks were there. They brought him in to whip the company into shape, top to bottom. And the CEO got up to introduce him, and said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, I Can’t Remember!”
AD: That’s amazing. He can’t remember who he hired?
MA: No, of course he can. He introduced the Vice President of compliance that day too .
AD: Really? Tell me that person’s name.
MA: I Plead the Fifth.
AD: What do you mean? I’m a reporter, not a prosecutor! Why would you plead the fifth?
MA: You’re not making any sense.
AD: I’M not making any sense? I just want to know the name of your VP of compliance.
MA: And I told you – The CEO got up that day to introduce the VP, and said “Ladies and Gentlemen, I Plead the Fifth,” and pointed right at him.
AD: Right at who?
MA: Oh, for crying out loud, Who wasn’t even there that day! He was on paternity leave!
AD: Never mind. Tell me the name of your director of marketing.
MA: You Need It.
AD: Yes, I need it, or I wouldn’t be asking.
MA: No, her name, the director of marketing — You Need It.
AD: I already told you that! What do you want me to do, get on my knees and beg?
MA: Hey, leave our Director of Government Subsidies out of it.
AD: Look, I’ve seen your ads – the ones that show people frolicking through fields of flowers, having sex in antique bathtubs, lifting station wagons. They make it seem like everyone should be on your drugs. I want to know the name of the person behind those ads.
MA: Well, that’s her – You Need It. And she’s got a Ph.D. in consumer psychology.
AD: Listen, you’ve done nothing but stonewall the entire interview. I try to get information from you, and you just try to confuse me. As far as I’m concerned, you can go to hell.
MA: Oh, that’s our Director of Charitable Programs. You want to interview him?
And if this has given you a craving to see the much-better, real deal original, here it is: