The real loser

It was another orthopedic case where I had to advice an elastocrepe bandage and pain killers. As usual I was about to return to my duty room when I noticed the nursing attendant put something away into the table drawer. I was curious to know what that precious item was which he was trying to keep in his posession. I opened the drawer and found the label from the empty container of the elastocrepe bandage which was used on the patient. It made no sense to me as to why a label should be stored along with other important items in the table drawer and I could not help but satisfy my curiousity by asking the attendant about it.

He was at first reluctant to answer which only fuelled my inquisitiveness and he answered sheepishly. A medical representative has offered him cash benefits for each label of the bandage which will be used to replace the labels of the free samples that the medical representative is supposed to give to the doctors for free (free samples contain the label that it is not for sale). An elastocrepe bandage costs somewhere around Rs 100 to 200 depending on the size of it.

I was wondering who the loser in this deal is. Is it the pharmaceutical company which expected the representative to deliver the free samples to promote it’s products, the doctor who could have got a couple of free stuff to please his private patients or the patients who could have got a bandage for free. I had to console myself with the conclusion that the medical representative himself is the loser who won’t be able to market his products efficiently with the orthopedicians.