ECTRIMS 2013: slaying the red queen

ECTRIMS has become an over the top marketing fest. #MSBlog #MSResearch

"Although I am part of the jamboree I find the marketing fest at the ECTRIMS distasteful; the extent to which each pharma company is trying to out do each other is unbelievable. Bigger stands, more staff and an increasing number of highly competitive satellite symposia. All this during a time of austerity with increasing numbers of MSers being unable to access DMTs; either they cannot afford the costs or they are not covered by medical insurance."

"We (Mouse Doctor, Alison Thomson and I) were discussing last night with one of the companies that they should have a post-it note stand with one post-it note simply stating 'We have decided to spend the money we would have spent on this stand on research and our social responsibility programme'. And another post-it note stating 'Please prescribe our drug because it works'

"As this blog had a large number of new readers (>100,000 hits last month) I will take this opportunity to remind you of the red queen effect."

"The Red Queen Effect, is a term taken from the Red Queen's race in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass. The Red Queen said, 'It takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place.' The marketing departments of Big Pharma are simply feeding the Red Queen as they try to compete with each other; in reality they are simply running on the spot with the downside of reputational damage to the industry as a whole. When MSers see the marketing extravaganza that comes with ECTRIMS it is no wonder they don't respect us and doubt our intentions. This is one of the issues that fed the social phenomenon that underpinned the CCSVI conspiracy theory. If we don't address this issue the CCSVI phenomenon will simply recur." 

"I would like to propose that Big Pharma continues to look at itself in the mirror, rejects the Red Queen Effect and comes up with something more sustainable that will help us regain our self respect and more importantly the respect of the community that we serve. Maybe one of them will be bold enough to take up the post-it suggestion next year."

"If any you have ideas on how to go about slaying the Red Queen I would be interested in hearing them."

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