One of my moles in the upper echelons of the pharmaceutical industry informed me that officials at Eli Lilly are changing some payment policies to hired guns in response to the article, Dr. Drug Rep.
Prepare to be underwhelmed.
The officials involved were apparently discussing the negative publicity generated by the article, and decided to put a more stringent cap on their payments to physicans who hawk their drugs to other doctors. In the past, there was a $100,000/year maximum for regular talks, with an option of tacking on an extra $50,000 for certain "brand-specific" talks, such as talks specifically relating to Zyprexa or Cymbalta. So the maximum was $150,000 per year, and many doctors were happily maxing out at that figure. Reportedly, Lilly is worried that allowing physicians to make "6 figures" for whoring themselves appears unseemly, so as of 2009, the total cap will be slashed to...drum roll please...$75,000/year. That's only 5 figures.
The physicians affected are unlikely to be hitting the welfare rolls soon, however, as they might be able to make up this lifestyle-threatening shortfall by engaging in a novel professional activity--treating patients.