Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Marketing to Doctors (HBO)

Published on February 9, 2015

Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars marketing drugs to doctors.
We have a few issues with that.

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  • ManiaMac1613 4 years ago

    Wait…Google is a doctor?

  • Mekhail Varnamkhasti 4 years ago

    Shame Jon Stewart is leaving. This guy can’t even hold a candle to the
    Great Jon Stewart. He’s just so not funny compared to Stewart. 

  • Staceylane74 4 years ago

    This is great… ahhh big pharma,lol…. OneLove.

    ……Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars marketing drugs to
    We have a few issues with that.

  • Ross Wiltshire 4 years ago

    John Oliver – Top lad bringing British Humour to America and owning it at
    the same time. 

  • Peter Mosier 4 years ago

    Like most conspiracy theories, there is a nugget of truth to the Big Pharma
    scare. However, for the record, eating vegetables and having a strong
    immune system won’t stop measles or Ebola. 

  • Tanushree Madhavan 4 years ago

    Pharmaceutical companies spend millions on marketing to doctors.. Here’s a
    glimpse behind the prescription 
    #pharmaceutical #prescriptions #marketing 

  • Pringle Prangle 4 years ago

    Guys, why are the new videos not available in Australia? Does anybody know?
    They used to be.

  • 2xkiller 4 years ago

    Okay so I looked up MY doctor. He only has one account on record for this
    year. It is for $13.41 from a Pharm. Rep.. So either my doctor is a really
    cheap date. OR my doctor is on the up and up. OR my doctor is intelligent
    enough to NOT report everything he is given.

    I mean who is responsible for ensuring the reports are accurate? Who
    ensures every item is accounted for? I guess what I’m saying is that with
    every system. It is only as good as those that use it.

  • Jake Lambuth 4 years ago

    What’s amazing is I applied to many pharm companies for this job and
    similar positions.. I’m a chem major, army medic, licensed EMT, and have 5
    years in the medical field. Despite this, I was told I’m not qualified to
    do this job.

  • Kojo John L. Lamptey 4 years ago

    The part about high school boyfriends cracked my ribs.

  • kate's light 4 years ago

    Shame on you, big pharmaceutical.

  • Shay Jay 4 years ago

    …i miss scrubs.

  • cooldaddyjames2814 4 years ago

    Wellbutrin gave me a boner from a stiff breeze but it made me super hungry
    all the time so it made me chubby & gave me a chubby.

  • sedna's soldier 4 years ago

    Hey, Political Science is awesome!

  • riversonglovesthedr 4 years ago

    I’m very proud my doc is listed as having taken ZERO

  • phatcatrat 4 years ago

    One problem with this video is that political scientists, on average, make
    $102K annually, making political science one of the top paying jobs
    available, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, that joke about
    political science majors moving back in with their parents doesn’t make any

  • SoteriosXI 4 years ago

    Seroquil knocks you the fuck out.

  • omer shaik 4 years ago

    what is wrong with the us?! really i am israeli and when i say “what is
    wrong with you” you should be worried!

  • Bella Riley 4 years ago

    So … John Oliver REALLY believes that a doctor is going to prescribe a
    drug that she knows will be harmful to her patient because … a sales rep
    gave her office some sandwiches the week before?? SERIOUSLY, John?? Or
    maybe it is because the drug company is giving the doctor money, directly.
    “Here’s $10,000, Doc. Now kill your patient by giving them our drug that
    they don’t need”. Sure Oliver is all cute and whatnot, but at some point ya
    gotta say “uh, huh??”

  • MasterHutto 4 years ago

    There have been multiple reforms within the pharma rep industry. I think
    John does a great job of describing the old system that allowed free reign
    of anything. But there are tightening regulations such as only being able
    to give a doctor a set amount. But it is getting better.

    Most doctors do not prescribe based on the gifts given. Additionally, many
    pharma reps are actually very educated about the products they are selling.

    There will always be exceptions just as in anything but it should not lead
    one to think all the people involved in this industry don’t care about a
    patient’s needs.

  • Pawan Bhartia 4 years ago


  • Jessy Han 4 years ago

    +LastWeekTonight Who was the doctor that got the meal worth 4 cents? I
    really need to know.

  • Elizabeth Harper 4 years ago

    Great… turns out my doctor takes tons of payments. Shit…

  • Waffen 4 years ago

    Love you!!!! :D

  • RustyKnight94 4 years ago

    At 16:14, is that the AVGN 20-30 years from now in the green shirt?

  • Matt Smith 4 years ago

    As a premed student I found this incredibly fascinating. I hope he does
    more videos on the topic.

  • Amith Hegde 4 years ago

    Hey that was my local news for the abc7. #larrybeil 

  • hyunguk choi 4 years ago

    The Parma white lady bragging about the modest meal. I wanna fuck her and
    grill her over and over again to eat.

  • Šokoladinis Liutas 4 years ago

    watch out – here is modern medicine approaching …

  • max55584 4 years ago

    Doctor mHouse

  • Quick Attack Films 4 years ago

    Woo! Don’t remember the last time I took something more potent than an

  • IMWS Marketing 4 years ago

    Nice Vid

  • Quagthistle 4 years ago

    This is one of many reasons why I don’t think Doctors should be in control
    of prescriptions at all. They should simply be advisors to you, not control
    what medicine you can and can’t get. (In case you can’t tell, yes, I’ve had
    doctors use the fact that I need a seizure medication daily if I want to
    remain outside a wheelchair to extort money in the form of uneccessary
    doctor’s visits to “review” a prescription that hasn’t changed in several
    years.) The doctors simply can’t be trusted with your life. At least, if
    it’s your decision, you pay the price for your own stupidity. When you
    trust doctors, you get to spend the rest of your life paying for THEIR
    stupidity (and sadly, yes, I do speak from experience there, too).

    That said, I also think that this practice of marketing on the part of big
    pharma should be strictly illegal. Let them “market” with research papaers
    in peer-reviewed journals (that hopefully doctors read… but personal
    experience shows that they probably don’t).

  • xox ox 4 years ago

    My doctor prescribed me wellbutrin a few years back when I told him about
    my depression( No he never even bothered bringing up the idea of a
    psychiatrist or psychologist} Needless to say these drugs enhanced suicidal
    thoughts and tendencies… Who are we supposed to trust anymore?!

  • Kathrine A 4 years ago

    I’ve taken Seroquel before. But, I am diagnosed with bipolar disorder 2.
    So, I guess it’s okay? But literally, that drug numbed my tongue; I was
    unable to close my mouth, until I was knocked unconscious for several
    hours. And I had to take it twice a day. So, I literally had no life. All
    my symptoms were gone because I was sleeping for 20 hours a day.

  • Slaanash 4 years ago

    Who was it that played the doctor at the end? His name’s on the tip of my
    tounge but can’t quite remember who else he’s played.

  • cold pizza 4 years ago

    Haha jokes on you pharmaceutical companies, I never get sick and when I do
    my body can heal itself 

  • IgiWhiteman 4 years ago

    Finally, bullshit-free show

  • CounterCultureMedia 4 years ago

    Thot leaders

  • Batman 4 years ago

    It’s cause of shit like this we’re gonna run out of antibiotics soon… I
    hope the Money serves them well when they’re all dead.

  • Craig Stanford 4 years ago

    694 Pharma reps were ordered to dislike this video

  • Zed Chuva 4 years ago

    The end of this reminds me of Canadian “Free” Health Care. It’s all our
    shitty Doctors do, is toss pills at EVERYTHING. I went in for test,
    everything came back negative and they couldn’t find what was wrong with
    me. So… they gave me two prescriptions, neither for pain control. I said,
    “Wait, you don’t know what’s wrong with me, but you’re giving me pills for
    fix it?” The one Nurse just looked at me like I was the idiot, and I told
    them “Thanks for nothing.” and walked out. Oh, and the prescriptions were
    going to cost me, $350 for TWO WEEKS of… whatever the fuck they thought I
    might have, even tho test said they couldn’t find anything. I’m completely
    sick of our Health Care system (and know I’m not the only one). It’s broken
    and falling apart. It may be “Free”, but I think being one of the most
    taxed nations proves otherwise.

  • andreasson 4 years ago

    Last week tonight almost always show stuff that explain why letting the
    free market decide everything is a very bad idea.

  • CodeDarkBlue 4 years ago

    that was probably the funniest video of his i’ve seen. well done john
    oliver xD

  • notch747 4 years ago

    And im sitting here taking seroquel

  • raymond nichols 4 years ago

    Thought Leader=meat puppet

  • Sir Fur 4 years ago

    To that bladder medication lady: When that happens, I have plenty of
    antipsychotics you can take. They help out a lot.

  • Johannes “derHirscher” Kurz 4 years ago

    That cristal meth tangent in the closing ad :)

  • Pablo de Assis 4 years ago

    Este é um dos – principais – motivos pelos quais eu sou contra o uso de
    medicamentos para o tratamento de problemas mentais…

  • jasmine semmens 4 years ago

    Awsome show. Did that political science chick not get that the doctor was
    perhaps being sarcastic – or politely pointing out the rep knoew shit so to
    get out of her way? Takes all kinds i guess.

  • Simon Pelletier 4 years ago

    The narrator from the fake add sounded like GlaDos

  • gbiota1 4 years ago

    I was under the impression when I went to a hospital the only people who
    talked to doctors in the first place were people who worked there. So I’m
    not sure how people would take the advice at the end.

  • MusicChannelism 4 years ago

    he goes after some pretty high profile stuff. I give him that, the problem
    is that the more you try to squeeze sand, the more it falls through the
    grasp. Who knows what these companies will do next when they bring in tough

  • Luke Russell 4 years ago

    you use that highs school guy joke pretty often

  • Mustafa Haider 4 years ago

    this is not really funny my brother died because of that shit he was just

  • Aparna Yellapragada 4 years ago

    only packaged coconut water tastes nasty. if you go and drink straight form
    young coconuts its awesome!!!

  • dgelevators1 4 years ago

    that Advair video had one phrase on my mind
    look at the arms

  • Kenye Ong'ongo 4 years ago

    Hey I took seraquil! For depression, it was a horrible experience (the
    doctors told me nothing about the side effects)

  • Sandy Villarreal 4 years ago

    If you really want to hear the true story listen to pharmaceutical
    representative whistle blowers. This video brings humor to the table but
    unless your’re one of the 61 million Americans taking these drugs – it’s no
    laughing matter.

  • TwistedNerve 4 years ago

    Olivers white guilt is really annoying. He is a smart guy and he makes
    himself look stupid with these irrelevant race remarks.

  • adorjan ficzere 4 years ago

    disgusting, but i guess thats what happens when we put companies whose
    goals are to make money in charge of our health. The longer we stay sick
    the more $ they make!!!

  • frank jones 4 years ago

    7:23 What is that fiend!

  • Jose Murcia 4 years ago


  • wiiagent 4 years ago

    Nice ending very funny and true! lol

  • Minimum Headroom 4 years ago

    My mother is a doctor, and she used to come home with tons of
    pharmaceutical marketing crap like calculators and pens. We even got shit
    in the mail. She usually tossed it, but we kept one of the calculators
    because it had an oil/water thing in the top with a little duck floating in
    it because it was funny.

  • BaresarkSlayne 4 years ago

    This whole report is based off of outdated information. Compliance rules
    changed years ago and none of this stuff is allowed. Most of it is just one
    offs anyway. For instance, off label comments have been not allowed for
    everyone for a long time. The sunshine act prohibited expensive meals
    since 2010. And expensive gifts to doctors has not been allowed since the
    90’s. Reps cannot answer medical questions, pharma companies hire people
    with PhD’s to do just that. People’s who’s jobs are to fly around the
    country and give talks to groups of doctors that ask medical questions
    (such as drug interactions and drug actions). Doctors who act as sales
    reps are force to comply with the exact same compliance standards as a rep
    is when it comes to meals.

    I’m not saying they are angels or don’t do anything wrong. But the least
    you could do is have updated information for a report such as this.

  • Tom Goffnett 4 years ago

    Only two countries in the world that allow pharmaceutical
    Direct-to-consumer advertising. As your distrust for these demigods (white
    coats) increases, take a good solid look into vaccinations. Not a single
    study has ever compared vaccinated to unvaccinated. The trillion dollar
    (globally) pharmaceutical industry has over 600 lobbyist buying United
    States congressmen. Big pharma owns all of our favorite news sources.

    “I ate breakfast last week with the president of a network news division
    and he told me that during non-election years, 70% of the advertising
    revenues for his news division come from pharmaceutical ads. And if you
    go on TV any night and watch the network news, you’ll see they become
    just a vehicle for selling pharmaceuticals. He also told me that he
    would fire a host who brought onto his station a guest who lost him a
    pharmaceutical account.” Robert Kennedy Jr.

  • Anthony Hiebert 4 years ago

    13:56 What was Data from Star Trek doing in the background of that

  • Undertaker9711 4 years ago

    A doctor once tried to prescribe me Depicote for chronic headaches. My
    brother takes that for his bi-polar disorder, its an anti-psychotic drug.
    Needless to say, i didnt take it and found a different doctor

  • Sungodv 4 years ago

    704 in big Pharma?

  • FAhmad1782 4 years ago

    Absolutely genius. I checked my mom’s doc and it looks like she’s pretty
    clean. Whew.

  • TheSilverVixen 4 years ago

    I’ve done a lot of research into GSK because I was on Paxil (Paroxetine) as
    a teenager to treat my anxiety/depression, and hooooly shit you wanna talk
    evil drug companies, they’re at the top of the list.
    Not only did they pay out for the drug mentioned in the video, they had to
    pay out for off label marketing Paxil to children and claiming it’s not
    only safe, but that it had no addictive reaction when trying to go off of
    the medication.
    Not only was it dangerous to give to children, but it’s one of if not the
    most addictive anti-depressant on the market. There are books about how
    fucked up GSK is in relation to just their marketing of Paxil.

  • Delton record 4 years ago

    Seattle will probably accuse us of deflating pills now

  • Delton record 4 years ago

    The 4 cent meal is the new pink slime sauce from McDonald’s.

  • Brandon Fesser 4 years ago

    Ctrl+T opens a new tab? Huh. Nifty.

  • John Bristol 4 years ago

    “They’re much more concerned with getting inside you than being effective
    once they’re in there” LMFAO!

  • DawnedDusk 4 years ago

    Oh frick…. my doctor prescribed me seroquel for my depression and
    insomnia… is that a bad thing? I mean I did have some visual and
    auditory hallucinations etc… but that means it’s alright, right? :o

  • TMK Films 4 years ago

    How could anyone thumb-down this!?

  • Oni Neko 4 years ago

    Well, that was terrifyingly eye-opening. This hilarious clip made me very

  • Tasneem Husain 4 years ago

    pharmaceutical sale representatives are young and attractive with no
    knowledge of science–hmm sounds like penny from the big bang theory

  • Justin Flanders 4 years ago

    That ending commercial was a result of shear brilliance.

  • TLOWNSU 4 years ago

    Looked up my doctor. Pharmaceutical Companies only spent $500 on him and
    almost all of that was in food.

  • HighFlyActionGuy 4 years ago

    You cant advertise prescription meds directly to consumers in my country,
    so these brand name drugs are a foreign concept to me

  • Derek Roberts 4 years ago

    I love your show but I’m a little exhausted from vomiting in disgust.

  • adobepoopscript 4 years ago

    Did anyone notice the 2 dollar bill?

  • Susan Nguyen 4 years ago

    Great show.

  • drpiddleton 4 years ago

    I would like to say for the record that with the exception of a few
    professors pharmaceutical companies do not offer that much to incentivise
    doctors to sell their products. I have sat in numerous meetings with
    pharmaceutical reps so I know exactly what goes on. No brown envelopes of
    cash are exchanged. They usually put up a nice lunch and this followed by a
    short sales pitch. Doctors tend to find these meetings horrendously boring.
    It is not uncommon for a few of us to fall asleep during the presentation.
    Gifts on the whole tend to amount to no more than pens, calculators,
    diaries, stethoscopes etc. Professors with prestigious academic
    qualifications are sometimes recruited to give lectures. For this they are
    paid quite handsomely but as I understand it many of the big pharmaceutical
    companies have started to cut down on this practice.

  • C .Carter 4 years ago

    Affluenza lol

  • Shiro Amura 4 years ago

    1) I take generic seroqyl for insomnia, and I’ve talked to my doctor about
    the side-affects. Thankfully, I don’t take a dosage close enough to have
    any of them.

    2) WELBUTRIN DOESN’T DO SHIT. Hated taking that >.>

    Fun fact, I’m a severely broken human-being.

  • Patrick LohKamp 4 years ago

    $1,000 ?
    That’s nothing.
    My monthly meds each month total more than double that.

  • Drew Williams 4 years ago

    16:21 Wait a minute… Is that Nice Peter?

  • roentgen571 4 years ago

    I work in healthcare and the bit about manufacturer reps/salesgirls being
    universally attractive is absolutely true. A lot of them are sharp and know
    their stuff–they’re RNs or pharmacists or whatever, and have been educated
    up and down and back and forth on the product they’re pushing….but they
    also all look like swimsuit models or something. The bit about it being
    “common knowledge” is funny because–yeah, it’s so obvious no one even
    pretends otherwise. The girls come in to sell the latest ultrasound
    machine, she brings a shitload of pizza for the department’s lunchtime, and
    does her little show for the radiologists and department manager, and
    that’s it. We do this every few months…I’d complain, but hey…free pizza
    beats the cafeteria any time…

  • case0fmundays 4 years ago

    I think declaring doctors are essentially “taking money” from pharma is a
    accusation that people will take to the extreme. As in any profession,
    there are those who are greed filled, and there are those who are
    righteous. For the most part, there is a herd mentality that the trust of
    the patient cannot be defiled. If this is to expose the ones who are taking
    money, it should be more explicitly stated. We need people to trust in
    doctors because diseases like diabetes and coronary artery disease are on
    the rise, and if we all think that our doctors are only prescribing anti
    diabetics or anti cholesterol drugs to fill their pockets, it does not bode
    well for that patients with these conditions.

    Yes its true pharma companies sponsor free lunches and dinners. But they
    also make the drugs. In a given month, the same class of antibiotics can be
    represented by every drug company in the form of lunches at a big hospital.
    That doesn’t mean that Dr. A or Dr. B prescribed it because he ate a free
    lunch. My top reasons for prescribing drugs are (if they are indicated that
    is): 1) patient preference (previously tolerated/availability near their
    pharmacy); 2) cost of drug to patient; 3) number of doses per day required
    (e.g would prescribe something that only needs to be taken once daily
    rather than twice daily).

    And it’s true Seroquel (quetiapine) was used off-label in many cases, but a
    lot of times, that is part of practicing medicine. Many drugs off label
    uses have been FDA approved. For e.g vasopressin was used off-label for
    cases of septic shock (a life threatening condition) but recently got
    approval for it. If doctors ONLY use drugs for their FDA labels, you
    wouldn’t need a medical degree. My point was to bring some balance to this
    point of view that doctors are taking money, not to defend pharma or
    doctors who do take money. If both doctors and evil chicken companies are
    criticized as the main story on John Oliver, people might take the wrong
    message home.

  • TransgenderAceWithTheGayestOfGrace 4 years ago

    I couldn’t find my doctor, but I’m on Fluoxetine for my GAD and OCD that
    stems from it, so I highly doubt she was paid. I would’ve been concerned if
    she tried to give me Prozac XD

  • Sanjay Raisoni 4 years ago

    I love John Oliver’s commentary. I’m sorry to see that this effort is
    misleading. Direct to physician marketing has plummeted. The days of the
    pharma cheerleader rep are over, and now, good luck squeezing a pen from a
    pharma rep. Plus, pharma now publishes how much it spends on physician


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