Wednesday, February 06, 2013


I mailed what's probably my last box of pharmacological pens today.  For ten years I've been sending the drug-company related pens and paraphernalia my mother gives me to a professor from Hamline who once made the mistake of telling me he collects them.  His collection probably hopped from a few dozen to a few hundred immediately, and a few thousand over the decade.  I suspect he just keeps the best ones for himself, and Hamline gets the benefit of all the extras that don't have little blue pills floating in them, aren't shaped like a bone, and don't look like they cost more than a prescription.  There are usually a few bonus items as well.  In this particular box, there's a big drug company stapler and a tab (markers for pages) dispenser, as well as an interesting highlighter.

But the age of drug pens has passed.  Companies can no longer distribute goodies the way they used to.  So my mother has taken to just grabbing what's left over and that can't go on forever.

"Starting Jan. 1, the pharmaceutical industry has agreed to a voluntary moratorium on the kind of branded goodies — Viagra pens, Zoloft soap dispensers, Lipitor mugs — that were meant to foster good will and, some would say, encourage doctors to prescribe more of the drugs."   
I'm hoping most of what I just sent is still good after 5 years.

Professor Sutin also collects postcards and even has a good book about some musings on his collection.  Actually, two books. I doubt we'll see something artistic featuring drug pens anytime soon.

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