Following a new swathe of bribery and corruption allegations being levelled at Glaxo Smithkline, the pharmaceutical industry has announced that henceforth it plans to promote its products through the power of ‘ribbons’, ‘spandex body suits’ and a judicious sprinkling of ‘jazz hands’. Medical practitioners will no longer be paid to make speeches but will instead be encouraged to ‘roll’ beside their lectern, with wide ‘arm swooshes’, accompanied by the sound of discordant nose flutes.
Rather than continue to spend $1 billion a year on travel agencies and consultancies, GSK will now invest in colourful leggings, hair products and a subscription to Dance Monthly for every GP that agrees to use its newly developed drugs. A company spokesman said: ‘Dancers are a great advert for physical well-being, with their muscular strength, motor fitness and exciting range of lavish costumes. We drug manufacturers are often accused of over-inflated prices but surely no one would think twice about paying for good seats to see Billy Elliot raise awareness of coeliac disease’.
Chinese police have warned that they would still be monitoring conferences to ensure that doctors keep commercial influence ‘out of their pirouettes’, while adding that it is hard to imagine a dance that could readily communicate the idea that swallowing a flask of powdered tigers’ testicles in the liquid terror of a new-born deer could be a cure for migraine.
Meanwhile, Fiona Godlee, editor of the British Medical Journal, expressed concern that doctors had ‘been too ready to compromise themselves’ by accepting hospitality from pharmaceutical companies, but welcomed attempts to set a gall bladder operation to the music of Philip Glass.
The GSK spokesman explained: ‘By embracing the performing arts, doctors will be able to improve our health, while simultaneously exploring the Alexander technique. Who can forget Martha Graham’s experimental representation of incontinence during the 1930s? And Merce Cunningham has a lot to say about erectile dysfunction.’