April 29, 2011

Made It Moment: Jennifer Shaw

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 8:48 am

Big Pharma's Sexy Little Secret

I am so happy to have Jennifer Shaw on Suspense Your Disbelief because Jennifer wrote a book that…what? Changed my life? No, but it did confirm a lot of assumptions I’ve made that drive certain decisions that affect myself and my family. It’s about the pharmaceutical industry and I’ve been telling everyone I know who ever takes or has taken a medication to read this shocking true tale.

Jennifer Shaw

I can’t say that I’ve completely reached my Made It Moment quite yet. But, I’ve definitely made some huge strides.
I never considered myself a writer, but I did author Big Pharma’s Sexy Little Secret. My goal was to draw attention to the fact that physicians are human and patients need to be their own health advocate.

I spent night after night writing and rewriting little vignettes exposing my life as a pharmaceutical sales rep. I wanted to get the message out because I knew it was important. Pharmaceutical sales reps spend their days manipulating studies, doctors and other health care professionals in order to obtain expected prescription share growth—which means, If a physician does not write enough prescriptions for the drugs that a pharmaceutical rep promotes—the rep’s job is on the line.

My goal was to write the book in a raw, witty, unedited version—the truth the way that I envisioned it. I eventually chose to self publish through Create Space—within four months I had a professional looking book. The day that I received my fist copy of Big Pharma’s Sexy Little Secret, I did feel a brief Made It Moment.

Then reality set in—Why am I only averaging a few book sales a day? Oh boy—I went crazy on Facebook, emails, twitter, blogs. I reached out to every local paper and magazine. Of course, I thought about hiring a professional publicist—spoke to a few—wonderful people—but, it’s so expensive. So I keep blogging, emailing, tweeting…

Finally, a huge break—a national medical reporter finds me on twitter and wants to do a story on Big Pharma’s Sexy Little Secret. We interviewed for six hours and it’s scheduled to air as a feature story the first week of May. Made It Moment? Almost.

I have to see it air first!

I’m ecstatic that my message will be heard and I truly hope that patients become their own health advocates and understand that doctors are not Gods, they are human. They get influenced, enticed and persuaded every day.

JENNIFER SHAW received her B.A. from Rutgers State University. She was a top ranking pharmaceutical sales representative for over eight years. She currently resides in Bergen County NJ with her husband, two children and two step-children.


  1. Excellent story, and congratulations. My mom, who was treated through the 1970s when very little attention was paid to prescription drugs, suffered through 40 years of aftereffects called “Tardive Disconesia” which affects fully 30% of patients prescribed antipsychotics. Yet it remains so underreported and untalked about. I hope your book opens up some dialog on the topic. And I hope your numbers keep going up, up, and up!

    Comment by Savvy — April 29, 2011 @ 10:25 am

  2. I didn’t read the book Jenny but I do work for Pharma and I they have totally cracked down on all that kick back and fraud stuff. Companies have been fined BILLIONS of dollars for doing unethical tactics to get docs to prescribe their drugs. There are many many many laws now that prohibit this type of behavior so honestly I think this type of fictional book is more hype and than current fact.

    Just wanted to note that I am not naive – I know people do unethical things all the times (especially when it relates to sales/money) however it seems like the pharma industry is just an easy target these days. I think there are a lot of things they could do better but really it’s extensively regulated (unlike the CHEMICAL industry…look at that new book Plastics: A toxic love story…UGH!). Just my initial thoughts. I hate to see this industry continually get slammed when at the end of the day they really do help patients.

    Comment by Tara — April 29, 2011 @ 10:29 am

  3. Interesting to see the inside story to something that can affect our health. I appreciate the warning.

    Comment by Juanita — April 29, 2011 @ 10:48 am

  4. Hello, Sweet Jenny.

    As requested, below are my two posts, that you asked me to duplicate on your blog.

    1. I, personally, have three diseases caused by properly taken prescription drugs. They are prescription drugs BECAUSE THEY ARE DANGEROUS. Never take them lightly, and always monitor them yourself. And, less is always more–be prudent, and be proactive.

    2. I have to take drugs to keep breathing. Heart meds, and some others, are also non-negotiable.
    But 95+% of the chronic pain, I ride bareback. I already ruined my colon, for close to thirty years, with post-op prescription antibiotics (Tetracycline). It’s FINALLY a healthy colon. Painkillers are all pretty damned corrosive–I’ve HAD to live on them for years, but I can live with the pain I have now–and it’s A LOT. Practice makes perfect.

    In addition, when my dad was in hemodialysis, it was NOT uncommon to meet somebody who was on dialysis because post surgical antibiotics had about killed their kidneys. They were on dialysis in hopes that their kidneys might heal, if they were bipassed and allowed to lie dormant for a period of months.

    Comment by Rosemarie (Summertime Rose) — April 29, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  5. I lean toward understanding Savvy & Summertime’s experience–my experiences were (thankfully) more benign, but I’ve seen drugs prescribed with abandon that didn’t help and in fact hurt. Savvy and Summertime’s stories about their mother and father respectively especially scared me, and the info in Jennifer’s book explains some of what goes on behind the scenes.

    I’m heartened by Tara’s experience working in Big Pharma myself, and hope that such crackdowns actually change things. When I worked in a hospital I saw the reps behave in just the way Jennifer describes her work life.

    In any case, I think the book is worth reading for the sole reason that it will affect how you approach your next consult with an MD–the questions you may ask.

    I know this topic can be a touchy one, and I am certainly glad that intelligent people with integrity like Tara are at work in the field.

    Socialized medicine doesn’t seem to work perfectly, and countries with that regime often have citizens turning to us for the meds Big Pharma’s research dollars produce–which can, of course, be lifesavers. But the potential for such big profit can breed terrible outcomes.

    Comment by jenny — April 29, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  6. Thank you, everybody, for participating…

    Comment by jenny — April 29, 2011 @ 6:03 pm

  7. What is the current (2013) status of Big Pharma? I read your book and I read the comments by (blank) April 29, 2011. I don’t know which is true. I’m writing a murder mystery about Big Pharma and I’d like to make sure I get my facts correct.

    Comment by Lisa — March 3, 2013 @ 5:56 pm

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