Just Say No: Why I Left Pharma Marketing

I spent the majority of my adult life in service to myself and materialism. A highly compensated healthcare marketing agency executive who never questioned my professional choice. A respectable profession because it financially enriches our political ruling class, corporate business interests and even “regulators.” A fact our government publicly acknowledges.

A fact that should make any thoughtful person ask, so why are we so sick as a country? Why has illness, both physical and mental skyrocketed? Why are children suffering from an increase in chronic diseases? Why are adults less healthy than forty years ago?

Questions I began to ask with my spiritual awakening. Questions that haunted me after watching Crime of the Century and Dopesick. Questions I never asked when Purdue Pharma was a client of our agency.

I realize there’s a complexity of reasons when trying to answer complex social questions like why are we so unhealthy as a nation. But, this isn’t about societal choices, this is about my choice of profession. This also isn’t about judgement of others who choose this profession, but my own self-reflection. Why I left pharmaceutical marketing when I’m so close to retirement. Why I’m choosing a new profession at fifty-seven.

Spiritually awake, I know with absolute certainty that God is Love. Because Love is now my life ethic, everything I do in my life needs to be about creating more love in the world. Treating others like I would want to be treated. Childhood Sunday School lessons I now understand as an adult.

As much as my head tried to dissuade me, my heart spoke to my soul. Marketing medicine to physicians and patients whose primary purpose is to generate revenue for shareholders, isn’t about creating more love in the world. Money as the motive always leads to really bad stuff especially when regulators are compromised.

Like drugs that never should have been on the market. FDA approved drugs that the pharmaceutical companies knew were dangerous. Deliberately choosing greed over good. Drugs that I helped market.

I can think of dozens and dozens of professions like teachers, artists, construction workers, farmers, police and firefighters, scientists, doctors and nurses, stay at home parents, etc. and etc. where the opportunity to create more love in the world exist. I just don’t see this same opportunity when marketing pharmaceuticals. I can’t see me marketing drugs again, so I won’t.

Instead, I’ll find a new profession that aligns with my life’s purpose of creating more love in the world. Trusting that God will provide because God always has for me, even when I believed otherwise. Leaving a legacy of love as opposed to a legacy of generating profit for those who are already wealthy. Doing unto others, as I would want done unto me.