No free lunch
Little did I realise the impact of the economy crisis to the usual running of my Department. The Medical profession has always in one way or the other share a connection with the Pharmaceutical companies. In a certain way, they can be a player in Continuing Medical Education (CME) program amongst the Medical fraternity. Without their endowment, many of the Medical conference would cease to exist. Honestly speaking, they are essential to Medicine.
They take the gamble in Medical research. Even though the rake billions when the drug they develop became a hit, they also foot up the bull if they tank. It can be a huge gamble. The Medical profession can't afford that. They also invest a lot money in the clinical testing of the drugs, making sure that the theoretical therapeutic properties of the drug translate into day to day use. There was no point having a drug that work on paper but kill us the moment we swallow them.
I observed that since the turn of the year, the sponsorships from the Pharmaceuticals was slowly drying out. Yes, I got my usual share of diaries and wall calendars for the year, but the feeling was palpable. Take today for example, out Department CME went by without the presence if the Pharmaceuticals. That translated to no free lunch. It was not that I was desperate for them - the lunch was becoming generic lately anyhow - but it was nice to have lunch on the go while listening to some talks and presentation. As it turned out, we had to delay the session so that the MOs were able to catch some bite.
The Economy crisis has hit the Department. Upon looking at the bookings for CME sponsorship, we were usually booked up many months in advance. It turned out that there were bow few empty slots .......