And my Dad thought that I wasn’t living in the real world because I was in IT; welcome to the world of pharmaceuticals. 

Last night, Erin and I went to a dinner about Spiriva.  This was both of our first adventures into this sort of setting. 

Erin made it downtown a little bit early for the drinks & appetizers part of the evening (6:30 PM), so we started out at Petterino’s.  I love that place.  Ed is by far the best bartender, ever, but I could be biased, because he knows who I am.  Anyways, after a Goose Island there, we headed over to Nick’s Fish Market.  Yup, that is where the Spiriva Dinner was hosted.

Anyways, we walk in to Nick’s and they have the whole main dining room downstairs booked for the drug dinner.  They have us sign in and specify if we’re physicians or just in the healthcare profession.  I was tempted to check physician, but then they’d probably try to hunt me down to push their drug on me later.  The representative at the table made some small talk with us and then we headed into the dining room.  The main dining room encompased around 12 tables with 14-16 people per table.  We sat down and immediately a waiter was over asking if we wanted wine or anything else to drink.  We both had a glass of wine and waited for Erin’s friend from PT school. 

Appetizers were served, the assorted platter, three to a table.  However, there were only 5 people at our table, so we gourged on the yummy bites.  Overall, the tables were about 75% full.  Not a bad turn out, but quite a few short of what the apparently expected.  We were asked what we would like for our main course at this time, Chilean Sea Bass or Filet Mignon.

By this time, I think I was on my second glass of wine, and one of the representatives grabbed the mic and introduced the presenter Dr. Nicholas J Gross from Loyola.  He started into his speach and informed us that he was being paid by the pharmaceutical companies behind Spiriva to give the talk.  During this time the second course was served: Manhattan Clam Chowder. 

Dr. Gross (man, that’s an awesome name) gave his speech about COPD and how, basically, Spiriva is a miracle drug.  All in all, his presentation lasted about 15-20 minutes.  Needless to say, I didn’t know what he was talking about a fair amount of the time, but I had Erin there to translate for me.  Not like it mattered though, it was purely marketing propaganda.  Nowhere were we told what the drug physically does in the body, or how it increases the FEV1 of patients, just that it does.  I was tempted to ask questions along those lines, but the food was too good.  Anyways, nearing the end of his presentation course three was delivered: Ceasar Salad.

I think I was on my third or fourth glass of wine by now.  It’s hard to tell because the waiters didn’t actually let you finish a glass before refilling.  Talk about service.  Our fourth course came out, and I had picked the Chilean Sea Bass, while Erin had the Filet Mignon.  Talk about delicious. 

Things started to wind down and Erin’s friend left, but we stuck it out for course #5: banana chocolate cheescake and coffee.  By this time we were both more than stuffed, but it was so good we couldn’t say no. 

It was around 9:00 PM so we headed home after we had both finished our entire piece of cheesecake.  We stopped back by my office to grab my bag and then proceeded to walk home to try and burn off some of the food.  Man was it good though.

Afterwards I told Erin, that whenever she gets an invite to one of these dinners again, we definitely need to go.  Granted, I was just along for the food, but she actually wanted to go for the information.  However, she was a little disappointed with the information in the end.  It was quite funny to see the different types of people there though.  The people that they were actually pitching the drug to were easy to spot.  They were the nicely dressed doctors.  Then there was everyone else, which mainly consisted of nurses, some of which were still wearing their scrubs.

It was definitely a learning experience, and you figure that if only one doctor prescribes this drug to his patients, the whole evening is probably paid for.  I’m just hoping there’s some sort of mailing list that I can get on for other upcoming events.