History of Parke, Davis & Co.

Photo: Labeling and packaging ampules, Parke, Davis & Company, Detroit, 1930 from Pharmacy: An Illustrated History

Parke-Davis organized the first industrial pharmaceutical library in the United States in the mid-1880's. Emphasis at that time was on information concerning herbs and medicinal plants. A feature of the library was the Herbarium... This was an outstanding collection of dried herbs from all parts of the world, used for comparative study and identification of lots of medicinal herbs.
- Parke-Davis at 100 (1966)

In Tony Wild's newly energized Parke-Davis culture, however, the task was not to scale down but to find ways to ramp up. One way was to educate the [medical] liaisons about the law. In April 1996, a former FDA official and a company lawyer held a mandatory liaison seminar on the subject. The first part was videotaped. The pair began by saying that "if you get caught violating the FDA rules, you're on your own and acting without the company's knowledge or permission." They then went on to say that you must have a physician information request form (IRF) for each call, you must provide fair and balance presentation, you can't close or sell, you can't promote a drug off label, you can't promote a drug preapproval, you must keep accurate records of your activities, [and] you can't solicit an inquiry".
The video camera was then turned off. What followed was a very different, "candid" presentation of what Parke-Davis expected: "We expect you to do your job out there and stay focused on sales. Don't worry about this."Then the lawyer and the former FDA official restated their original presentation in more pragmatic terms: Ïf you're cold-calling with a sales representative, have him fill out the IRF form, so you are covered. You're not out there to help the [competitors], and the doctors know it so don't worry about being balanced. Look, without sales there is no Parke-Davis. We have to sell on some level... Just don't leave anything behind. Above all, don't put anything in writing."
- p. 103, Generation RX: How Prescription Drugs are Altering American Lives, Minds, and Bodies by Greg Critser (2005)

Parke & Davis History