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My Strange Obsession: Collecting Pharmaceutical (Pharma Company) Pens

Updated on December 2, 2012

I don't know exactly when I started collecting Pharmaceutical ("pharma" - or "Drug") pens, but it was sometime duing my college years. I think I first picked one up as a gift. Then I found one that lights up....I instantly became hooked! (They light up so that users can write in the dark, and use cool colors like neon blue, and orange). How cool is that? I thought, "I'll never write with a plain pen again".

I wanted to see what other drug rep pens were out there, so I searched eBay to see if anyone was selling "drug pens" -- (search with those two words and you'll find thousands of listings). I was ecstatic to see the wide variety available on eBay!

Pharma pens that light up orange, blue, or yellow. Pharma pens that don't look like pens at all, more like a stethoscope or an eye dropper. There are also many pharma collectibles that aren't pens at all.

One of my favorite items is my "Adderrall Brain Paperweight".

Did you know that people actually collect "Drug Pens" ?

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My collection consists of quality not quantity. I am a pharma pen "snob", if you will. First I go for the look. The pen has to look attractive. I look for the bright colored pens and the solid heavy metal pens that light up. Those are the cream of the crop. But even if they don't light up, the heavy metal drug pens write a bit smoother with the additional weight, and on average look a little more "professional" then some of the plastic drug pens.

But, I also have some very cool plastic pharma pens as well. My plastic Wellbutrin is one of my favorite drug pens. Its also fun to look the drug up online and actually see what it does. You can learn a little bit about the medications that are out there by collecting these pharma pens.

The day congress voted to make drug pens (and all gifts to doctors) from drug reps illegal was a sad day (for me and I'm sure, the Pharmacuetical Reps)!

But, even today, there are still thousands of drug pens and accessories for sale on eBay. I'm headin back right now to see what I can stock up on, and I'm going into the office next week with the brightest, craziest pen I can find....

~ Credits ~

  • The "Drug Pen" Border pics used in this article were created by howlermunkey
  • All pictures included in this hub were taken by howlermunkey
  • At no time were any of the Drug Pens harmed in the making of this article


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    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      @Hector, sell 'em on eBay! There's still a huge market. Thanks for stopping by.

    • profile image

      Hector 5 years ago


      I'm a pharmacy tech who used to collect advertisement pens. Mines are preety old, up to 20 yrs. If you or someone you know are inerested please let me know. I can provide pictures.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      @Millionaire Tips, I use some of these pens at work, and my coworkers have noticed, sometimes I wonder the same thing lol, "do they think I'm on all of these" hahaha. Thanks for stopping by :)

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      I tend to collect free things, but only if I can get them for free. I did manage to get a couple of pharma pens, although I don't even know where I got them. It does seem strange to use them and wonder if people are making assumptions about the kind of medications I am taking even though I don't even know what they are for. I haven't seen any that light up though.

      I think the fact that they stopped being able to give them to doctors hopefully means that they have a higher collector's value for you.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks JamiJay :)

    • JamiJay profile image

      Jami Johnson 5 years ago from Somewhere amongst the trees in Vermont.

      This made me laugh. I love hearing and reading about peoples quirky behaviors and hobbies. Has this been published awhile? I actually think I may have stumbled upon this article a while back (via stumbleupon, if i even needed to add that), or an article about the same hobby from someone else.

      My family and I also have a strange and quirky collection/hobby. We have a growing collection of reptiles and amphibians, I think we may be obsessed (that is until we become part of the reptile social networking community, some people have impression collection, and I hope we can get there someday and become breeders ultimately making some sort of income. Just like I hope do with my writing as well).

      Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed it.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks thesingernurse :). I agree, drug rep pens are a great way to educate people about the medications that are out there (and the pens look cool). Thanks for the nice comments!

    • thesingernurse profile image

      thesingernurse 5 years ago from Rizal, Philippines

      I don't think it has to be illegal, though - the distribution of drug pens. I honestly think it's one of the most useful and simplest ways of educating people, most especially the patients, about medications. It enhances generic name retention and can even initiate research in the part of the person using the pen. And of course, they're pens - they must be really useful! It's also beneficial for pharmaceutical companies because they are a lot cheaper than giving out samples,which tend to be "abused" and "misused" in a way or another. I, too, is so much fascinated with these types of pens and freebies. Here in our country, reps give them for free. I even had one, which looked like a five inch syringe. I think I still have it even though the ink has ran dry.

      Cool hub you got here. It made my day. I am a total sucker for pens, stationery items, and all that stuff. :)

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 5 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Thanks so much TToombso8! (You oughta at least get him a heavy metal or two if you won't show him eBay!)

      Thanks littlemarkiesmom. That's how I got started, someone starting giving me these pens.

      Thanks Julie, good to know my collection isn't that strange afterall. I'm checking your eraser hub now :)

    • Julie DeNeen profile image

      Blurter of Indiscretions 5 years ago from Clinton CT

      haha...I just wrote a hub on erasers. You're not weird for collecting pharmaceutical pens! :)

    • littlemarkiesmom profile image

      littlemarkiesmom 5 years ago from The hot, humid South

      Love it! Years ago I was a bartender and I had a regular customer who was a drug rep. He always brought me pens and I loved it! Yeah, I know, strange... but I love pens and notebooks of all colors, shapes and sizes. Go figure. My husband always jokes that on any given birthday or other special occasion, just give me some pens and notebooks and I'll be happy. HA! Great hub! :)

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 5 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      My hubby steals pens where ever he goes, I will NOT be sharing this hub with him! :) Excellent hub, tho! I had no idea there were pharma pen collectors. :) Voted up and more.