There are few days that pass on which I am not informed of some new tactic in the ongoing competitive battle among AED manufacturers in the pursuit of sales of devices. Many of you have called me and asked for my opinions on these tactics. I have come to a point at which I can no longer stand by silently and make no formal statement to all of you on this issue.
During my many years of clinical research in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, it has been my very real privilege to work with virtually all of you in the clinical assessment of your devices. I respect all of you as colleagues. This communication is NOT directed at any one of you; I wish to make that very clear. But the intensity of the heated competitive battle, coupled with its often misleading and virulent content, assailing each others’ products, has gone beyond the pale of reason. Each of you market AEDs that are eminently safe and effective. Prospective customers should have that understanding at the outset. Can you not, in the name of good science, market your products on the basis of their own merits without resorting to denigration and misleading representation of your competitors’ products? Can you agree to avoid even referring to other manufacturers’ devices and let your customers make purchasing decisions on the basis of what would seem best-suited to their particular application?
Early defibrillation with AEDs has a very long way to go before it becomes what its potential really is. I am honestly fearful that this mutual bashing of each other carries with it the possibility of damage to the early defibrillation initiative. Calls I have received from prospective purchasers have reflected that painful reality to me as these people have conveyed their anger and frustration with what is being stated by salespersons. I am representing no one but myself in sharing these painful concerns with you. In my many years in this field, I have never witnessed anything even remotely resembling what I am seeing and hearing today. Do not let this bashing go on. I urge all of you to collectively come to an immediate agreement on a "cease and desist" policy applied uniformly to all of your sales force.
Please, in the name of good science and the opportunity to expand this life-saving effort without impediment, all of you agree to conclude immediately this mode of approaching prospective customers. You all make unquestionably safe and effective devices; there is no need to denigrate other manufacturers’ devices. Customers should make purchasing decisions based upon what best suits their own circumstances. I intend to be engaged in on-going clinical investigation of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest for many years to come. I sincerely hope that this antagonistic atmosphere will be dissipated immediately, and that I will have opportunities to work with many of you in the future.
Roger D. White M.D.
Department of Anesthesiology
200 First Street SW
Rochester, Minnesota 55905