Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004 – CONTENTS

Feature Article

Conference Highlights

Seminar Highlight


Conference Calendar

The Future of Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical “vendors” often cringe at that term and would rather be called solution providers or partners. Sometimes, however, they offer solutions for problems that the pharma industry does not have-yet!

The pharmaceutical industry is doing very well, thank you! Even with all its problems, profit margins are pretty high, maybe historically high. If that’s a problem that needs a solution, then “bring ’em on!”

Whatever side of the argument about prices and profits you are on, the current situation cannot go on forever. Prices will have to come down and margins will drop. I think a lot of the pressure to improve ROI is really the industry’s desire to maximize profits before the hammer falls. This puts pressure on the solution providers to come up with more proven solutions rather than more innovative ones.

Other problems loom for the industry. Fewer blockbuster drugs, political pressure to reduce prices, scant pipelines, are just a few that come to mind. Mergers will only help so much. Eventually, a few of the dysfunctional means by which pharma companies do business will no longer be glossed over by good times. Pharmcos will have to change the way they do business and they will need innovators to help them do it.

Take compliance, for example. Everyone knows that it is cheaper to keep current customers than to acquire new ones. But despite all the knowledge and innovative compliance solutions offered by vendors, pharma is not quick to adopt them. Why not? They simply don’t have to! Plus, there are business structural reasons why it is difficult for pharmcos to seek greater sales through compliance.

Pharma can’t long depend on “replacement customers” like the tobacco industry does. The pharma industry, unlike the tobacco industry, is in the business of keeping its customers alive! Pharmcos need to recognize that they are healthcare solution providers, not merely drug manufacturers and marketers.

While at a recent conference, I was struck by the fact that most speakers-especially vendors-often were pretty critical of the industry. I hear there are too many silos, too much focus on short-term results, “not invented here” mentality, etc., etc.

What a great idea it would be to get all these smart people together and write a book that looked ahead to where the pharma industry might be in five or ten years. Bring all these innovative ideas into it and describe the phama company of 2010. Call it “Healthy Pharma 2010!”™

If you are interested, shoot me an email.

John MackJohn Mack Signature
John Mack, Publisher and Editor

Article Summaries


Intelligent Online Sampling Strategies
By John Mack

New online strategies have made eSampling a tool for significantly expanding targeted physician and sample coverage. Applications include accelerating new product uptake, efficiently maintaining physician coverage for mature brands, covering hard to reach physicians and driving patient demand.

This article reviews new studies on physician attitudes toward online sample ordering and provides insights on how to reach this untapped market potential through expanding sampling for both physicians and patients.


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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004
Word Count: 1035
TOPICS: eMarketing/Internet | Physician Marketing | Sales Force Productivity/Effectiveness


Impact of the PhRMA Code on Pharmaceutical Marketing and Sales

The PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals, which became effective in July 2002, affirms that a sales rep’s primary function is to educate and inform doctors. In pursuit of this function, certain activities are supposed to be forbidden. However, there may be some differences among pharmaceutical companies regarding the interpretation of the Code and how it is applied in practice.

Please give us your thoughts about the real-world impact of the PhRMA Code on pharmaceutical marketing and sales.

Take this and other surveys at: Survey Page.
You can also see results from previous surveys.


The Internet and CME
By Caren Spinner

Despite the fact physician usage of the Internet has increased over the past few years, solid evidence for the reasons they access the Internet or, more importantly, if the knowledge they gained from online CME presentations has any impact on their practice is still largely unknown.

This articles discusses the development and utilization of specific metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of online CME programs.

The topic was covered in two presentations delivered at a two-day Barnett International conference entitled, “Defining the Value of Continuing Medical Education” held on March 13th and 14th 2004 in Philadelphia. The first of these, “Outcomes Measurement: An Essential Component of CME was presented by Robert E. Kristofco, Director of Continuing Medical Education, University of Alabama School of Medicine and Co-Founder of Outcomes, Inc. reported measuring the effectiveness of CME as well as on physicians use of online CME. The second presentation was entitled, “Is the Internet an Effective Medical Education Medium” was presented by Ms. Cynthia Phillips, Promotional Regulatory Affairs Field Director, AstraZeneca.


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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004
Word Count: 1017
TOPICS: CME/Physician Education | eMarketing/Internet

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When Is Commercial Support Appropriate for CME Activities?
Caren Spinner

On April 1, 2004, the Board of Directors of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME),® by unanimous vote, adopted the updated ACCME Standards for Commercial Support of Continuing Medical Education.

This article summarizes when it is and is not appropriate for pharmaceutical companies to support independent CME programs.

John Ukropec, PhD, Sr. Manager at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, agreed that the thrust and purpose of CME is nicely summarized in the preamble to the ACCME guidelines, namely “The purpose of CME is to enhance the physician’s ability to care for patients. It is the responsibility of the accredited provider of the CME activity is designed primarily for that purpose.” He was speaking at the Barnett International conference, “Defining the Value of Continuing Medical Education” held on March 13th and 14th 2004 in Philadelphia.

Charts based upon data from the latest ACCME annual reports show the growth in commercial support for CME.


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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004
Word Count: 1214
TOPICS: CME/Physician Education | Corporate Compliance/Government Regulation/Industry Guidelines


Emotions, Focus and Storytelling: How Cialis is Challenging Viagra
By Neville Dickson

Step right up ladies and gentlemen! Who wants to challenge the reigning heavy weight champion of the pharmaceutical world? This is a tough call for any new product, in any category.

So who wants to go head-to-head with Viagra? The ultimate pharmaceutical mega-brand: a blockbuster drug, with a superbly executed global campaign, an urban legend. According to Blair Waite, Brand Manager, Global Marketing for Eli Lilly and Co., Viagra is now the world’s 2nd most recognized brand name, after Coca Cola. He was speaking at EyeforPharma’s “Successful Product Branding in Pharma” conference in London, UK on 23 March 2004.

This article summarizes how the Cialis marketing team rose to the Viagra challenge.


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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004
Word Count: 715
TOPICS: Branding | Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising & Marketing | Strategy/Planning


Maximizing the DTC Message: Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association Members Evaluate DTC Marketing
By John Mack

How are DTC activities integrated as key components throughout the marketing mix, including advertising, advocacy and public relations? What are the risks and rewards associated with launching a DTC campaign? How have top pharmaceutical marketers managed to address sensitive health issues and drive awareness and sales through DTC? Is every drug really a viable candidate for a Direct-to-Consumer campaign?

These were some of the questions discussed during an evening seminar entitled “DTC Sweeps: The Impact and Evolving Role of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing” presented by the METRO Chapter of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) on March 11, 2004.

This article presents the results of an audience survey taken by HBA members at the meeting. The author who takes a critical look at how to create a truly effective DTC campaign.


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Issue: Vol. 3, No. 4: April 2004
Word Count: 1563
TOPICS: Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising & Marketing | Strategy/Planning