Vol. 8, No. 1: January 2009 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Welcome to the January 2009 issue of Pharma Marketing News. This is the Executive Summary version. See Article Summaries below.


Rate Your Readiness for Social Media Marketing
Rate Your Readiness for Social Media Marketing

Before you embark on a social media marketing project, it is important that you understand your company’s unique regulatory environment, corporate culture, and knowledge, all of which need to be taken into consideration before you develop your plan.

In order to help pharmaceutical companies, their vendor partners, and other companies determine how ready they are to engage in social media marketing, Pharma Marketing News has created the online “Rate Your Social Media Marketing Readiness” survey or tool. To date, over 250 companies have used this self-assessment.

Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and find out how you score compared to your peers. ePharma Pioneers are available to help you fill the gaps and prepare for social media marketing.

Your participation is confidential (anonymous) unless you specifically provide your contact information at the end of the survey and ask to be contacted for more information.

Take the survey here: http://tinyurl.com/caghnm

Article Summaries

Up Front Is There Life After Pharma? New LifePfizer has announced plans to eliminate up to 18,000 jobs in 2009. Even pharmaceutical companies that are not growing by acquisition, but shrinking by design (eg, GSK), are cutting back on personnel.

Before the year is out you probably will know one or two or more people who are no longer employed in this industry. These people may have several employment options, but they may no longer be sought after by any company related to the drug industry. So, what is life like after pharma?
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The Future of DTC AdvertisingA Perfect DTC StormExperts don’t know if it’s the economy, lack of new drugs in pharma’s pipeline, or the new pro-regulation political climate, but 2009 is shaping up to be the year that direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising will suffer a round of budget cuts and setbacks not seen in a long time.

How can we predict the future of DTC given all these influences? As usual, Pharma Marketing News hosted an online survey to tap into the knowledge and views of readers to help answer that question and get some insights from experts. The survey ran from November 12, 2008 through January 19, 2009.

The results, including comments from survey respondents and DTC experts, are summarized in this article.

Topic headings include:

  • Even Pharma CEOs Question DTC’s Future
  • Wolfe in the Henhouse
  • Decline in DTC Ad Spending Likely
  • Let’s Focus on Effectiveness, Not Dollars Spent as a Measure of DTC Success
  • Questionable ROI
  • Should DTC Be Banned?
  • What About a DTC Moratorium?
  • Business Tax Deduction
  • Communicating Risk

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The ePharma Pioneer Club™

Convincing Pharma Marketers to Engage in “e”

ePharma Pioneer ClubPharma Marketing Network’s ePharma Pioneer Club™ is an EXCLUSIVE, members-only Facebook Group through which pharmaceutical eMarketing experts “meet” to discuss and exchange views on how to advance the use of the Internet and other technologies in pharmaceutical marketing, sales, and communications.

ePharma Pioneers believe fervently that they could make pharma health communications more effective, relevant, and useful if they had the proper level of resources and support from management.

If you believe you are a pioneer in the use of technology in marketing and like the idea of a small, exclusive club of like-minded people who are tired of swimming against the current when it comes to pharma eMarketing and eCommunications, then the ePharma Pioneer Club may just be right for you.

This article introduces the Club and its mission.

Topic headings include:

  • Engage, Educate, and Entertain
  • Why a Club?
  • Criteria for Membership
  • Knowledge of Pharma Marketing A Must
  • Club Member Jonathan Richman Takes on the Myth of Adverse Event Reporting
  • Current Club Members
  • Want to Join the Club?

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FDA Finalizes Guidance on Distribution of Reprints

JournalsThe FDA recently finalized its “Good Reprint Practices for the Distribution of Medical Journal Articles and Medical or Scientific Reference Publications on Unapproved New Uses of Approved Drugs and Approved or Cleared Medical Devices U.S.”

“There is a more defined line which manufacturers and companies can look at and figure out, ‘how can I make this work for me and how can I make this work for my company,”’ says Erin Reilly Lewis, Esq., counsel with Baker and Daniels in Indianapolis.

This guest article written by Michelle Leppert, Managing Editor, HCPro, Inc., outlines the major provisions of FDA’s reprint guidelines.

Topic headings include:

  • Requirements in the guidance
  • Appropriate information
  • Off-label promotion still prohibited
  • Financial disclosures
  • Industry need for guidance

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The Hypocrisy of Healthcare Marketing Restrictions

Shiny New FDAAyn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, believed that any restriction of or interference in free enterprise (eg, regulations) causes more problems than it solves. Yet many people believe the lack of government regulation or enforcement of regulations is the cause of the current economic debacle.

Pharmaceutical marketing, some say, has benefited by the recent “dramatic drop off of enforcement of domestic laws.” Under a Democratic administration, they say, there will be a new emphasis on enforcement of current regulations as well as new regulations.

The drug industry’s response has been to increase self-regulation, but Dmitriy Kruglyak of Trusted.MD Network thinks this is cave in to hypocritical attacks by the media and other critics of the industry.

“Well-intentioned measures can go very wrong,” says Kruglyak. “Time to call out the disturbing hypocrisy directed at healthcare marketers” was his rallying cry in a recent post he made entitled “New Year Resolution: Stand Up to Healthcare Marketing Hypocrisy!”

This article summarizes Kruglyak’s thesis and offers a counterpoint from John Mack, the editor of Pharma Marketing News. Hopefully, it will generate further discussion from readers.

Topic headings include:

  • Myths promulgated by the media
  • Zeal to Regulate
  • Group drops event, says doc-gift rules too strict
  • Unpaid, Unbiased?
  • Lack of Transparency
  • Democracy in Advertising

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