Vol. 7, No. 9: November 2008 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Welcome to the November, 2008 issue of Pharma Marketing News. This is the Executive Summary version. See Article Summaries below.


Vote for New FDA Commissioner
Vote for your choice for the NEW FDA Commissioner!

Please take a fewminutes to tell us who you think President-elect Obama should nominateas the new FDA Commissioner after he is sworn in as president. If youdon’t like any of these choices, you can write-in your own candidate!

Results of this survey may be summarized in Pharma Marketing News and reported to Barack Obama’s transition team.

Your comments areconfidential (anonymous) unless you specifically provide your contactinformation at the end of the survey and allow us to attribute commentsto you personally.

See the Pharma Marketing Surveys Forum and the post “SURVEY: Who Should be FDA Commissioner?” for newsand opinions about who the new FDA commissioner should be.

Article Summaries

Up Front

Time for a New & Improved FDA Commissioner No von EscenbachThere is no doubt that Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, the current FDA Commissioner, will soon be leaving the FDA and will not allow the door to hit him on the ass on the way out.

Who will Obama nominate to replace von Eschenbach? There are plenty of special interest groups that would like to influence his decision.

I wonder how Obama will balance all these diverse interests to pick the right person? Whoever the nominee is, the new FDA Commissioner will also need to balance competing interests.
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Free Drug Samples

The Sales Rep’s Last Great Hope?

Free Drug Sample Gift BasketAccording to Chris Nibe, a “Sales Specialist” employed by Daiichi-Sankyo, as of Jan 1 2009, pharmaceutical reps will no longer be “permitted” to deliver any marketing materials to healthcare professionals. “This makes samples our only real form of in-office marketing,” said Nibe.

Nibe’s time line refers to the effective date of PhRMA’s new Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. The new PhRMA code bans free pens and out-of-office lunches, but it doesn’t ban samples.

Obviously, sales reps like Nibe consider free drug samples an important marketing tactic that they can employ to gain access to physicians. In 2005, the pharmaceutical industry distributed more than $18 billion worth of drug samples.

But critics are concerned that drug samples increase costs, raise questions about the appropriateness of treatment choices, and create real or perceived conflicts of interest in the medical profession.

Between August 16, 2008 and November 13, 2008, Pharma Marketing News hosted a “Pharmaceutical Sampling Practices Survey” that asked respondents their opinions of drug sampling issues and whether or not the distribution of free drug samples should be banned. The results of this survey are summarized in this article.

Topic headings include:

  • Physicians Urged to Boycott Samples
  • Sample Safety Issues
  • Conflict of Interest Issues
  • Do Samples Increase Drug Costs?
  • Getting Around Formularies
  • Do Samples Help Indigent Patients
  • Are Samples Helpful in Prescribing the Correct Medication?
  • Physicians Value Samples, But…
  • Do Samples Increase Access and Benefit Sales?
  • Should Samples Be Banned?

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Optimizing Market Access

A Guide to Effective Pricing, Reimbursement and Messaging Strategies

TNS HealthcareIn today’s competitive market, pricing and reimbursement strategies arekey to maximizing brand success and ROI. Because every country’shealthcare system is different-and every product situation isunique-every brand requires a specific access plan, tailored to eachmarket. And you must support each plan with effective messaging thatensures strong product acceptance and uptake.

Experts from TNSHealthcare spoke on this issue in a recent webinar and during anexclusive interview with Pharma Marketing News.

Jonathan Kay,Global Practice Area Leader, Brand and Access Management, TNSHealthcare, set the stage by reviewing global market access issues andidentifying challenges and opportunities in coverage and payment.

LarryOlson, Vice President and Practice Leader, Payer Markets, TNSHealthcare, looked in greater depth at communication strategies tomaximize access, including how to develop compelling messages to buildand sustain brand value.

Topic headings include:

  • Cost-Containment Tools
  • How it works in the US
  • How it Works in the UK
  • How it Works in Japan
  • Cost Sharing vs. Risk Sharing
  • Strategic Considerations
  • Payer Messaging
  • Required Market Intelligence 
  • TNS Healthcare’s 5-Step Research Process
  • Best Practices

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Measuring & Communicating eSuccess

Strategy First, YouTube Later… Maybe

eSuccessThis article is a review of apresentation by Aaron Uydess, Senior eMarketing Manager at NovoNordisk, made at Eye for Pharma’s 3rd eCommunication and OnlineMarketing Summit held October 23-24, in Boston, Massachusetts.

Uydesspresents a best-in-class approach to developing online plans that alignwith strategy, reduce silos, and measure and merchandise digitalstrategies across a pharmaceutical marketing organization.

Topic headings include:

  • The Customer Centric Approach
  • Channel Integration
  • Measuring Your Success
  • Project Scorecards
  • Tell Your Story

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