Article Reprints
OpEd and Survey Summary Reprints

Betting the Pharm

Pfizer’s failure to launch torcetrapib will have repercussions throughout the industry on many different levels.

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Blogging My Way Into 2005!

I love blogging! Blogging is less formal than other types of web-based publishing. You can be more opinionated and you can publish your thoughts any time you feel the urge. I like it because I often have opinions on pharma issues as they arise and blogging allows me to publish those opinions immediately and with little hassle.

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Buzz ‘n Blog Marketing

“Consumer Generated Content” (CGC, also known as “Customer Generated Content” or “User Generated Content,” UGC) is a current “hot” topic at industry conferences. I expect you’ll be hearing more about CGC as marketing vendors, especially “Buzz Marketers,” promote it as a legitimate vehicle for pharmaceutical marketing.

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Corporate “Moral Values” Anyone?

A few days after Merck pulled Vioxx from the market it was revealed that the drug manufacturer may have known about Vioxx’s cardiovascular side effect problems for years and tried very hard to conceal the evidence and block any action by the FDA. While this was going on an estimated 27,000 people suffered heart attacks and who knows how many strokes possibly due to Vioxx! hard to conceal the evidence and block any action by the FDA. While this was going on an estimated 27,000 people suffered heart attacks and who knows how many strokes possibly due to Vioxx! If this obstructionism by Merck is true, then someone should pay

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Cost-Cutting Strategies for the Pharma Industry

The pharmaceutical industry faces many challenges ahead including blockbusters going off patent, generic competition, collapsing sales due to product withdrawal, price pressures, etc. All this puts pressure on pharma profitability and Wall Street is clamoring for cost cutting measures. Now may be the time to end the pharmaceutical sales and marketing “arms race” and/or increase sales and marketing ROI. With that as a backdrop, Pharma Marketing News hosted an online Pharma Cost Cutting Survey between February 22, 2005, and March 18, 2005. Respondents indicated how likely they thought pharma companies would adopt several cost-cutting strategies within the next six months. This article presents a summary of the results.

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Could Chill Kill CME?

This question was explored by panelists participating in this month’s Pharma Marketing Roundtable conference call, which was focused on pharmaceutical industry support of CME.

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Disease Mongering

In one fell swoop the new erectile dysfuntion (ED) ‘disease awareness’ ads have expanded the market for ED while at the same time managed to come up smelling like roses by complying with PhRMA’s Guiding Principles for DTC Advertising. ‘Disease mongering’ (aka, ‘indication bloat’) — or, if you prefer, ‘disease awareness’– efforts are a rising tide that will float all ED drug ships.

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Does the FDA Need to be Overhauled

Pharma Marketing News recently hosted a survey of pharmaceutical professionals, healthcare professionals, and the general public to get a better idea which reforms, if any, they would like to see implemented at FDA. The results are summarized in this article.

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Doing a Good Job but Still Not Trusted!

One poll says the pharma industry is doing a good job, another says it can’t be trusted. What’s up with that?

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Drug Importation Crisis: Terror Politics to the Rescue!

The FDA just played the “terrorist trump card” in its battle against the legalization of the reimportation of drugs. Acting U.S. Food and Drug Administration commissioner Lester Crawford suggested that “a source of continuing concern” is that terrorists might tamper with prescription drugs imported from Canada.

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eDetailing Surveys SayÂ… Drug Prices, Declining Profits Top Issues for 2005

What impact will issues like drug reimporation, weak pipelines, decreasing profits, drug recalls, class action lawsuits, government regulation, etc., have on the course of the pharmaceutical industry in 2005? The results of our 2005 HOT ISSUE Survey are presented in this article and compared with results from last year’s survey.

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Drug Reimportation Survey Results

Reimportation is a growing and real concern for the pharmaceutical industry and Congress is considering several bills that seek to make drug importation from Canada legal. What’s the best argument against reimportation and is new legislation required? This article summarizes the results of a recent Pharma Marketing News Survey on this topic.

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eDetailing Surveys SayÂ…

Marketers love surveys and I love quoting numbers from surveys. But I wish it were easier to compare one survey’s results with another! Take, for example, surveys about new media marketing techniques, by which I mean the Internet and specifically surveys about eDetailing.

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The End of DTC as We Have Known It

Almost a year ago to the day — just a week or so after launching Pharma Marketing Blog — I warned that DTC advertising must change if it is to survive. And change it hasÂ…knock on wood!

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Engagement

You also may have heard at marketing conferences about “consumer generated content” (CGC), buzz, podcasts and blogs. Clearly pharmaceutical marketers are interested in these “new” channels and are grappling with ways to influence them.

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European Online Marketing Survey Results

This article presents selected results from a survey of pharmaceutical experts on eDetailing and Online Marketing conducted in 2005 by eyeforpharma, MediQuality, and PharmiWeb Solutions. The results are based on 722 responses, mostly from European pharmaceutical marketing professionals.

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Give Docs What They Want

Physicians in a keynote panel at an industry conference emphasized that they value a rep’s product knowledge over the relationship with the rep. The panel moderator also cited a new, unpublished study that supported this preference (when asked “What do you like about sales reps?” respondents cited product knowledge first, relationship second, and samples third).

What if pharmaceutical companies actually listened to physicians?

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Has DTC Spending Peaked?

There are powerful lobbyists, including employers, insurers, AARP, and Public Citizen, with an anti-DTC agenda in Washington. The criticism takes many forms – increases in drug prices, increase in inappropriate prescribing, etc. Republicans have gained control, but some committee chairs are DTC critics. Is all this scrutiny and uncertainty causing DTC expenditures to peak?

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Interpretation of Ads

What’s pharmaceutical marketing coming to if we have to interpret the ads that marketers produce?

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If It’s Good for the Goose, Why Not the Gander?

Whereas pharma marketers lament the fact that sales reps get less than 2 minutes to deliver an in-person, often personalized, message to physicians, they feel that a 30 or 60-second TV commercial is just right for consumers. What’s Up with That?

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Is DTC Educational or Motivational?

What is the proper role of DTCA – educational or motivational? Is it capable of doing either? If so, how well is it doing?

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It’s All About Education

This OpEd piece suggests that promotion should be more educational and education should be more promotional and that CME and other educational materials should be part of the typical drug rep’s promotional armamentarium.

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It’s The Science, Stupid!

There is no doubt that the industry needs to do a much better job communicating drug benefits and risks to consumers. How will they do this if the population at large is scientifically illiterate? Also, how can the drug industry focus on this problem if its leaders are not grounded in science?

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The Future of Big Pharma

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 pharma company of 2010. Call it “Healthy Pharma 2010!”™

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More Permission, More Data, Better Marketing?

What’s the connection between the effectiveness of DTC advertising, patient-level data vs. physician-level data, and out-of-the-box marketing? Adoption of these new techniques and data sources by pharmaceutical marketers depends on good education, vendor cooperation, and success stories to prove that the effort is worth it.

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Numbers

Rx drug company salaries are decreasing while biotechnology company salaries are increasing. The numbers don’t lie: expect much more biotech marketing in the years ahead. If nothing else, these VPs have to justify their salaries!

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Pharma eMarketing: A Level Playing Field or a Killing Field?

Why is pharma so conservative when it comes to using technology for marketing purposes? Is it ROI concerns? Not invented here syndrome? Or is it something else?

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Pharma Marketing Blog a “Must Read”

Last week my quest for blogging stardom got a big boost — the Wall Street Journal cited Pharma Marketing Blog as a blog insiders should read to stay current!

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Pharma McCarthyism

Last week my quest for blogging stardom got a big boost — the Wall Street Journal cited Pharma Marketing Blog as a blog insiders should read to stay current!

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The Price of Drugs

The typical pharma industry responses to criticism about rising drug prices may make economic sense, but they do not resonant with consumers’ perceptions and emotions. In fact, sometimes it seems more like a slap in the face than a consoling pat on the back.

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Product Web Sites: Are They Worth It?

Even though spending on Internet promotion may be increasing now, it is still a minuscule portion of the overall promotional budget of a brand – about $14 million for online vs. over $600 million for TV and maybe $400 million or more for print.

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Pushing the Envelope is Bad for DTC

Are DTC marketers going too far? Recent DTC TV ads for Levitra, Viagra, and Cialis have become sexually explicit, featuring men who are younger and younger — hardly the demographic to suffer from erectile dysfunction, which is the indication for these products. Will these ads be used by lawmakers gunning to make all DTC advertising illegal?

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Relationships

For Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to work, both IT and marketing must work together. To offer more effective, coordinated communications, pharma companies need lots more data from their customers and must be able to use this data intelligently. That is what CRM is all about.

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Restrict DTC, but Extend the Patent for New Drugs

When the leading Republican member of Congress and a contender for the next president of the United States says it’s time for the pharmaceutical industry to ‘clean up it’s act’ and suggests banning DTC advertising of new drugs for 2 years after launch, you know that you are in trouble. Should the industry fight back or ‘suffer the slings and arrows of politicians’ until it all blows over? If it fights back, how should it fight back?

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Risky Business

Product managers may take more risks than necessary and there may be few regulations that define a bright line between allowed and not allowed activities.

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Separation of Church and State

Many in the industry suggest that many media stories about the drug industry “go beyond the bounds of objective reporting and cross over to unfair bashing.” Should the pharmaceutical industry retaliate and punish “critical” media by withdrawing ad money?

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Spam spam spam spam. Lovely spam! Wonderful spam!

Whatever your opinion of the CAN-SPAM law and blacklists, a bright light is now focused on the spam e-mail problem. As usual, those e-mail marketers who want to obey the law have to jump through new hoops and change their business practices. Meanwhile, the real spammers will no doubt continue to outfox the regulatory agencies, attorneys general, and the ISPs and continue to spew spam at will.

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Straight-Talking DTC Survey Result

Johnson & Johnson recently unveiled a new approach to TV and print DTC advertising campaigns that deals head-on with safety, putting drug risks on more-equal footing with drug benefits. Pharma Marketing News hosted a survey of pharmaceutical professionals to determine what they think of this approach to DTC and whether or not the rest of the pharma industry should follow J&J’s lead. The results of this survey are summarized in this article.

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Times They Are A-Changing

According to several recent reports, Pfizer Inc. may slash its 38,000-member sales and marketing staff by as much as 30%, or 11,400 employees.

Although Pfizer has pulled back from a threat to lay off a large number of employees, any number of reasons could be cited for cutting back the sales forces of most major pharma companies — blockbusters going off patent/generic competition, collapsing sales due to product withdrawal, etc. — but the most intriguing reason may be just plain salesforce inefficiency.

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Transparency is the Word These Days

Transparency is demanded in all aspects of pharma’s business from drug discovery through marketing and sales. Sometimes, however, it seems that the industry merely cranks out PR about being transparent without actually being transparent. Give pharma emloyees a voice.

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“Tribal Marketing”

Tribal marketing n. A marketing strategy that attempts to create social groups or communities that are centered around a product or service. The credo of tribal marketing is that postmodern people are looking for products and services that not only enable them to be freer, but can also link them to others, to a community, to a tribe.

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Vioxx Withdrawal and the “Me-Too Drug Domino Effect”

Merck’s “voluntary” withdrawal of Vioxx from the market will likely have strong repercussions throughout the pharmaceutical industry. Of course it has affected Merck the most, including the loss of $2.5 billion in annual sales — about 11% of the company’s total sales in 2003 — and loss of 26.2% of shareholder value. The FDA has already said it will require longer-term studies for similar (“me too”) drugs that are waiting for approval (e.g., Merck’s arthritis drug Arcoxia and Novartis’ drug Prexige) as well as drugs already on the market (i.e., Celebrex and Bextra). This is what I call a manifestation of the “Me-Too Domino Effect,” a term I just invented.

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Want to Know What Really Sucks?

Does your marketing suck? According to Mark Stevens, author of the book “Your marketing sucks,” it does (see “Your Pharma Marketing Sucks”). But let me tell you what really sucks…

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What Stands in the Way of the Mainstream Use of the Internet by Pharmaceutical Companies?

At a recent conference, I rocked the boat a little by suggesting that the percent of the pharma DTC promotional budget devoted to the Internet was a minuscule 1-3% and that this percentage has NOT changed since 1998 when I first heard about it. The interesting thing is that after I made my comments, a veritable flood of opinions were aired about why so little money – compared to TV, for example – is spent on Internet direct-to-consumer marketing.

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Will COX-2 Inhibitors Crash and Burn?

Is the sky falling around COX-2 inhibitors? After the fall of Vioxx, Merck is suffering mightily: 42% loss of market share, downgraded credit ratings, lost revenue, congressional scrutiny, etc. But worse still, the entire class of COX-2 inhibitors is under increased scrutiny and the credibility of Merck, the FDA, and the entire drug industry is in question as revelations about who knew what, when are announced almost daily. This article documents the effect of the withdrawal of Vioxx and other COX-2 revelations on physicians’ prescribing behavior using data from ImpactRx. Also included are results from a recent survey we conducted of Pharma Marketing News susbcribers regarding the wisdom of Pfizer’s decision to test Celebrex to see if it is able to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with serious cardiovascular disease.

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Betting the Pharm

I hope that PMN Forums will become a big part of the Pharma Marketing Network and that many of you will become my buddies as well.

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