“Pharm Rep Closes After 41 Years” is the title of parting editorial by Reid Paul, Editor in Chief of Pharmaceutical Representative magazine, which was trade publication focused on pharmaceutical sales.

“Nostalgia from my days ‘carrying the bag’ makes me sad to see this publication go,” tweeted Mike Capaldi (@mikecapaldi), Associate Vice President at Sanofi.

“The reality is that pharmaceutical sales and marketing has changed dramatically over the past few years,” said Paul. “It’s more than a numerical decrease in the number of pharmaceutical sales professionals. The “traditional” sales role of the rep is rapidly evolving into something new and different that defies easy categorization. In the inaugural editorial, founding publisher Bill McKnight wrote, ‘If salesmen really needed their own communication medium, then there must be enough sales managers willing to provide it through paid subscription.’ While that may have been true in 1971, over the past four decades the publishing landscape has changed equally dramatically. Pharm Rep was one of the first, but now reps and execs have a broad range of options to communicate and find objective information on the industry.”

Reps and execs certainly have a much broader range of communication options. As for reps, one of their favorites is CafePharma, an online discussion board for sales reps that is often maligned by pharma executives who have little time themselves for such frivolous activity! When Lilly’s Deirdre Connelly described CafePharma as one of those “outlets for people who don’t have the courage to speak out with their ideas,” it didn’t negatively affect her rise up the ranks (see here).

I’m thinking that other glossy print, paid subscription pharma trade publications will follow Pharm Rep down the worm hole of extinction.