I just got this comment from an anonymous source:

“Did you hear about SP’s ‘Zetia 49 Plan’? Apparently they gave all their reps a wad of cash to throw at doctors . . . “

Thinking this was just some kind of rant, I went over to the Schering Plough company board at Cafe Pharma and discovered this interesting thread:

Wondered what everyone thinks about this Zetia 49 plan??

I hate having extra $$ that I have to spend on Drs that I can barely see.
I have a hard time spending all my lunch/dinner $$ now.

Can’t get docs out to dinner anyway – especially the ones they’ve targeted for me.

Why is there no accomodation for additions/deletions on the list from those who know the business, territory, customers the best – the reps??

This instruction that we are to have a lunch or dinner EVERY DAY – come on!! Like all the Drs offices aren’t booked already for the year – or have stopped doing lunches/dinners altogether!

Hey Marketing Genuises – this isn’t 1990 anymore, ya know??

Throwing money at a problem is not the way to fix things – it will only make matters worse. Have the company come clean about the study, give us some good (or even not so good) evidenced based medicine – and let us earn back the business the right way.

Hey how about replacing the Vytorin combination of Zetia and Simva with Zetia and Cheerios. Change the dose to one bowl per day with skim milk. Create a TV ad with Mikey. He will eat it Mikey eats everything. You could call it something creative like Cheatios.

Does any one think that having all this extra money thrown at us looks and feels like we are “buying” back the business – not “earning” back the business?

Once again, SP is seeing just how far it can go without crossing the line…

Hey Fred, Carrie – the line HAS been crossed!

Integrity counts!

So we have a quarter or two of single digit or no growth, its ok, you know?

Let us be proud that we work for this company rather than skulking around trying to figure out how we can spend over a thousand dollars/month to buy back the business.

Its an election year – and the whole world is watching!!

Good luck at the ACC!

Here is why it will not work:

– This is another version of increasing share of voice (SOV) in hopes of increasing prescriptions. Right from the 1990’s Big Pharma Playbook. The theory is that if we pound the message enough, doctors will write.

– We have lost the trust of doctors. It is not the message, but until there is DATA showing that Zetia reduces CV events and mortality, doctors will say that we are just spewing the same old shit, and get even more pissed.

– The pharma sales model is changing. Soon, you will see more and more companies going with 1 rep per doc, and focusing on developing relatioships and trust to drive business and less focus on presentations that look like commercials.

– Fred and Carrie are hopelessly stuck in the last century.

I have to agree with the last poster. This sort of tactic is bound to backfire. It’s interesting that reps cannot spend all the lunch money they have. I guess there’s no recession in the pharmaceutical industry!