The Pharma Marketing Glossary

Condensed definitions appear after each term.

Click on a letter below to view a list of terms beginning with that letter.

The Pharma Marketing Glossary

# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
There are currently 7 names in this directory beginning with the letter M.
Major Statement
FDA requires a "major statement" for broadcast (TV, radio and telephone) ads. It consists of the drug's most important risks. The major statement must be presented in a clear, conspicuous, and neutral manner. The risks are generally similar to the risks required for "fair balance" in print ads. Where to find more information: FDA: "Guidance for Industry Presenting Risk Information in Prescription Drug and Medical Device Promotion"
Me-Too Drug

A drug that is structurally very similar to already known drugs, with only minor differences. The term "me-too" carries a negative connotation. However, me-too products may create competition and drive prices down.Source:

The huge drug market has set in motion a competition among pharmaceutical firms. This has meant that as soon as a prototype drug becomes available several other similarly active compounds immediately follow. These followers are usually called "me-too drugs". Me-too drugs can be broadly defined as chemically related to the prototype, or other chemical compounds which have an identical mechanism of action. This increasing marketing of me-too drugs has been questioned, so pharmaceutical firms are justifying the development of not-so-innovative drugs. The most common arguments can be summarized as follows: me-too drugs offer an improvement on the efficacy of the prototype; they show a different profile of adverse effects; they are effective in patients resistant to the prototype; they improve compliance in long-term treatment; they are less expensive than the prototype.

Source: Are me-too drugs justified?

Article: Drug Industry Innovation: GSK's LOVAZA Vs. OTC Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplements.

Medical Affairs

Most pharmaceutical companies have two kinds of scientific teams: research / development and medical affairs. While R & D defines the scientific direction and early stage development, medical affairs provides scientific support for late stage development and post market support for drugs and devices.

Medical affairs usually functions alongside marketing, to provide technical support to both internal teams and external customers. So what kinds of tasks are involved?

1. Informational services - the scientists and physicians working in medical affairs generally act as disease experts. Activities range from educating department members, seeing that consumer questions are addressed, and providing informational services to health care providers in the community. Medical affairs also formulates publications plans, and the reporting of pivotal trial results to the FDA, at scientific meetings and through journal articles.

2. Regulatory review - medical affairs works with regulatory affairs and the legal department to insure that all written documents are accurate and adhere to the guidelines mandated by the FDA. All educational, technical and promotion materials are reviewed.

3. Liaison to health care professionals and professional organizations, and disease state advocacy groups. Medical affairs works to support the efforts of professional associations, patient support groups, and educational foundations.

4. Thought leader development -- this involves providing information and other supports to persons who are recognized experts in their fields.

5. Educational meeting support -- in the "olden" days, pharmaceutical companies actually wrote, staffed and sponsored continuing medical education events. Educational meeting support now only can be provided in the form of unrestricted educational grants.

6. Supporting marketing -- medical affairs provides the scientific input and expertise in the design and construction of all promotional materials and events. At the least, materials are reviewed by medical affairs for scientific accuracy. Medical affairs officers may also present relevant scientific information at marketing functions.

7. R & D -- depending on the structure of a company, medical affairs may also be responsible for all stages of clinical development including study design, initiation and monitoring. Medical affairs also may oversee the dispersal of funds and /or study drugs for investigator initiated trials.

8. Post market drug safety functions - in some companies medical affairs handles drug safety, reviewing individual adverse event reports, aggregate adverse event statistics, and sometimes even talking with customers about drug safety. (In some firms, these tasks fall under the egis of regulatory affairs).

9. Medical liaison - many companies have teams of medical liaison reps (MLRs) who are often field based medical information specialists, providing in depth drug and disease state information to health providers in their territories. They function as colleagues and experts in their fields. (Note that some companies may employ medical sales liaisons (MSLs) who, while providing services like MLSs, work within the marketing department)

Source: Just what do you do: medical affairs job description

Article: PhRMA Code Helps Re-define Roles of Medical Affairs and Marketing.

Articles: MSLs and KOL Management.

Medical Science Liaison (MSL)

Professionals (employees of pharmaceutical companies) -- most with advanced medical, pharmacy or science degrees -- that offer credibility and objectivity of a peer, but also provide an insider's knowledge of their companies and products. MSLs coordinate the flow of clinical information and manage important key opinion leader (KOL) relationships, which can be critical to a product's success at any stage of its life cycle.

The MSL has a thorough knowledge of specific disease states and the science that supports his or her company’s products within those disease states. The MSL is also involved in providing medical scientific information and literature for physician education and is involved with planning medical education activities such as symposia, etc.

 "Medical Science Liaisons: Working between Two Worlds.
Medical-Legal Review (MLR)
The medical-legal review (MLR) process ensures that all pharmaceutical product promotions are medically accurate and comply with FDA regulations and other applicable laws. This process is carried out within pharma companies by the regulatory affairs and legal departments in conjunction with medical affairs (medical staff). All educational, technical and promotion materials are reviewed.
Moment of Truth (MOT)

The term "Moment of Truth" (MOT) or "First Moment of Truth" (commonly called FMOT) was coined by Procter & Gamble in 2005 to define the first interaction between a shopper and a product on a store's shelf. This moment was considered one of the most important marketing opportunities for a brand, as P&G asserted -- and others believed -- that shoppers make up their mind about a product in the first few seconds after they encounter that product for the first time.

This consumer-packaged goods term has been used by pharmaceutical marketers even though consumers are not confronted with Rx drug products "on a store's shelf." Therefore, a nuanced definition is needed. Perhaps it's the moment when the doctor informs a consumer/patient that he/she should be prescribed the drug. But, most of the time, patients have already learned of the drug via advertising and demand a prescription.

Perhaps the term is better applied to physicians as when they first interact with a pharma sales rep about an Rx product and are asked if they would prescribe the drug to their patients.

There are several variations of this term:

  • Second Moment of Truth - also coined by P&G
  • Third Moment of Truth
  • Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) - coined by Google
  • BSMOT - coined by PharmaGuy: Can you guess the meaning?
Where to find more information:
Multichannel Marketing (MCM)

It is common for pharmaceutical company customers (consumers, patients, and physicians) to use different channels (print, TV, web, mobile, social media, etc.) at different stages of their decision cycles.

Multichannel pharma marketing refers to the use of multiple synchronized communication channels to reach consumers, patients, and physicians with marketing communications or information at the appropriate point in their decision cycles.

The critical aspect of multichannel marketing is the synchronization of messages across channels. This requires deployment of appropriate information technology to gain a common view of customers across the different channels. The multichannel marketer must have the resources to coordinate messages reaching customers through these channels and to measure the effectiveness of each channel in reaching customers. The communications must appear seamless to customers.

When the marketing messages and/or channels are changed or modified in response to data collected from previous communications (ie, effectiveness, ROI, etc.), it is called "closed-loop marketing."

Reference: Rangaswamy, Arvind; Gerrit H. Van Bruggen (Spring 2005). "Opportunities and challenges in multichannel marketing".

Podcast: Customer Manages Relationship: A New Marketing Strategy

Blog Post: "Multichannel Marketing: Easy to Brag About, but Difficult to Do"