in the news

Is big pharma being defined by external forces?

who is big pharmaPOST SUMMARY: Big pharma companies continue to be defined by a myriad of external sources from Congress, questioning high drug prices, to seemingly unorthodox behavior like putting profits over patient safety as in the Boehringer Ingelheim Pradaxa case.  However, biotech companies like Biogen continue to develop and market new drugs by tossing out the big pharma business models and focusing on patients. Continue reading »

IMS Report highlights challenges of pharma

imsreportThe IMS Institute of Health Informatics released a report today called “riding the technology wave in life sciences” and there are some troubling findings.  Among one of their key findings “despite abundant and growing amounts of data being generated and accessed by life sciences companies, analytic systems designed to interpret and create actionable insights have not kept pace.” Continue reading »

What makes a great DTC marketer ?

visionToday having a great vision of where your marketing needs to go is not enough.  You also need to be a great salesperson so you can sell your organization on where you want  to go and get them excited about reaching todays web savvy patients and consumers. Continue reading »

Happy Holidays

victorian-christmasMay we never forget that a lot of people are having a good holiday because of the prescription drugs and medical devices that allow them to lead better lives.


MedAdNews stops publication

MedAd News is going to cease publication effective December 31st of this year.  This is a loss for the industry that is very much at a crossroads of marketing to patient, consumers and health care professionals.  Ed Silverman, the author of Pharmalot, will especially be missed as his voice and stories added insight to the complex and changing world of healthcare marketing.  We need people like Ed, John Mack and others to be the conscious of our industry and remind everyone that developing good products is good medicine which in turn means good business.  I shall miss the publication very much.

ADHD over diagnosed and it’s pharma’s fault (NY Times)

imgresOnce again the NY Times has taken the pharma industry to task with a front page story on the ADHD market. In fact the subtitle of the story “The Number of Diagnoses Soared Amid a 20-Year Drug Marketing Campaign”[pretty much sums up the article’s thesis.  While it’s true that the drug industry has made some mistakes in marketing ADHD products let’s not forget that parents want an “easy fix” to get their kids better grades and patients still have to go through their physician to get an Rx. Continue reading »

Irresponsible journalism that can cause loss of life

finger-pointingAmanda Marcotte, via Slate said “Marshall was only given a few minutes to state that vaccines are safe and that the side effects mentioned by other guests were probably unrelated to the vaccine. Unfortunately, Couric and her producers allowed these facts to be totally overshadowed by the heartrending tales told by the two mothers.  Despite H assurances that regular Pap smears are no big deal, the truth is that some women can’t or won’t go to the doctor as often as they should, especially in their 20s. Which is why the vaccine is so important: It’s easy, extra protection that will save some of their lives.”  This is what happens when “journalists” lose their reporting skill and play to audience fears. Continue reading »

DTC marketers focus on dying media

deathofTVAccording to Business Intelligence “The TV business has had its worst year ever. Audience ratings have collapsed: Aside from a brief respite during the Olympics, there has been only negative ratings growth on broadcast and cable TV since September 2011, according to Citi Research.” While the national network news seems to be sponsored by pharma companies consumers are consuming media elsewhere and time shifting their favorite shows because repetitive tv commercials are downright annoying. Continue reading »

The FDA and drug prices under the spotlight

drugpriceheadlinesAccording to the NY Times “a decision announced Thursday by the Food and Drug Administration to suspend sales of a leukemia drug, Iclusig, that was keeping patients alive but also significantly raising their odds of heart attacks, strokes, blindness, death and amputations” has led to concern that patients who are using the drug to stay alive may soon find it hard to refill their prescriptions.   “Despite the potential consequences, several doctors who treat people with the disease, chronic myeloid leukemia, said there were patients for whom nothing else works, and whose lives depend on the drug.” So who really should make the decision about treatment options ? Continue reading »

It’s not about online health information, it’s what consumers do with that information

There is a lot, and I mean a lot, of health information on the Internet.  Unfortunately there is also a lot of bad health information on the Internet and consumers have to pretty much figure out for themselves which sites offer credible and good health information, that they can understand, and which ones are full of garbage.  What we should be worried about however is not all the health information that’s out there but what decisions consumers are making with information in hand. Continue reading »

Inventing a health condition via DTC

understanding-low-testosterone-4504According to today’s Times “The market for testosterone gels evolved because there is an appetite among men and because there is advertising,” said Dr. Joel Finkelstein, an associate professor at Harvard Medical School who is studying male hormone changes with aging. “The problem is that no one has proved that it works and we don’t know the risks.”  Many experts say that pharmaceutical advertising promotes excessive and inappropriate drug use by convincing patients that they are ill — or have a more serious condition than is genuinely the case — and need medicine to treat it. While television viewers are barraged with advertising warning men they may have “low T,” Dr. Finkelstein said, “There is no such disease.” Continue reading »