The silence of some people in the industry is deafening ​

QUICK READ: Those of us who love the pharma industry are responsible for being the change we want to see. This is true in all functions from healthcare marketing to agency people who work with clients.

The news this morning that prices will be required in DTC ads is disturbing because it won’t do a thing to address the concerns of patients about the prices of prescription drugs. It’s nothing more than a feeble attempt to show that politicians are doing something about the high costs of healthcare.

The transformation of the pharma industry from one that cares about patients to one that cares about Wall Street more continues. CEO’s continue to rake in a lot of money, and the media has painted an enormous bullseye on the back of the industry mainly marginalizing the contributions of hard-working people who believe in what they do.

Those of us who have heard the voice of patients in research know that a lot of people are happier and healthier because of prescription drugs. We also know that while list prices have been going up net prices have been declining because, it seems, that everyone wants a piece of our healthcare dollars. A list price for a prescription drug means nothing.

As an industry thought leader, I follow a lot of resources on pharma news. It seems the only news worth following is STAT because they dare to call out industry missteps. Trade magazines are worthless because they spend too much time coddling industry people so they can keep their subscriptions active. Their trade awards are nothing but an attempt to reward people who know how to work the system, and they have the chutzpah to charge companies for attending these awards!

I can’t tell you how many times I have sat in agency briefings to clients while overzealous regulatory of sales oriented people try to change a good marketing idea into a terrible one. What bothers me, though, is that most won’t say a damn thing for fear of losing business. That has to stop.

There are too many agencies that will do anything a client wants rather than stand their ground. In doing so, they lose credibility. If they see the pharma industry as nothing more than a paycheck, then they shouldn’t be in the business.

We need more LOUD voices to say “this may be legal, but it’s not right” and push back when they KNOW something is wrong. Make no mistake about it our industry is at a critical crossroads. Unless we acknowledge the challenges our industry faces and take proactive steps to put patients really first we are going to see more regulation that is going to hurt patients and the industry.