When you have a successful brand, you tamper with it at your peril
What do you call the people who treat medical breakthroughs as if they were bank heists? Malicious? Uninformed? Not with it?
We identify not with just the product, but with what it represents
A general consensus is that a "shake-up" of some kind is coming
There's no cure. But the good news is that prophylaxis is possible.
It's time to make healthcare data Big, and for patients' sake, sexy
Success cures fear, and success is born out of focus and hard work
There is room for growth, loyalty and long-term partnering
As healthcare marketers and their agencies develop ever more digital customer solutions like mobile medical apps, it may be time to take a fresh look at these offerings
Why agencies must get out of the strategy business.
Digital DNA is an inevitability, as we cannot forever resist this societal tide
Contextual awareness can mobilize patients' relationships to a brand
In times of crisis, there is no sleep for the weary—or the accused
The octane of the idea determines how well a digital tactic performs
FDA cannot rely solely on the label or the current standard for drug approvals
Apple picked up on what customers truly wanted, a more holistic experience
A scientific approach to marketing could yield efficiencies at every stage
The phrase "perfect storm" powerfully describes the colliding forces in healthcare
The question is not whether you should do it, but how to do it successfully
Mechanics may have been instrumental in determining the outcome of the election
"Big data" has radically enhanced the opportunities for industry to help patients
Project timelines that were once measured in months are now compressed into days
As with "one-size-fits-all" marketing, the "content-only-driven" strategy is outdated
For pharma to truly unlock the power of the iPad, we need to evolve the way we look at it
Military communication has an urgency that you can't match in the business world
Improved patient outcomes must be a stated, and measured, goal of all players in the pharma industry
Agencies can embrace the need to change—or sit back and watch their value melt away
The desire to reduce the cost of delivering care has led to redefining 'point of care'
Harnessing the power of digital and social media to maximize the doctor/patient relationship
Whether or not Obamacare survives in court, the cost-control squeeze is going to intensify
A tidal wave of information is on the horizon. Processing, analyzing and drawing accurate conclusions from that information is healthcare's next major challenge.
Pharmaceutical companies have not moved nearly fast enough to keep up with their customers' digital preferences
More than enough has been written how change is affecting our industry today. Instead, let's look at what hasn't changed and why the things that have not changed remain important.
A lot of ink has been spilt on the decline of the blockbuster and the search for a new specialty-product commercial model. But less attention has been paid to how that changes marketing strategy.
While doctors and nurses remain the first choice for most people with health concerns, the internet is making a significant impact on patients' healthcare decisions.
Many individuals outside the pharma industry have a maniacal vision of our senior executives.
It will take some time before we begin to see top-line results from the 2010 US Census. However, it's a pretty safe prediction that the new census will show us that we are at or near the point where more than one out of every three of the more than 300 million Americans did not designate themselves as white.
On Feb. 28, more than 30 countries across the world observed Rare Disease Day.
For generations, success in pharma could be virtually guaranteed by the three Ms: Put your best minds on discovering new treatments, invest enough money in development and commercialization and support the resulting brands with enough marketing, and you were golden.
Innovations in healthcare seem to be popping up in new places all the time, including the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January.
It dawned on me at the New Year, that it was some 20 years ago that the Coalition for Healthcare Communication came into being.
A brand is more than just a symbol, slogan or trade name. It transcends logos and visual identities. Brands establish identity, provide differentiation and, most importantly, drive economic value.
As our nation continues to debate how the healthcare system should be fixed, little attention has been paid to the need to better incorporate multiculturalism in the provision of medical care.
Advocacy organizations serve as primary drivers of opinion and knowledge with patients, media and policy makers.
In the 1990s, brand-based DTC advertising was a big breakthrough innovation in pharmaceutical marketing.
The number of pharma sales reps who wait for doctors and never see them is quickly growing.
Call it the Gray Tsunami, the Silver Tsunami or just plain Baby Boomers getting old. The first of more than 77 million Baby Boomers entering Medicare next year will lead to more changes in our ever-evolving healthcare system.
The biggest piece of social legislation since Medicare has passed. The sweeping healthcare reform bill will touch the lives of all Americans, and even more so for the 34 million who will now have health insurance.
Anyone who is involved with the biopharmaceutical industry and who is even half-awake knows how difficult it is for companies to navigate today's increasingly hostile legal and regulatory enforcement landscape.
Many people regard pharmaceutical firms as a necessary evil—they deliver life-saving products but are also to blame for rising healthcare costs. With the industry facing subsequent and serious image problems, strong leadership matters more than ever.
Innovative chemical compounds have improved the quality and longevity of the lives of many Americans. Many diseases that were once a death sentence are now treatable.
Call it the law of unintended consequences or the perfect storm or a bad hair day or any other cliché you can think of, but as 2009 came to a close we once again faced a cluster of bad news for the pharma industry.
The pharma industry looks to the next decade with trepidation. Growth in many sectors is flat. Generic expiries loom. Trust in the industry is at rock bottom.
American consumers are used to warranties. If you buy a TV set and it stops working within a specified time, you can ask for a replacement or to have it fixed.
I'm old enough to remember a time when everybody in pharma suddenly had to have a website for their brand—not for any strategic reason, but because it was the thing to do.
Mr. Ross, when you headed KPR Informedia, did you submit articles to medical journals that were ghostwritten?
In its August 2009 blizzard of compliance correspondence, DDMAC used some of the harshest language in recent Warning Letter memory to send what can only be interpreted as a message that its patience is wearing thin.
Pharma and biotech companies are competing to have enough vaccine on hand for the next swine flu (H1N1) outbreak. They missed the one last winter and spring, and their response has uniformly been: We'll be ready next time.
At a recent conference, I told two perplexed-looking FDA attendees that I thought pharma has a distinct advantage with social media, because we're used to marketing with boundaries, and social-media rules and FDA guidelines are actually quite similar.
What the FDA euphemistically calls "guidances" are usually received by industry with something less than cheers. Despite the name, the guidances are often perceived as directives to be ignored at your peril.
My friend and former colleague, the late Steve Gross, was having dinner one night with the head of rheumatology from a major teaching hospital. The doctor asked Steve if he knew the "Five Rules for Success."
Again and again you see the statement that information technology will not only avoid medication errors but stop (or even reverse) the upward trend of healthcare costs.
In these troubled times, it is important to remember that some things are within your control, while others are not. Troughs in the economic cycle provide an opportunity to assess where you are, decide where you want to be and develop a plan for getting there.
As of the first of the year the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA code) forbade the distribution of such goodies as pens or mugs with product logos.
I remember the pleasure I took in watching my children learn to climb stairs.
By the time you read this, most of the holiday parties will be a distant memory. The champagne is gone, the confetti swept up and the sugar plums have turned into prunes.
No, not that kind of rehab. On October 4 I had a stroke.
Disclosure: My father and mother were both physicians so I obviously have a pro-doctor bias.
Recently I had the distinct honor of delivering the keynote address for the Doctors' Choice Awards, an event sponsored by the Association of Medical Media.
Today, we kneel to the Internet and the opportunities it has made possible.
The initials CEO, CFO and COO have become so ubiquitous that it's no longer necessary to spell out what they stand for. (I hope.)
One of the most useful skills I learned in high school was how to write book reports without reading the whole book.
The pharmaceutical industry's character—its products, messages, promo channels and even its audiences—have been determined by governmental regulation and trade conventions practiced by media and manufacturers.
It's become part of received wisdom that today's patient is an active partner in his or her medical care. Since we all accept this as fact, we don't think it's worth questioning.
To marketing people in the pharmaceutical industry, the Prescription Drug Marketing Act (PDMA) lists numerous government regulations related to prescription drug samples.
Success! When Congress was debating the new Medicare drug benefit, the pharmaceutical industry's top priority was to make sure the government could not negotiate prescription drug prices.
January has kicked off the 2008 election cycle, with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries taking the lead.
Pardon my French, but there's no better cliché to describe a special issue of Harper's magazine dated October 1960, starting with the cover headline: "The Crisis in American Medicine."
No, not next summer's Olympic Games scheduled in Beijing from September 6 through the 17, but, the games that are beginning now, which will last until election day 2008, and possibly well beyond that.
In baseball, a pitch that was perfect in Abner Doubleday's era would still be pretty darn good today--the dimensions of the strike zone have stayed remarkably consistent through the history of the game.
When the members of the FDA advisory committee voted 22 to 1 to keep Avandia on the market, they had concluded that the epidemiologic data showed that the benefits of the drug outweighed the risks.
Some retired folks play golf all day; others travel. But there’s something about healthcare communication execs that makes them not want to quit. Instead of retiring, they start a new career.
Talk about a confluence of events. In just 10 days, three major threats to medical communications came to a head. And for once, our side won or made significant progress on all three: CME, DTC and the continued use of prescribing information.
If healthcare communicators ever look for a patron saint, I nominate St. Sebastian, sentenced to have archers shoot arrows at him from all directions.
We all know that if you live on McDonald’s hamburgers for a month you’ll turn grossly obese, your “bad” cholesterol level will zoom and your liver will deteriorate.
In the classic 1967 movie, Cool Hand Luke, Paul Newman earns the respect of his fellow chain-gang prisoners by refusing to stay down after being beaten to a pulp.
Just what do you think you’re doing? That maternal admonition might well be addressed by Mother Nature to the geneticists and biochemists whose research promises not just “to add a trait here or to subtract a defect here, but to alter radically our very being.”
When organized CME was in its infancy, we viewed it as the professional responsibility of a physician to keep up in those areas that would benefit the care of patients.
Sens. Frist and Clinton are both on record as supporting the push for computerizing medical record keeping.
Imagine (we all have bad dreams from time to time) that you’ve been appointed FDA Commissioner.
MM&M's 40th anniversary called to mind that one of my first articles for the magazine--not quite 40 years ago but close--was about the emergence of accredited CME and how it not only provided a new communications channel for the industry but was making a major contribution to better patient care.
He had a way with words. Anyone who knew him would tell you that.
Jack Barrette of Yahoo! wrote in a letter to the editor (MM&M, May 2006): "We live in a world of consumers deeply engaged in their health."
It is a fact of life that direct-to-consumer (DTC) promotion has become increasingly educational—as addressed by PhRMA's guidelines for DTC advertising, FDA's public hearing on consumer guidelines and, recently, the Coalition for Healthcare Communication's citizens' petition.
In my agency days, I always wanted to see firsthand how well the sales aids we created worked in the field.
As a former journalist, I was always trained to write the truth.
A year ago, conventional wisdom proclaimed that the dollar would continue to decline.