Live, listen and learn

Companies are realizing that they need to be more attuned to their audience

We've only just begun

We cemented our credibility during the most difficult period for publishing

Going for the ultimate goal

Since when was the US better at soccer than advertising?

Bringing back the magic

At MM&M's Leadership Exchange, the passion, candor, enthusiasm and respect were second-to-none

One-product wonders

When it comes to the patent cliff, pharma, it seems, is so over it

Storied in great content

Content marketing is no mystery. It's just the art of sharing good stories

Insight trumps innovation

At any given time, 25-40% of your staff don't know how to do their jobs

Shiny objects with meaning

Gaming does not trivialize the patient's experience of a chronic disease

Five stars for the New Year

In this issue's All-stars coverage you'll find five great industry success stories from the past year. Here, in a nutshell, is why each won

Wiping the slate clean

What if pharmaceutical marketing could start again with a clean slate, reinvent age-old marketing instincts and put in place some things that we think would think might work a little better? What would it look like?

Impatience over patients

The battle for patient-centricity sounds a lot like the fight for digital

The good, bad, ugly truth

MM&M's Career & Salary Survey usually throws up at least one interesting storyline or trend each year, based on an analysis of the numbers. In this, the study's 27th year, I can give you at least three.

Of message and medium

HCPs are viewing more content than before—but probably not your content

New dialogue, old hangups

The breathtaking speed with which pharma marketing continues to evolve demands a continuous dialogue

The fruits of reinvention

Objectives have been redefined... now it's time to put them into practice

A measure of change

The actual amounts may be small, but the direction of the swing is undeniable

A marketer and a patient

When Ian Talmage, Bayer HealthCare's SVP, global marketing, was faced with a cancer diagnosis, he found that other patients had more information to offer him than pharma did

Draining the bathwater

The fact that Pfizer cut DTC spend by 30% and kept the top spot tells its own story

Data dive or treasure trove?

With the advent of expansive data, risk management has evolved to include assessment of the risk of not doing things.

The new killer app: Humans

Pharma's "digital adoption" conversation has almost always focused on new technologies, new channels, new audiences and new skills. But that's changing fast.

The courage to collaborate

Too often "innovation" translates to "finding the best way to cut budgets"

It's back on, whatever 'it' is

If ever an industry could use four years of things staying basically the same, it's pharma

Are we nearly there yet?

When toilet paper can get 2 million likes, you start to realize pharma is missing out

The greatest intentions

There is no way that each year more than a third of the industry is job hunting

Pharma's new best friend

Apple's tablet device, it seems, is now pharma's best friend, too. But it's not as simple as just rolling up to the physician's office, flashing your iPad for five minutes and watching market share soar.

There's life beyond the cliff

Obamacare could cost the industry $140 billion—not exactly a windfall

The biggest little black book

Change is everywhere in healthcare... Standing still is not an option.

Your future in their hands

Not all gizmos are at war with mobile. In healthcare, it's become the opposite.

When no news is bad news

Like it or not, you have an obligation to communicate with your stakeholders

Hope-infested waters

Pharma has made advances in solving health problems and that's where the future lies

Desperate measures

Researchers are sensing a waning influence within their companies

Change you can believe in

A body of evidence suggests that gamification might change the world

How we make the stars align

Each year we are asked by many people how we arrive at our choices for the MM&M All-Stars. Here 's how we make those decisions.

2012, our giant-leap year

We are planning to host at least three more virtual events in 2012

Life in the slow lane

Is pharma catching up with technology or are companies still marketing like it's 1999?

Message from the editor

The objective of the MM&M Awards program is to recognize and champion both creativity and effectiveness in healthcare marketing and communications. And what really sets these awards apart is the level of independence and authority with which every submission is judged.

We've been here all along

While trawling through the MM&M archives ahead of our this, our 45th birthday, I found hundreds of gems—each story helping to chronicle the magnitude, direction and pace of the various changes our industry has undergone over the past four and a half decades.

Top leaders need top talent

As everybody always tells me, good talent is always in demand - especially now, and especially in this industry.

Apps without borders

Just as we are going to press with this August print issue, the FDA has issued a set of draft guidelines for mobile medical apps.

10 strategies for evolution

The days are long, there's a whiff of barbecue in the air, A/C units have returned to their windows, the Mets are almost out of contention...and MM&M has been very, very busy. It must be July.

The age of innovation

There's a lot of talk about innovation in pharma these days, or, at least, there's a lot of talk about the need for pharma to innovate.

The incredible thinking industry

In Jack Arnold's 1957 cult sci-fi classic The Incredible Shrinking Man, businessman Robert Scott Carey is condemned to a life of shrinkage, for which there is no medicinal remedy.

DTC is dead/long life DTC

I'm a gonna tell you how it's gonna be..." screamed rock musician Jack White outside his music trailer, at the start of an "impromptu" one-man show at last month's all-conquering SXSW festival in Austin, TX.

Shiny toys and happy people

If you're an advertising agency and I'm on your home page, 100% of the time I'm there to do something other than watch a Flash intro.

Apps and apparitions

This month's cover story hails mobile apps as the future of patient education and disease management, which is a somewhat courageous statement.

Power and responsibility

Did you know that in India more human legs are lost each year to diabetes--around 40,000--than are lost to landmines across the entire world? Neither did I.

The patently obvious

This time last year, the majority of us were glad to see the back of 2009. The industry welcomed 2010 with an uncertain mix of trepidation, relief, hope and bracing for the worst.

Thinking outside the bag

The chilly morning commutes into the office, and the dark journeys home, are evidence enough that fall has set in. But it's not only the seasons and the leaves that are changing. There are plenty of shifts taking place in pharma, too.

A Message from the Editor

Welcome to this special showcase of the best work from the MM&M Awards 2010. Once again, the quality of the 46 gold- and silver- winning entries featured in these pages is outstanding.

Primary care alive and well

Last month, I began this column by revealing what seemed like the first piece of good news in a long time--namely, that the average paycheck in the industry had risen for the first time in three years, according to our Career & Salary Survey.

It's not always about money

Finally, some good news--salaries are back! At least, according to the 24th annual MM&M Career & Salary Survey.

Who moved the goalposts?

Promoting prescription drugs is obviously a lot different than hawking cars, soda and sports apparel, not least because of the highly regulated environment in which pharma marketers operate.

Why do we do it this way?

Welcome to the big, fat July issue, featuring our extensive annual coverage of healthcare agencies.

Left to our own devices

The fine spring weather we've been enjoying here at MM&M has really put us in the mood to break out of the box and explore one or two fresh pastures.

Don't ask Dr. Dean if DTC is right

Even though it's now been 13 years since the first ever TV commercial for a prescription drug brand debuted on our TV screens--Claritin's "Blue Skies"--the debate about the morality and responsibility of DTC advertising rages on. And the arguments haven't really changed all that much.

Cliffs notes on expiring patents

Often, when I am exposed to certain words and phrases, it acts as a cue for my mind to break into an accompanying composition of incidental music and fitting sounds effects.

Where patients are a virtue

Just a few hours before a heavy blizzard almost brought last month's ePharma Summit to its knees, a man called Dave deBronkart, aka e-Patient Dave, had brought it to its feet. I make no apologies if you already know his story; it's important and it's hardly boring.

B here, there, everywhere

Enough of what you can't do online! This has been the mantra at MM&M in the past few weeks, and the brief for this month's Patient Marketing Report.

Five gold rings

When we set out to find our five All-Star teams for 2010, we were a little concerned that it might turn into an exercise for identifying the businesses and brands that...well, sucked the least in 2009. We needn't have worried.

Advocates and adversaries

I got a golden ticket! Or rather, my senior editor Matthew Arnold did.

Message from the Editor

Welcome to this showcase of winning entries to the MM&M Awards 2009. Once again, the quality of work is of the very highest order.

Guidance is golden

After last year's MM&M Awards produced success stories for numerous "nimble, smaller" shops, it was interesting to see some of the big boys fighting back in style this year: Saatchi & Saatchi, Draftfcb, McCann, GSW Worldwide, Ogilvy Healthworld and ghg (Grey) were all among the golds.

The leaves continue to fall

If you want to see something really ugly, then you need look no further than the journal advertising numbers for the first half of 2009.

Reality check on pay

It's salary survey season again at MM&M and given the economic turbulence that has characterized the past year, we didn't really know what to expect when we crunched the numbers.

Who are they to judge?

It was 8:30 am on Monday, July 13, at the Warwick Hotel in the heart of the Big Apple and most of the 41 healthcare marketing and media execs that made up the MM&M Awards 2009 judging panel were already assembled, awakening their senses with coffee, cleansing their minds with vitamin C and sharpening their teeth on bagels.

Double-digit opportunity

I just might be the only editor of a longstanding business title who, this year, has the pleasure of welcoming readers to its biggest-ever issue.

Credit where credit's due

You know that CME is in a bit of trouble when its longest-serving provider is hanging up its accreditation credentials and stepping out of the game.

Climbing the social ladder

Somebody asked me a few days ago why I bother to tweet. "What's the point of Twitter?" he continued.

A winter of dissed content

Spring is here at last and we've been reorganizing some of our closet space here at MM&M, or chucking out the chintz as they say in the UK. Specifically, we've made a number of significant enhancements to the structure and content of our department pages. Why, you may ask?

Pharma's e-vangelists

In some ways, last month's ePharma Summit in Philadelphia (the ninth one, can you believe?) felt a little like the one before it, and even one before that, come to think of it.

Divided by a common speech

Regardless of their political persuasion, most people would have to agree that President Obama's Inauguration speech was penned with precision and delivered with no less aplomb.

New year, no fear

It's not unusual for the pharmaceutical industry to welcome the New Year with at least a little trepidation.

Change we can believe in?

I have a confession to make about this year's MM&M Awards evening and it has nothing to do with any adverse events at the afterglow party.

Never mind the ballots

Chances are that by the time you read this column the dust will already have settled on the voting machines and the identity of the next president will be known.

Power isn't knowledge

Patient marketers and industry commentators talk an awful lot about the "empowered" consumer.

Why do you do what you do?

We all have a pretty good idea of what the average person in the street might think of big pharma, and the chances are it's not too complimentary.

Mix 'n' max media

It's August. Which means the dog days of the media budget-planning season are upon us again.

Unilateral armament

Welcome to The Agency Issue 2008—the biggest ever issue of MM&M.

Doctors are consumers too

Pharmaceutical marketers spend a lot of time and effort figuring out what makes physicians tick.

Good people, good company

One of the fundamental challenges facing pharmaceutical companies is finding a balance between developing and manufacturing lifesaving medications and making money for shareholders.

Change the channel on DTC

This is the time of year when we take our annual, in-depth look at direct-to-consumer advertising.

Pharma still searching online

The other day I was flipping through some old copies of the sadly defunct Revolution magazine (for digital marketers) and an editorial from February 2001 caught my eye.

Setbacks from two sources

Like the vast majority of kids growing up in England, I was obsessed with soccer.

Make your own luck

This time last year we boldly saluted Merck as MM&M's first All-Star Company of the Year.

The certainty of uncertainty

So how was it for you? 2007, that is.

A new-found exuberance

There hasn't been much good news coming out of Pfizer in the past couple of years. Efforts to replace anticipated losses from the looming patent expirations of Lipitor and other products have taken ghastly and much-publicized turns.

The pursuit of persistence

To say that tackling patient compliance and persistence poses a challenge to the pharmaceutical industry is like calling Tiger Woods a competent golfer or describing Katrina as a particularly bad storm. It is a gross understatement.

For whom the bills fall

The fierce competition to recruit talented healthcare marketing professionals is beginning to translate into numbers, according to the results of our annual Career Salary Survey.

Communicating the Science

Having just attended the judging for MMM Awards 2007, I was on a high. For starters, it’s one of the ultimate thrills for a trade editor to be greeted by almost 50 executives representing the cream of the industry the magazine covers, all of whom have committed an entire day to reviewing and scoring the 700-plus entries.

The Spirit of 2007

I always look forward to compiling the July issue because, although we cover agency news year-round, it affords us a much more detailed look at who’s doing what and allows us to chart the trends.

If it ain’t quite fixed, break it

Pharma-bashing in the media has certainly become a lot more sophisticated in the couple of years since the Cox-2 class imploded and the papers effectively broke the news that not all prescription drugs are 100% safe for everyone to whom they are marketed.

Cause and effect

If Pfizer CEO Jeffrey Kindler were up against Microsoft magnate Bill Gates in a ranking of the world’s most influential people, which one would finish higher?

Anecdotes and analytics

Using anecdotal observations to shape perceptions, form opinions and draw conclusions is a dangerous game.

Something for the weekend

As a young lad growing up in small-town England, my parents would insist that every six to eight weeks I visited the local barber for my ritual cropping.

Trust: mission possible?

Remember when President Bush pulled an iPod from his holster and fired off a few of rounds of his favorite digital tunes to a grateful gaggle of news reporters?

Science and other miracles

I really like Merck. There, I’ve said it. I’m probably not the only one who feels this way. The trouble is, I’m not too sure why I have such a good perception, and even less sure of when it began.

Preaching to the converted

As a geography major—yes, geography—I have to confess to having fond memories of presentations on demographics and socio-economic trends.

A bitter bill to swallow

It's game seven of the National League Championship Series and the New York Mets, down two runs in the bottom of the 9th, have runners on first and second with no outs.

MM&M: Still feisty at 40

The big four-oh is, for most of us, a tough one, as birthdays go.

Have we turned the page?

While I didn't need another reason for chalking up 1966 as a vintage year, I quickly found one when I joined Medical Marketing & Media: Not only was 1966 the year in which England won the World Cup, but it also marked the launch of this publication.

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MM&M EBOOK: PATIENT ACCESS

Patient access to pharmaceuticals is a tale of two worlds—affordability has improved for the majority, while the minority is hampered by cost, distribution and red tape. To provide marketers with a well-rounded perspective, MM&M presents this e-book chock full of key insights. Click here to access it.