August 2008 Issue of MMM

August 2008 Issue of MMM

August 2008

Editor's Desk

Mix 'n' max media

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


The End of CME as We Know It

Pfizer's recent decision to pull the plug on direct funding of CME through independent commercial providers follows months of public criticism of pharma support. Lew ...

Med Ed Review: From Regs, Few Riches

There hasn't been much good news for providers in the past year, according to MM&M's annual Medical Education Survey, with regulatory issues squeezing budgets hard. ...

Media Directors On the Spot

Some of the best-known media directors in medical marketing assembled at the offices of MM&M to discuss the media issues of the day—and to offer ...

Changing Channels

Social networks and an expanded digital landscape have opened up more avenues for pharmaceutical and healthcare marketers to reach their patient and physician customers. Deborah ...

Headliner: Vertex's Craig Millian

Craig Millian left Pfizer, where he was the US commercial lead for Lipitor, for Vertex Pharmaceuticals in January 2006.

Vantage Point

Vantage Point

As I write this, I have just returned from The Pharmaceutical Business Intelligence and Research Group annual general meeting in Washington, DC.



Regular readers of this column know that one of my major themes is to defend lifesaving effective drugs that are wrongly targeted in the media.

In Focus

Firms fret as Pfizer shifts its CME support

Pfizer's announcement that it would no longer support accredited CME programs directly through commercial providers has beleaguered medical education and communication companies (MECCs) scrambling.

Med Ed Report

Pfizer discontinues support of CME

Pfizer will no longer fund continuing medical education through med ed firms.

Senator blasts GlaxoSmithKline-sponsored herpes med ed

The chairman of the Senate Committee on Aging has written the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) complaining that GlaxoSmithKline, which makes Valtrex, "sponsors ...

CBS, BusinessWeek collaborate on 'Doctors under the influence?'

CBS Evening News and BusinessWeek collaborated on a series titled "Doctors under the influence?," looking at whether speaking and consulting fees paid by pharmas to ...

Coalition for Healthcare Communications weighs in on IMS vs. Vermont

Coalition for Healthcare Communications responds to IMS vs. Vermont with amicus brief.

Three agencies respond to Macy's CME assertions

In a scathing rebuke to its assessment of conflicts of interest in CME, a trio of accrediting agencies said the Macy Foundation's assertions "reflect concerns ...

Professional Media

Oncology portal registers over 12,000

Elsevier's OncologySTAT portal has attracted over 12,000 registrants since its September 2007 launch.

Wolters Kluwer expands content

Lippincott's Nursing Procedures and Skills has been upgraded to provide hospitals with over 200 pediatric procedures.

AARC names publisher, head of scientific publishing division

The American Association for Cancer Research (AARC) has appointed Diane Scott-Lichter as publisher and head of its scientific publishing division.

Boston Ventures acquires Oakstone Publishing

Oakstone Publishing has been acquired by private equity firm Boston Ventures.

Merion Publications launches site for nurses, health professionals

Merion Publications' ADVANCE Newsmagazines has launched a new ADVANCE for Healthcare Careers website.

Publishers elect to use plagiarism detection software

A group of 12 publishers, including Elsevier, the American Society of Neuroradiology, JAMA and the Nature Publishing Group, have elected to use new plagiarism detection ...

Partner Forum

TV spend competes with 'demand'

With fewer big, mass-market brands and pharmaceutical companies seeking cost savings all around, will video-on-demand (VOD) and other more targeted cable advertising vehicles sap spending ...

Direct Marketing

Healthline launches online ad network

Healthline Networks, an online healthcare information portal, has launched Healthline Media Networks, offering advertisers vertical, full-network contextual buys.

Tablet PCs a boon for sales forces

Using technology to aid ever-diminishing sales forces is not only a good idea, but a necessity, given the decreased opportunities to interact directly with health ...

PDI announces retirement of CEO

Contract sales firm PDI has announced that Michael Marquard, CEO and a member of PDI's board of directors, has retired.

ID Media launches M.O.R.E.

ID Media has launched M.O.R.E., a local direct marketing system.

Wunderman acquires Designkitchen

Direct marketing agency Wunderman has acquired Designkitchen, a digital and interactive agency in Chicago.

Williams-Labadie appoints new senior account supervisor

Williams-Labadie, a division of the Publicis Healthcare Communications Group, has announced the appointment of Frank Bartco to senior account supervisor

DTC Report

Survey: pols don't dent DTC credibility

All the fury over DTC drug ads emanating from Washington hasn't dented their credibility with consumers, according to Rodale's 11th annual Survey on Consumer Reaction ...

FTC looks into ads for genetic tests

The Federal Trade Commission has opened an investigation into the possible deceptive advertising and marketing of DTC genetic tests, according to The New York Times

Pfizer denies it is looking to consolidate

Pfizer gathered capabilities info from its US consumer and professional advertising and PR agencies while issuing RFIs to some non-roster agencies, AdWeek reported.

Dingell, Stupak praise firms for following AMA guidelines

Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak, who chair the Committee on Energy and Commerce and the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee thereof, respectively, praised Merck, Schering-Plough, ...

Pharmas spent $16 million on DTC in WV, according to report

A report by West Virginia's Pharmaceutical Cost Management Council said pharmas spent $16 million on DTC advertising in the state from July 2007 through December ...

Digital Media

Web Watch

Most companies have not evolved their marketing strategies to keep pace with the magnitude of evolution we're seeing in how physicians gather information to make ...

HealthVault collaborating with AT&T

Microsoft's HealthVault has announced a collaboration deal with communications giant AT&T and computer platform service provider Covisint that will allow patients to share medical information ...

Public Relations

PR View by Helene Ellison

When pharmaceutical companies choose to maintain a favorable and high-profile media presence, the benefits are commercially advantageous, with measurable corporate, investor and marketing and sales ...

Cohn & Wolfe launches global firm: GCI Health

Cohn & Wolfe has launched GCI Health, a global public relations firm.

CCC unveils new compliance portal

Responding to the billions of dollars in industry fines paid under the False Claims Act, the Center for Communication Compliance (CCC) launched a new online ...

Marketing Research

Burgeoning senior ranks face gaps in healthcare

As Baby boomers transition into their 50s and 60s, a once complacent segment of the healthcare market is taking matters into its own hands.

Decision Resources grows portfolio

Decision Resources has acquired Manhattan Research.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

As a new study finds that pharma has become Washington's largest lobby in terms of dollars spent in campaign contributions, a high-stakes battle is looming ...

Kweder: new law slows down FDA approvals

While it holds exciting promise for protecting public health, last year's FDA Amendments Act (FDAAA) is actually slowing down new drug approvals, a key agency ...

Drug company outsource probe sought

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) wants the FDA to evaluate how it protects the American public from drug products containing tainted, outsourced ingredients.

Amid high praise, FDA's top cop quits

Calling it "a tremendous loss for the agency," FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach announced in June that the impending departure after three years in the ...

Court limits False Claims Act liability for whistleblowers

In a ruling that provided comfort to drug companies defending dissident former employees' whistleblower suits, the US Supreme Court said in June that False Claims ...

DDMAC responds to queries

DDMAC responses to queries posed by drug sponsors or manufacturers regarding ad/promo issues may only be regarded as official (for legal purposes) if they are ...

FDA doesn't approve most generics reviewed in first cycle

An HHS Office of Inspector General report says the FDA does not approve 96% of new generic drugs reviewed during their first cycle because they ...

Industry-sponsored trials reach record high in '07

The number of new industry-sponsored clinical trial starts went up 12% to a record high in 2007, according to data released by Parexel International Corp.

Back Talk

SUVs, CEOs and WCs

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.)