February 2008 Issue of MMM

February 2008 Issue of MMM

February 2008

Editor's Desk

Setbacks from two sources

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


This is Your Year

The quest to win an MM&M Award starts here with the launch of the 2008 program. As always, your entries will be judged by an ...

What's Up with the FDA?

What, if anything, is wrong with FDA? And who's to blame: the agency's leadership or its massed ranks of critics? These are just some of ...

2008 MAHF Inductees

The Medical Advertising Hall of Fame will induct Robert Baldini, John Corcoran and Richard Cliggott at a special celebration dinner. The MAHF will also honor ...

Direct Marketing Report: Something old, something new

New media and technology won't be replacing tried-and-true pharmaceutical direct marketing any time soon say the experts. Stephen McGuire reports on how pharma marketers are ...

Headliner: Pfizer's Maureen Doyle-Scharff

She makes house calls, lots of them. Maureen Doyle-Scharff, MBA, FACME, calls Ohio home but logs about half her work hours in Pfizer's Manhattan offices.

Vantage Point

Vantage Point

A document recently crossed my desk that was so seminal I needed to share it with my colleagues through this column.



Now that we are in a presidential election year, much attention has been directed toward the question of how to extend healthcare to more people.

In Focus

Congress, heart doctors weigh in on Vytorin

In Washington, the saying goes, it's not the crime but the cover-up that gets you.

Med Ed Report

Will pharma grants run dry at UMass?

UMass Memorial Medical Center has taken a comprehensive approach to limit clinician-industry interaction.

MECCs skid in bid to level playing field

Medical education companies meeting privately with regulators aired their disproval of a new policy they say treats them unfairly, but real parity appeared beyond reach.

ACC to examine satellite fees

The American College of Cardiology (ACC) is examining a policy under which companies requesting space for satellite symposia at its annual meeting must become exhibitors.

Pfizer hopes to post CME grants online by March

Pfizer's goal is to begin posting its CME grants online by the end of March, said Maureen Doyle-Scharff, director, medical education group.

Fission merging with UK-based Caudex Medical

Fission Communications is merging with another McCann Healthcare Worldwide Group property, UK-based Caudex Medical.

Macy Foundation: pharma shouldn't support CE for health professions

"Bias, either by appearance or reality, has become woven into the very fabric of continuing education," noted a report from the Josiah Macy, Jr. Foundation ...

Scienta promotes Sherri Foster to president

Scienta Healthcare Education, an accredited medical education firm, promoted Sherri Foster to president, from senior vice president and general manager.

Professional Media

Boswood to head Thomson Healthcare

Thomson Healthcare has named Mike Boswood president and CEO, replacing Bob Cullen, who is retiring after 23 years at the company.

GlaxoSmithKline shifts OTC media

GlaxoSmithKline said it will shift media buying and planning for its North American OTC brands to WPP's MediaCom by the end of February.

Advanstar names Wagner VP, primary care

Advanstar named Laura Wagner VP, primary care.

Nature Publishing Group partnering with Sermo

Nature Publishing Group is partnering with Sermo to offer a cross-branded forum for discussion to readers of NPG titles.

Thomson sold CenterWatch and New England Institutional Review Board

Thomson Corp. sold its CenterWatch and New England Institutional Review Board franchises to Jobson Medical Information for an undisclosed sum.

Pink Sheet publisher launches PharmAsiaNews

Pink Sheet publisher F-D-C Reports launched PharmAsiaNews, a subscription-based online service covering drugs, devices and biologics in China, India, Japan and other Pacific Rim nations.

Partner Forum

Will walkout scuff TV ad spending?

Pharma companies that advertise on TV have an eye on the writers' strike, which has hampered Hollywood's ability to churn out new shows and may ...


Web Watch

It looks like 2008 is shaping up to be a difficult year for the industry.

Consumers tend to turn to web for wellness info

US consumers are turning to the Internet, even more so than their doctors, to research health information, according to a report from digital marketing company ...

Google, Merck tout benefits of online

Pharma marketers can leverage their brand messages by taking promotional efforts online where users are increasingly searching for healthcare information.

Direct Marketing

DC OKs measure to license sales reps

The District of Columbia Council in January approved legislation that would require pharmaceutical sales representatives to obtain licenses to operate within city limits.

Former Amgen reps suing over tactics

Two former Amgen sales reps are suing the company claiming the biotech firm pushed its sales force to search doctor's medical records for potential patients ...

Nitromed axes BiDil sales reps

Nitromed announced it plans to lay off a majority of its newly hired BiDil sales force by roughly 70 to 90 employees.

TNS names Callahan VP, sales force effectiveness

TNS Healthcare named Dennis Callahan VP, sales force effectiveness.

MediZine appoints Silverman VP, sales & marketing

MediZine announced the appointment of James Silverman as VP, sales & marketing.

Publicis promotes Larece to director, client services

Publicis Selling Solutions has promoted Lanya Larece to director, client services.

PDI extends sales service agreement with top-10 pharma company

PDI, Inc. announced that it has extended its sales services agreement with a top-10 pharma company through April 2009 to promote its anti-viral medication on ...

DTC Report

Congress probes celebrity endorsers

Congress is investigating the use of celebrity endorsements in pharmaceutical advertising—starting with a "celebrity doctor," artificial heart inventor Dr. Robert Jarvik.

DTC user fee plan canned

After all that, Congress has canceled the user fee program for DTC TV ad reviews.

Congress wants Vytorin ad info

Reps. John Dingell and Bart Stupak aren't only interested in Lipitor advertising.

DTC ads don't offer fair balance says study

DTC ads don't offer adequate fair balance, according to a study by the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Consumer drug advertising is favorite culprit in rising Rx costs

Consumer drug advertising remains corporate benefit managers' favorite culprit in rising prescription drug costs, according to an Arxcel survey.

NY Times used Lyrica launch as basis for article

The New York Times used the launch of new ads for Pfizer's Lyrica as the peg for an article on fibromyalgia

Public Relations

PR View by Paul Oestreicher

It's a reflection of our times: if you're in healthcare you must also have political smarts.

Merck, Pfizer look outside industry for PR execs

Two top pharmas looked outside the industry for their top communications executives

Patient groups prompt NYU to pull ads

Bowing to outraged patient advocates, NYU Child Study Center said it will halt its controversial print and outdoor ads aimed at raising awareness of mental ...

Marketing Research

Federal judge rejects ME prescription data law

A Maine law that would have limited access by medical data companies to doctors' prescription information was reversed on constitutional grounds.

Tough business climate roils IMS

IMS Health said it intends to lay off 10% of its workforce, or as many as 760 employees worldwide.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

Barely a month after the FDA's Science Board Advisory Committee unanimously declared that "American lives are at risk" because of a growing crisis in the ...

Grassley seeking FDA reform over Ketek issues

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has asked the HHS Inspector General to investigate the FDA's troubled approval of the Sanofi-Aventis antibiotic Ketek based exclusively on allegedly ...

FDA sued over antibiotic warnings

Public Citizen has filed a federal court suit asking that the FDA be forced to act on a petition the group says has been unanswered ...

Effexor ad cited by FDA as misleading

The FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising, and Communications says a Wyeth professional journal ad for Effexor XR (venlaxine HCl) tablets was misleading because it ...

Former FDA chief David Kessler fired by UC San Francisco

Former FDA commissioner David A. Kessler, who refused to allow DTC advertising during his term, has been fired from his $540,000-a-year position as dean of ...

Congressmen call for hearing to examine conflicts of interest

Congressmen Mike Michaud (R-ME), Dan Burton (R-IN) and Tim Ryan (D-OH) wrote House Energy and Commerce calling for a hearing to examine alleged conflicts of ...

Senator asks FDA chief for info relating to Genentech

Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) has asked commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach for info relating to the FDA's role in a decision by Genentech to limit availability ...

Government says court should wait to decide on Phenergan

The government says the US Supreme Court should wait before deciding whether to hear an appeal of a Vermont Supreme Court decision in a product ...

Back Talk

Be careful what you wish for

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 ...