January 2008 Issue of MMM

January 2008 Issue of MMM

January 2008

Editor's Desk

Make your own luck

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


MM&M All-Stars Company of the Year: Merck

When the going got tough, Merck got back to basics.

MM&M All-Stars Agency of the Year: AbelsonTaylor

Uncommonly good creative has helped standalone agency AbelsonTaylor stand out among its peers, garner acclaim and earn loyalty from clients.

MM&M All-Stars Large Pharma Marketing Team of the Year: Cymbalta (Eli Lilly)

Eli Lilly & Co. spent $128 million promoting Cymbalta (duloxetene) for the year through August, according to IMS Health.

MM&M All-Stars Small Pharma Marketing Team of the Year: Keppra (UCB, Inc.)

Since last year, when UCB, Inc. let users of its antiepileptic Keppra speak for the brand, patients have become an important visual and vocal component ...

Beyond the Patent: Extending the Life of Brands

With many of the industry's major blockbuster drugs coming off-patent in the next few years, pharmaceutical companies are scrambling to extend the life of their ...

Vantage Point

Vantage Point

In December we predicted a wild ride in 2008 for pharmaceutical marketing research.



In past columns I have defended the commonly used sleeping pill Ambien.

In Focus

Sky-high satellite space fees spur concerns

Funders of continuing medical education are becoming increasingly critical of satellite symposia.

MM&M All-Stars Media Brand of the Year: Sermo

On September 20, 2007, Sermo's founder and CEO Dr. Daniel Palestrant stepped up to the podium at the Health 2.0 conference in San Francisco and ...

Med Ed Report

Real-time education makes headlines

Do physicians need a CNN for CME? Some vendors think so and are implementing real-time educational offerings.

Rep. Waxman leak unlikely to suppress off-label guidance

The chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform provoked industry exponents last month by leaking FDA draft guidance on off-label journal reprints.

Sermo launces HotSpots feature

Sermo launched its HotSpots feature, which contextually links to learning opportunities based on discussions taking place in the online physician community.

Pfizer's Kristofco comments on outcomes-oriented CME

During an MM&M webcast, Pfizer's Bob Kristofco, MSW, said pharma "continues to have an expectation for more outcomes-oriented CME," and that he expects grants from ...

Warner assumes new role at CME LLC

Melissa Warner has assumed the role of SVP and general manager of CME LLC.

Carlat vows pro-bono visits to doctor's offices

Daniel Carlat, MD, vowed pro-bono visits to doctor's offices as a way to repay $30,000 he earned from paid lecturing.

Whitcomb calls producing capable physician workforce "challenging"

In an editorial (Academic Medicine, Dec. 2007), Michael Whitcomb, MD, called producing a capable physician workforce "the most important challenge facing academic medicine."

Professional Media

Ascend pulls the plug on medical titles

Ascend Media is shedding its titles dependent on pharma ad revenue.

YouTube for docs is big at Temple

A would-be "YouTube for doctors" has posted 70 videos from Temple University.

Quadrant launches Physician's Travel & Meeting Network

Quadrant HealthCom launched Physicians' Travel & Meeting Network.

The Coalition for Healthcare Communication responds to Waxman

The Coalition for Healthcare Communication issued a statement in response to Rep. Henry Waxman's assault on pharmaceutical company's distribution of journal articles to doctors.

Wiley-Blackwell relaunches InfoPOEMs and InfoRetreiver products

Wiley-Blackwell is relaunching its InfoPOEMs and InfoRetriever products under the name Essential Evidence Plus.

Partner Forum

How bad can journal ad drought get?

Many primary care journals have gotten dangerously thin this year, with some major medical publishers folding pharma ad revenue-dependent titles or putting them up for ...


Web Watch

As another new year rolls around, it's time to pull out the crystal ball and forecast how the Internet will evolve in 2008.

Revolution Health adds to its online health network

Revolution Health has acquired the online properties HealthTalk and SparkPeople in an attempt to challenge WebMD as the web's No. 1 health destination.

ePharma Summit discusses the future

The future of e-marketing will be in focus from Jan. 28- Jan. 30 when the some of the top names in e-marketing gather at Philadelphia's ...

Direct Marketing

Bill seeks to license pharma sales reps

The District of Columbia could become the first jurisdiction within the country to require the licensing of pharmaceutical sales representatives, pending the outcome of a ...

Docs rate top specialty reps in survey

Physicians were asked to rank the companies that have the best general sales reps, specialty sales reps, and medical science liaisons as part of "Specialty ...

Harte-Hanks adds to digital practice

Harte-Hanks has announced a series of changes and promotions as it enhances its digital practice area.

SK&A names Powell to newly created position

SK&A Information Services named Tim Powell senior director of sales, a newly created position.

HealthEd adds new members to its team

Vincent Dean Boyce joins HealthEd as senior interactive designer.

MediZine appoints Tolstoy Penkrat as senior promotion manager

MediZine announced the appointment of Sophia Tolstoy Penkrat as senior promotion manager.

DTC Report

DTC spend declined in third quarter

Could DTC be going the way of detailing?

Doc knocks DTC diagnostic ads

Writing in the December issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Dr. Erin Tracy said DTC ads for genetic tests are virtually unregulated and tests are costly ...

European Commission gets negative feedback on public consultation

The European Commission drew fire from patient and public health advocacy groups for a public consultation on matters regarding regulation of the pharma industry.

Mr. Mucus gets a new home

Mr. Mucus is going to work for Reckitt Benckiser, which bought Adams Respiratory Therapeutics, maker of the heavily advertised Mucinex franchise, for $2.3 billion.

Merck will continue DTC for Singulair, Januvia, says CFO

In an analyst call, Merck EVP and CFO Peter Kellogg said the company plans "continued DTC efforts for Singulair and Januvia as well as appropriate ...

Public Relations

PR View by Lynn Hanessian

The consumer has arrived in health.

PhRMA PPA spokesman snaps, scores bad press

Montel Williams, the talk-show host and spokesman for PhRMA's Partnership for Prescription Assistance, generated some unwelcome publicity when he lashed out at a 17-year-old intern ...

Wadler to head MWW health offering

MWW Group named Ame Wadler EVP, chief management officer and global healthcare practice leader.

Marketing Research

Analytics pros more than just 'quants,' says study

Market research departments of a number of life science companies incorporate analytics functions, either partially or fully, a study shows.

New Web 2.0 metric not the old ROI

As pharma begins incorporating Web 2.0 tools in their marketing, many are unsure how to assess them.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

Signs are everywhere that Washington is preparing for the next administration, whatever color it may be.

Gottlieb: FDA unprepared for follow-on biologics

Former FDA deputy commissioner for medical and scientific affairs Scott Gottlieb, now a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, has expressed serious concerns about ...

Agency picks risk advisory panelist

The FDA's newly staffed Risk Communication Advisory Committee will begin reviewing risk communication issues in the first quarter of 2008.

Congress 'intimidating' FDA staffers

FDA review staffers have been subjected to so many requests to brief congressional staff members and supply documents that there is an "intimidating" atmosphere, according ...

DTC ads upset 'learned intermediary' role

State courts in West Virginia and New Jersey that declared the "learned intermediary" doctrine outmoded by DTC advertising were right on the money, according to ...

Bill would create public registry of drug company gifts to docs

A bill to create a public registry of drug company gifts to physicians will be introduced in 2008 by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR).

Children's cough medicine concerns leads to OTC drug act

Responding to concerns about cough medicines labeled for children, Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) have introduced the Non-Prescription Drug Modernization Act ...

FDA to create and staff inspection offices in China, India

The FDA plans to create and staff inspection offices throughout China and India, and possibly other countries.

Back Talk

Dems plans bad for pharma

January has kicked off the 2008 election cycle, with the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries taking the lead.