June 2008 Issue of MMM

June 2008 Issue of MMM

June 2008

Editor's Desk

Doctors are consumers too

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


PR Report: Trust & Credibility

Reversing pharma's ragged reputation is no easy task. But good intentions abound. Ben Comer reports on AstraZeneca's attempts to put transparency at the center of ...

Second Coming?

Novo Nordisk associate director, Craig DeLarge, shares his insights on the various ways pharma can leverage and integrate the increasingly popular virtual world of Second ...

Surviving the Shift

With pharmaceutical companies cutting advertising costs across all channels—consumer and professional alike—media planners and buyers are looking for ways to do more with less and ...

Built for Speed

Generating pre-launch marketing awareness is turbo-charging pharma product market share gains. Harte-Hanks SVP, pharmaceutical markets, Julian Parreño discusses how 'hypermarketing' has helped Teva Neuroscience drive ...

Headliner: Eisai Corporation's Robert Laverty

After nearly a quarter of a century in leadership communications roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis, Robert Laverty signed on in April as VP, US ...

Vantage Point

Vantage Point

We are witnessing the death of pharma marketing research and the birth of healthcare marketing research.



I promise you that heparin is a perfectly good drug, though if you have been reading the newspapers lately, you wouldn't think so.

In Focus

CME industry ponders its uncertain future

"Collaboration" was the buzzword at this year's Med Ed Congress, held May 7-9 in Philadelphia, but the uncertainty surrounding continuing education was certainly top of ...

Med Ed Report

AAMC urges gift ban, CME oversight

Medical schools and teaching hospitals should ban gifts to physicians and other faculty, staff, students and trainees, whether on-site or off-site, including food and travel, ...

ACCME rethinks 'commercial interest'

In its March meeting, the ACCME revisited the question of what constitutes a "commercial interest" ineligible for accreditation.

HMP acquires Princeton Media

HMP Communications Holdings LLC has bought med ed firm Princeton Media Associates LLC.

Sudler & Hennessey merges three med ed companies into one

Three former Sudler & Hennessey med ed companies have merged into one independent unit, dubbed IME, LLC, under the leadership of managing director Lisa Emusov.

MEBN awarded four-year continuation of accreditation status

MEBN, a New Hampshire medical education and communications company, has been awarded a four-year continuation of its accreditation status by ACCME.

ACCME expands its offices

The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) is expanding its offices, moving into a new 3,000-square-foot space to accommodate 10 additional staff members.

Attendance up at international medical meetings

From 2002 to 2006, average reported professional attendance at international medical meetings increased 23%, according to a report by the Healthcare Convention and Exhibitors Association.

Professional Media

Advanstar to launch digital services

Advanstar Communications announced plans to launch a Healthcare Centralized Content Group, and has partnered with Getty Images for digital imaging services.

JAMA lambastes Vioxx articles

The Journal of the American Medical Association called into question published clinical data and authorship surrounding Merck's Vioxx (rofecoxib) in a scathing editorial.

PeerView completes acquisition of VCTR

PeerView has completed the acquisition of the Veritas Clinical Trials Register platform from Veritas Medicine.

AHA launches extension of its flagship journal

The American Heart Association has launched Circulation: Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology, an extension of its flagship journal.

QHI names new group publisher

Quadrant Healthcom Inc. (QHI) has named Eileen Hubert group publisher for Neurology Reviews and NeuroPsychiatry Reviews.

Partner Forum

Shuffling spend as forces slim down

As the majority of the top pharmaceutical companies find themselves downsizing their sales forces, how will those professional marketing dollars be reallocated?

Direct Marketing

DMA study predicts healthy growth

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) released a study indicating significant growth and efficacy in the direct marketing industry through 2012.

Agency launches DTP modular suite

Direct marketing agency Targetbase has launched XACT Direct-to-Patient, a proprietary modular suite delivering customer relationship management by way of marketing solutions for the healthcare industry.

Alternative sales channel boosts Rx

The Aptilon Corporation released two new studies demonstrating that live online video detail sessions with physicians significantly impact prescribing behavior.

Harte-Hanks to close a NJ office

Harte-Hanks has announced plans to close a New Jersey office, one of its 30 company locations nationwide.

Merck to cut 1,200 sales jobs

Merck announced plans to cut 1,200 sales jobs in the US.

Praxis appoints director of marketing

Praxis, a company specializing in centralized patient recruitment for clinical research studies, appointed Chris Layfield as director of marketing.

DTC Report

Gardasil tops at annual Phame Awards

Merck's Gardasil team cleaned up at last month's Phame Awards, winning honors for Best Branded TV, Best Branded Print and Best Integrated Campaign on the ...

DTC spend down 3% in '07

Drug industry spend on consumer advertising dropped 3% in 2007 to $5.15 billion, from $5.31 billion in 2006, but spending on product advertising, particularly TV ...

Viagra online ad draws warning

The FDA issued a warning letter to Pfizer for not mentioning the risks of impotence pill Viagra in a video ad on CNN.com.

VeriChip Corp. launches first DTC campaign

VeriChip Corp., which makes radio frequency identification devices for healthcare and patient-related needs, launched its first DTC campaign in South Florida at the end of ...

Cephalon says expenses jumped 30% in Q1

Cephalon reported that selling, general and administrative expenses jumped 30% in the first quarter to $199 million on DTC for narcolepsy drug Provigil (modafinil) and ...

Guidelines on genetic testing at consumers issued

The American College of Medical Genetics issued guidelines on genetic testing aimed at consumers amidst rising DTC advertising of the services.

Digital Media

Web Watch

The long tail of the Internet has been mentioned a few times in this column over the past few years. The long tail actually refers ...

WebMD changes its financial outlook for '08

WebMD parent company WebMD Health Corp has revised its outlook due to a lack of healthcare advertisers spending money with the firm.

Chantix top-searched Rx brand online

Pfizer's smoking cessation treatment Chantix was the top-searched prescription brand online in February, generating more than 500,000 search queries, according to internet measurement firm comScor

Public Relations

PR View by Charlotte Wray

The question of public relations versus other marketing spends is probably a debate that never will go quietly into the night.

Burson-Marsteller names Cohen new global chair

Burson-Marsteller has appointed Gail Cohen to global chair of the firm's healthcare practice.

SEO PR helps level online playing field

Websites aren't the only thing to consider when employing search engine optimization (SEO), according to PR practitioners and service providers.

Marketing Research

Pre-launch promotion crucial to brand strategy: Sanofi-Aventis marketing VP

Getting your brand noticed early in its lifespan is crucial to pharma product position strategy said, Corinne Le Goff, VP, marketing, at Sanofi-Aventis.

Obesity market set for huge growth

The market for obesity treatments will grow five-fold by 2016, according to research firm Decision Resources.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

The worst idea on Capitol Hill right now involves giving the FDA control of tobacco.

Huge FDA changes in Globalization Act of '08

Three key leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are circulating a discussion draft of their proposed Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of ...

Dingell blasts FDA head over funding

FDA commissioner Andrew von Eschenbach was directed to "stop the buzzwords and toe-dancing" during intense, aggressive questioning by House Energy and Commerce chairman John D. ...

FDA may modernize trial oversight

The FDA has a stale and outdated regulatory system for overseeing clinical trial compliance, but several initiatives are under way to modernize it, according to ...

DC battle erupts over off-lable reprints

An FDA plan to allow drug companies to distribute reprints of journal articles dealing with off-label drug uses has run into fire from Sen. Charles ...

FDA commissioner says agency could easily absorb $100M

Commissioner von Eschenbach told an April Senate hearing his agency could easily absorb an extra $100 million for FY 2009 to beef up medical product ...

Report: 71% of promised postmarketing commitments aren't started

FDA's latest annual report says 71% (911) of pending postmarketing study commitments promised by drug sponsors at the time of approval have never been started.

FDA identifies 20 drugs that need approved risk eval, strategy

FDA identified 20 Rx drugs and biologics that must have an approved risk evaluation and mitigation strategy, including GlaxoSmith-Kline's Lotronex, Novartis' Clozaril, Cephalon's Actiq, Hoffmann-LaRoche's ...

Appropriated funds for Office of Generic Drugs dries up

FDA's Office of Generic Drugs ran out of appropriated funds April 3 and a hiring freeze was imposed.

Back Talk

Professional guinea pigging

One of the most useful skills I learned in high school was how to write book reports without reading the whole book.