May 2008 Issue of MMM

May 2008 Issue of MMM

May 2008

Editor's Desk

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.


MM&M Awards 2008: Your entries are in good hands

With the deadline for submitting entries for the 2008 MM&M Awards only a few weeks away, James Chase unveils this year's lineup of judges who ...

The Pharma Report: Top 20 Pharma Companies

While the overall US pharmaceuticals market grew modestly in 2007, product exclusivity and safety issues continued to weigh heavily on the industry. MM&M charts the ...

Biotech Focus: Chasing the Pot of Gold

The pioneers of biotech began their journey with an endless level of optimism and promise. So, why has the goal of redefining the landscape and ...

Sneezing Season

It's Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month and the seasonal allergies category is as congested as ever. But a slew of patent expirations poses a greater ...

Specialties Journal Ad Review: Feeling the Pinch

Slight gains in ad spending were reported among only three of the eight specialty markets with laboratory journals leading the pack. PERQ/HCI's Eugene M. May ...

Headliner: Novartis' Joseph Jimenez

Joe Jimenez isn't interested in lamenting the state of the industry. He's focused on one thing: adapting Novartis to thrive in a mercurial environment.

Vantage Point

Vantage Point

I recently attended the PMRG conference in Phoenix, and came away with several realizations.



Even if I had another topic planned, how could I not write this month about Zetia?

In Focus

Lack of transparency to blame for bad rap?

On Jan. 14, Schering-Plough released preliminary results of its ENHANCE clinical trial, finding that Vytorin (Zocor/Zetia) did nothing more than generic Zocor alone to slow ...

Med Ed Report

Sunshine Act casts shadow on CME

A bill introduced in the House of Representatives in March would mandate the reporting of all gifts to physicians worth more than $25—including education—and violators ...

PharmedOut, AMSA push guide

Two foes of commercially supported CME, the American Medical Student Association and, are partnering to present How to Hold Pharma-Free Meetings, a guide for ...

NC-CME is beta-testing new exam before CME Congress

The National Commission for Certification of CME Professionals (or NC-CME) is beta-testing its new exam later this month in San Francisco, before the CBI Biopharmaceutical ...

Gullapalli and Associates names new SVP, educational strategy

Gullapalli and Associates named David Clausen SVP, educational strategy.

Best Practices study touts opportunity for maximizing resources

A study by Best Practices LLC touts "significant opportunity for maximizing resources through centralization and innovative use of e-CME."

Hébert: It's time to stop pharma-driven 'free lunch' approach

The Canadian Medical Association Journal ran an editorial excoriating industry-funded education, which editor-in-chief Dr. Paul Hébert said "embellishes the positive elements of studies and downplays ...

Professional Media

2008 Nexus Award winners revealed

The Association of Medical Media (AMM) has announced the winners of the 2008 Nexus Awards.

Report indicates shift in strategy

A report released by Best Practices indicates that leading pharma and biopharmaceutical companies are rethinking their publication strategies, in light of new transparency guidelines.

Quadrant HealthCom names new editor-in-chief

Quadrant HealthCom named Charles Nemeroff, MD, PhD, editor-in-chief of NeuroPsychiatry Reviews.

Pfizer's request for confidential documents rejected by judge

Pfizer's request for confidential documents from The New England Journal of Medicine was rejected by a federal judge in Boston.

SAGE to launch Sports Health in 2009

SAGE will launch Sports Health, a bi-monthly publication, in January 2009.

Nielsen Company to acquire IAG Research

The Nielsen Company will acquire IAG Research, Inc. for a purchase price of $225 million, according to a company release.

Partner Forum

Figuring out journal ads' slip 'n' slide

PERQ/HCI data suggest that the slowdown in journal ad sales is hitting both medical-surgical journals and specialty titles as the professional ad spend fell again ...


Web Watch

When you search for information on the Internet, do you bookmark the sites that deliver the results you are seeking?

Merck's ePromotion tops with primary care docs

Doctors rate Merck's ePromotion efforts as tops in the industry, according to pharma marketing data firm Verispan.

Search drives online healthcare traffic

Search engines continue to be a primary way for US consumers to arrive at healthcare Websites, according to online intelligence firm Hitwise.

Direct Marketing

Cegedim partnering with Microsoft

Healthcare customer relationship management (CRM) firm Cegedim Dendrite has inked a deal with Microsoft in an effort to boost the effectiveness of its software offerings ...

Sales forces dwindle at top pharmas

In an Associated Press tally, seven out of the 12 companies surveyed reported reductions in work force by 10% or more since January 2007.

P&T committee ranks 'influential'

Winning a place on formularies in the hospital marketplace may not require face time with a physician, research from Best Practices reveals.

Direct Response Media names DiMatteo group account director

Direct Response Media, a direct response TV management company, has named David DiMatteo group account director.

The Amacore Group acquires US Health Benefits Group

The Amacore Group, a health and medical insurance company, has acquired US Health Benefits Group, Inc.

Cossette NY hires Bhoopathy as account supervisor

Cossette New York has hired Anupama Bhoopathy as account supervisor.

Medical Care study found drug sampling leads to greater spending

A Medical Care study found that drug sampling does lead to greater consumer spending on drugs.

DTC Report

Congress examining anemia drug ads

Congress is gearing up yet another investigation of consumer drug advertising.

Watchdogs want FDA number in ads

Arguing that most Americans don't know about the FDA's adverse events reporting program, Consumers Union said DTC ads should include a toll-free number that patients ...

Trade group doesn't want 'push' TV, radio or print for Rx info

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations said it doesn't want "push" TV, radio and print mass media for Rx drug info.

NEJM study found Zetia uptake rose quicker in US vs. Canada

A New England Journal of Medicine study found Zetia uptake rose much more quickly after introduction in the US than in Canada, and suggested DTC ...

PhRMA's Tauzin discusses resentment of DTC

PhRMA president Billy Tauzin told The Pink Sheet that DTC ads have been resented because "in many cases, we were talking about new products that ...

Survey predicts shift in spending away from DTC

DTC spend is slowing, and consumer drug marketers project a shift in spending toward events, rebates/coupons and product placement this year, according to a survey ...

Public Relations

PR View by Craig Fuller

The conventional wisdom is that uncertainty about the 2008 elections makes healthcare strategic planning difficult. Or, maybe not.

WeissComm promotes Weiser to president, COO

WeissComm Partners has promoted Diane Weiser to the position of president and chief operating officer.

Study looks at cholesterol Rx publicity

Voluminous press coverage over cholesterol drug safety have led to a study measuring consumer perception.

Marketing Research

'08 Senior Health Digest finds less trust in Rx ads

Eisai unveiled its 2008 Senior Health Digest at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy's 20th Annual Meeting & Showcase, in April.

TNS Healthcare launches DetailMed

TNS Healthcare has unveiled a call assessment tool measuring detail effectiveness across countries, brands and categories.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

The lower the FDA sinks in public esteem, the more it shows a bunker mentality, withdrawing into its shell and stalling on media inquiries.

Kessler: FDA pre-emption is of no benefit to public

FDA pre-emption of "failure-to-warn" state lawsuits over drug risks does nothing to benefit the agency or the public and can prevent information that is helpful ...

FDA gets OK to blow PDUFA deadlines

The FDA's director of new drugs, John Jenkins, has told his reviewers that they may miss Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) deadlines by up ...

Grassley questions FDA's 'Safety First'

Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) says he is concerned that the FDA's Safety First initiative is merely cosmetic and will not make fundamental changes he says ...

Kennedy urges overseas Rx database

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) says the FDA should build databases to enable it to determine where drug companies obtain their ingredients and what they are ...

Judge: branded companies may be liable for generic versions

Philadelphia Common Pleas judge Mark Bernstein has ruled that branded drug companies may be liable for money spent on the generic version of their drugs ...

HHS committee to recommend lab test oversight

As DTC promoters push all kinds of genetic tests, a high-level HHS advisory committee is preparing to recommend that FDA should have some level of ...

Pathway for Biosimilars Act gives agencies 'flexibility'

Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) have introduced legislation that would create a regulatory pathway for the FDA to approve follow-on or ...

Back Talk

A split on DTC is coming

The pharmaceutical industry's character—its products, messages, promo channels and even its audiences—have been determined by governmental regulation and trade conventions practiced by media and manufacturers.