November 2006 Issue of MMM

November 2006 Issue of MMM

November 2006

Editor's Desk

A bitter bill to swallow

It's game seven of the National League Championship Series and the New York Mets, down two runs in the bottom of the 9th, have runners ...


Sales Report: Interactive Forces

Merck has taken the high-tech route to improving efficiency in the field, while other firms experiment with promising new approaches to targeting and detailing physicians.

Sales Report: Hired Hands

Biotechs that combine forces with well-established big pharma companies can benefit from added credibility to the rep and sales force resources. Creating partnerships with big ...

Sales Report: Rep School

Sales reps wouldn't be effective without the proper training in product knowledge and building relationships with doctors. Pharma companies are realizing that education should be ...

The Battle of New Hampshire

A state law banning commercial use of prescription audit data is meant to protect physicians' privacy. But its effects on industry could be potentially damaging, ...

Falling Leaves: Journal Ad Review

For the majority medical/surgical and specialty journal publishers, there was little respite during the first half of 2006. PERQ/HCI's Eugene M. May reports on the ...

Headliner: Nancy Lurker of Novartis

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp., the US arm of Swiss firm Novartis AG, is launching four new drugs over the next year.


Sales Force Support 2007

Although barely a year has passed since Pfizer ushered in the era of the downsized sales operation with the announcement that it would cut its ...



Two decades ago, back when I was a resident in the hospital trenches treating AIDS patients with little more than the anti-viral AZT and hope, ...

In Focus

IOM report scolds FDA, suggests DTC ban

Thought the question of consumer advertising was settled with PhRMA's DTC guidelines? Think again.

Med Ed Report

With or without credit, CME rules apply

The most innovative feature of a code that went into effect last month at Stanford University, says one of the its architects, is the extension ...

New model requires proof of quality

ACCME revamped its accreditation model, giving providers until 2008 to comply.

Survey optimistic on med ed funding

Funding for medical education next year will likely increase or remain stable, according to a Cutting Edge Information survey.

Wyeth gives $500,000 block grant to Medical Assoc. of GA

Wyeth gave a $500,000 block grant to the Medical Association of Georgia to be shared by accredited providers.

Study finds dinner meetings have low impact on education

Outcomes Inc.'s 2006 study found that dinner meetings have a somewhat low educational impact.

Gale joins Quadrant as director of new business dev.

Quadrant Medical Education has hired Alison Gale as director of new business development, with responsibility for Quadrant's medical education and The Female Patient.

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Assoc. adopts code

International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations adopted a code regarding the organization of international educational events, company sponsorship, provision of hospitality and entertainment, and ...

Analysis: docs' self-assessment of competence is not accurate

An analysis in JAMA co-written by Dave Davis, MD, suggests physicians' self-assessment of competence is not very accurate.

Professional Media

Thomson finalizes Solucient purchase

Thomson is buying the balance of Solucient from media giant VNU, private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson and healthcare provider alliance VHA.

Vestar acquires MediMedia USA

MediMedia USA has changed hands as a private equity consortium. Ciniven, Apax Partners and The Carlyle Group agreed to sell the publisher to New York-based ...

Ex-JAMA and former Medical Economics publishers collaborate on new venture

Ex-JAMA publisher Peter Murphy and former Medical Economics publisher Stuart Williams are collaborating on a new venture, Braveheart Publishing.

Quadrant launches Urgent Care

Quadrant HealthCom launched Urgent Care, the official journal of the American Academy of Urgent Care Medicine.

Nature Clinical Practice partners with Mrvica Associates

Nature Clinical Practice is partnering with Mrvica Associates for US advertising on Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

John Wiley & Sons acuires Clinical Cardiology and Scanning

John Wiley & Sons acquired Clinical Cardiology and Scanning from the Clinical Cardiology Publishing Company and the Foundation for Advances in Medicine and Science.

Partner Forum

Pros and cons of comparative ads

Companies have been using combative advertising since long before Boniva v. Actonel.


Web Watch

Looking for credible health information on the Internet is getting much easier, if you know where and how to look for it.

MBC recruits BET online chief to lead tech team

Medical Broadcasting Company (MBC) has tapped the former online chief of urban marketing giant, Black Entertainment Television, to lead its growing technology team.

Thomson reboots with alerts

Thomson has relaunched its Physicians Desk Reference portal,, adding a new messaging tool for pharma marketers to target prescribers.

Direct Marketing

Ogilvy lands Pfizer vet to develop CRM

Lita Sands, who once headed CRM at Pfizer, has been hired by Ogilvy Healthworld as client services strategy head in its Healthcare unit.

Novartis readies reps for new launches

Novartis is boosting its sales force size ahead of anticipated drug launches, the industry trade group, the National Association of Pharmaceutical Sales Representatives (NAPSR) said.

Glaxo won't renew PDI sales contract

GlaxoSmithKline said it would not renew its 2007 sales engagement with contract sales firm PDI.

DM vet joins SK&A Information Services

SK&A Information Services has hired direct marketing veteran Tom McCulloh to represent the firm to list brokers nationally.

MicroMass names Stein COO, Nigro SVP and Berliner assoc. creative dir.

MicroMass Communications has named Phil Stein chief operating officer, Cheryl Nigro, senior vice president, new business development and Michael Berliner as associate creative director.

DM pioneer Wunderman makes blogging debut

Direct marketing pioneer Lester Wunderman made his blogging debut with the launch of The Lester Chronicles at where the agency's chairman emeritus will explore ...

Valassis wins WebAward for Web site and RM program

Valassis won a Web Marketing Association WebAward for its work on the In Step with Synvisc Web site and relationship marketing program for client Genzyme.

DTC Report

BMS ups DTC to fend off generic Plavix

Bristol-Myers Squibb said it plans to expand DTC advertising for Plavix as it seeks to mitigate the impact of the recent generic clopidigrel launch.

DDMAC grows DTC group

The Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising & Communication (DDMAC) has added a second DTC review group to meet soaring demand for advertising approvals, said DTC ...

NZ activist group calls for DTC ban

A New Zealand activist group joined the anti-DTC advertising pile-on, urging its ouster by the end of 2006.

CCA Advertising hires Spivak as chief creative officer

CCA Advertising hired former JWT and Y&R creative chief Helayne Spivak as chief creative officer.

Schering-Plough releases latest installment of Nasonex series

Schering-Plough released the latest installment of its Nasonex "Bee" series, this time with a retooled message promising multi-symptom relief to allergy sufferers and a new ... snaps up snapped up, a weight loss site that generates 24 million page views from 464,109 unique users per month, from, LLC.

Public Relations

PR View by Kate Cronin

In the wake of the Vioxx litigations, the media and public are in a frenzy questioning the safety of widely used pharmaceutical drugs and the ...

H&K lands DeSalva to head global healthcare

Hill & Knowlton named GCI Group's AnnaMaria DeSalva to head its worldwide healthcare practice.

Davis will lead comms for AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca named the AARP's Lisa Davis, a long-time Washington communications hand, to head all internal and external corporate communications in the US.

Beltway Insider

As I see it

To show, or not to show?

Drug marketing felonies lead FDA prosecutions

"Prior to 1990, most prosecutions for violations of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA), were for misdemeanors; since, the most common charges brought ...

FDA lagging on nanotechnology

Former FDA deputy commissioner for policy Michael Taylor says the agency lacks the legal authority and financial and staff resources it needs to properly regulate ...

FDA plans risk communication review

A significant effort by FDA is now in "the planning stage," designed to determine how patients, physicians and other healthcare providers obtain information about emerging ...

PhRMA says companies implementing principles

An initial report by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Office of Accountability says that all companies that have signed the group's "Guiding ...

DDMAC says promo pieces were Rythmol SR were misleading

DDMAC says two promotional pieces for Reliant Pharmaceuticals' Rythmol SR were false or misleading because they failed to include any risk information and they broadened ...

FDA approves revised medication guide for Coumadin

The FDA has approved a revised medication guide and labeling for Bristol-Myers Squibb's blood thinner Coumadin (warfarin sodium) to more prominently emphasize a warning about ...

Bayer's admission of 'mistake' underscores FDA's struggles

A Bayer admission that it "mistakingly" did not submit new risk information to the FDA on antibleeding drug Trasylol underscores the agency's struggle to get ...

Attorney moves to FDA's Office of Policy and Planning

After 13 years in public advocacy for the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), attorney Susan C. Winckler has moved to FDA’s Office of Policy and Planning ...

FDA: early efforts to prepare new drug labels 'not as good as we'd hoped'

"Not as good as we'd hoped" is the reaction by the FDA to early efforts by manufacturers to prepare Rx drug labels in conformance with ...

Back Talk

Von Eschenbach's vision

Imagine (we all have bad dreams from time to time) that you’ve been appointed FDA Commissioner.