Wednesday, April 25, 2007

'Round the Sphere: Wonky Kryptonite, Ethics, and Videotape

You know, of course, it is impossible to review al the important stuff going on in the expanding Pharma BlogosphereTM. The best I can do is offer my own eclectic glimpse into trends, fun stuff, and major rants.

Thanks to Steve Woodruff of impactiviti, therefore, for putting together PharmaCentral (see "Flaky" PharmaCentral Launched!), a portal "designed to give you fingertip access to a number of targeted blogs, so that you can more easily and quickly find updated commentary on a variety of topics." Basically, Steve has organized public feeds from blogs into categories based on the focus of the blog. A number of "flakes" or windows into the feed content of blogs appear on a single page.

My suggestion: Use Pharma Blogosphere and PharmaCentral in concert -- the former gives you insight and commentary plus reviews of the blogs in the space (not to mention ratings by readers -- more on that later), the latter is an unedited glimpse into recent posts from blogs.

Steve's blog (impactiviti) is about pharma sales training, in case you are interested.

ASIDE TO STEVE: What ever happened to the discussion of sales training going too far (see Steve's post "How Far is Too Far?"). This question was prompted by the Zubillaga Affair (or Zube Affair, or ZubeGate; your choice) and sales training PPT, which seems to prompt sales reps to make off-label head to head comparisons of 2 drugs on sales calls. Steve asks: "The defense was made that this was a 'for information only' training piece, and the information was not to be used for detailing. Well, maybe. Here’s the question I’d like to have your comments on - where does a company draw the line between giving out information like this to sales reps, even if there is a “not for detailing” disclaimer? Where does this stand with the compliance/ethical practices of your company? How far is too far?"

Can we expect any answers to these questions any time soon? Inquiring minds want to know.
Drug Wonks Have Sense of Humor -- Who Knew?
Finally, Drug Wonks (aka "PR Wonks," Whoops! Did I just violate Rulemaker Giles' Rule #4?) post a light, humorous piece! Here it is in its entirety:
Real Kryptonite Found: FDA Puts Black Box Warning on Related Products

The FDA announced today that all supplements and products derived from kryptonite would have a black box warning. Dr. David Graham had pressured the agency after noting that the presence of kryptonite would pose a serious and life threatening danger to Superman, Supergirl and other survivors of the planet Krypton. Graham had been pushing Congress to expand it's drug safety program to move beyond "merely planetary surveillance activities" and into galactic exploration of pharmacovigilance matters. The FDA said in a press release " this pilot project is part of our effort to develop a global and indeed galactic risk management program." The agency had planned to establish this program in partnership with Luthor Industries and the Justice League of America but was attacked by members of Congress for being too "cozy" with special interests.
I guess everyone has heard of the discovery of Kryptonite on planet Earth reported recently in the press? If not, this tongue-in-cheek piece may cause you to scratch your head.

More Ethics Anyone?
There's a new kid on the block -- or, should I say, new orb in the Outer Sphere: Hooked blog, which was launched back in February "accompany the recent publication of [the author's, Harold Brody] book, Hooked: Ethics, the Medical Profession, and the Pharmaceutical Industry. Hat tip to Jack Friday at PharmaGossip, who continues to discover new planets!

I wonder what Paul Marinelli, the author of the blog Pharma Ethics, My Foot! thinks of this new blog? Sounds like they should duke it out. BTW, where are you Paul? We haven't seen a new post to your blog since...February! Hmmmm...coincidence! Could Harold Brody and Paul Marinelli be alter egos of the same person! C'mon Paul! Write something scathing please (Rule #4 be damned!).

I'm a little conflicted about adding Hooked to the list of Pharma Blogosphere members. After all, Hooked is obviously geared to promote a single product: the author's book, which BTW I will definitely BUY and READ!

Brody, however, is engaged in an interesting project whereby a blog is designed to update the contents of a book and the author offers interaction with his readers:
"My major goal with this blog is to allow updates on the book's contents. The topic--the relationship between medicine and the pharmaceutical industry--is hot right now, and practically every day, new developments occur and new information is published. I wanted to have a platform to inform interested readers of those developments that seem to me especially pertinent or important, and that might modify some statement or fact given in the book."
But why the book? Why not just the blog? Will the blog out live the book, which may never make it it to a second printing? Too many questions for me to answer this early in the AM.

The AZ Videotape
Peter Rost is at AZ again! The latest brouhaha is the "Secret AstraZeneca Audio Tapes" (see here and here and practically everywhere in the Pharma Blogosphere; hope I implemented Rule #1 adequately).

So far, we've seen the lies and the videotape. Where's the sex Peter?

OK, so it's an AUDIOTAPE, not a Videotape! Sue me! The real question is where's the sex?

Frankly, I haven't been keeping up with all these revelations and have not listened to any of the tracks that Peter has uploaded. I notice, however, that he uses a third-pary storage site called Box where he deposits all his media file (see, for example, Track 7). You get 1 GB of storage free! If Peter keeps up this pace of revelations, he will soon have to upgrade!

Hey, Judge Mack has just had a tattoo done and wants to show you! Click here to see it.


PharmaGuy said...

Holy crap! I just listened to Track 7 of the "Secret AZ Audiotape"!

Pity the poor reps that have to listen to this stuff! Boring! And no way near reality.

Here you have scenarios of a rep asking questions of a doctor and the doctor is actually polite and takes time to answer!

"Doctor, please tell me why you ..." [don't prescribe my product]

"Sure. yadda, yadda, yadda..." [I am woefully misinformed and think you product sucks BIG time!]

Who produced this crap? C'mon Steve Woodruff, rake this stuff over the sales training coals, won't you?

Anonymous said...

Well, John, if I rake this audio tape over the coals, will you prescribe my Impactiviti posts for your next 5 patients with Marketing Deficiency Disorder?

Despite my fishing for comments on my blog, and my weekly newsletter, on "How far is too far?" with information-not-to-be-used-for-detailing, no-one in the training community has thus far given input!

PharmaGuy said...

I don't know about prescribing your posts, but how about a podcast on the subject (relationship between training and promotion)-- if we can also get into the topic of pre-launch promotion and find another guest for that -- unless you are an epert there as well.