Sunday, June 10, 2007

'Round the Sphere: SiCKO Spies, Panama Hats, Blog Burnout

Peter Rost -- one of the biggest stars in the Pharma Blogosphere firmament -- promises to make panama hats popular again! See his post here.

It appears, however, that these hats are already popular amongst Chippendale male dancers -- that's one shown on the left (not Dr. Rost!).

The issue of panama hats arose after Rost showed up last week in sunglasses and a panama hat for a friendly lunch with Jim Edwards of BrandweekNRX. They met at a trendy Italian restaurant in Milburn, NJ, if such a thing is possible (not that I have anything against NJ; some of my best friends live and fish in NJ; please, no comments accusing me of being an anti-Jerseyite!).

Bigger news came out of that meeting than what kind of hat men should wear. It appears that I soon won't have Jim to kick around anymore on the issue of mandatory Gardasil inoculations -- a topic we tussled over some time ago.

Jim announced he is leaving Brandweek in August to become a Knight Bagehot fellow at Columbia. This "sweet deal" includes full tuition and a living stipend of $50,000.

Good luck Jim!

On another front, Derek Lowe, an Arkansan by birth and blogger extraordinaire at In the Pipeline, announced that he will be moving to Boston for a new job! Derek would like to hear from readers with personal experience with the towns, schools (and roads!) of that part of Massachusetts.

It's obvious, although not mentioned by Derek, that after June, when he starts his new job, he may have little time to devote to blogging. And thus another shining star in the Pharma Blogosphere may dim. Good luck to Derek as well!

We Lose 40% of the Top-Rated Bloggers!
Thus 2 of the 5 "top rated" blogs in the Pharma Blogosphere, which includes In the Pipeline, Pharmalot, BrandweekNRX, PharmaGossip, and Pharma Marketing Blog (see "Survey Finds Blogs Critical of Drug Industry Are Most Credible"), will soon fade to black.

So, within the last 6 months we saw an explosion of new entrants into the Pharma Blogosphere and now somewhat of a collapse.

That's the way things are.

SiCKO PhRMA Spygate!
Meanwhile, life -- such as it is -- in the Pharma Blogosphere trundles on.

We've seen "Buckets of Cash" ZubeGate and AstraZeneca's Cupcake Capers. Now a new controversy is brewing involving Michael Moore's movie SiCKO, PhRMA, and a mysterious movie mogul "friend" of PhRMA's executive VP.

I first reported on this in Pharma Marketing Blog: "PhRMA Sent SiCKO Spy to Cannes".

Subsequent to that, Ed Silverman at Pharmalot received a phone call from Ken Johnson -- the PhRMA VP in question -- who claimed that a hollywood "friend" just happened to be in Cannes at the opening of SiCKO and gave Ken "some pretty good blow...", err, I mean "blow-by-blow" (see "PhRMA: We Didn’t Send A Spy To Cannes!").

What Ken failed to mention, however, was the role played by a certain PhRMA Intern in soliciting this favor from a Hollywood movie mogul -- see tomorrow's post to Pharma Marketing Blog for the full story of this exciting Spy-vs-SiCKO sitcom!

BTW, you can read a review of SiCKO by the only pharma blogger to actually see the entire movie here!

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