Friday, September 14, 2007

Highlights from Pharma Marketing Blog

An Innovative System for Communicating Drug Risks to Patients
Anyone who has tried reading a drug label knows how difficult it is to understand. It is especially difficult for consumers and patients to understand and evaluate the potential risks associated with the use of Rx drugs.

A new study in the September 10 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine found multiple problems with drug labels. The authors suggest that one way to improve readability and patient understanding of labels is for FDA to initiate a national standard for their format and content -- much like it did with the "Nutrition Facts" labels required on food packaging.

In fact, the FDA recently invited food companies, trade groups, watchdog organizations, medical experts and its overseas counterparts to share how front-label symbols, like the "traffic light" system used in Britain, can improve public health. Shouldn't the FDA champion a similar system to rate risks on drug labels?

It may be a cold day in Hell before the FDA gets around to even suggesting such a system for Rx drug labels.

Thankfully, however, the private sector is jumping in to fill the void!

iGuard, an organization initially funded by Quintiles Transnational, a contract research organization that manages clinical trials for drug companies, has developed a color-coded drug risk rating system.

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

Do Pharma Marketers Need a Thick Skin or Will a Thick Skull Suffice?
Every Friday, I look forward to receiving "DTC In Perspective," Bob Ehrlich's weekly opinion piece.

Last Friday, Bob gave his "guidelines" for reviewing DTC (direct-to-consumer) marketing tactics and ads in an article called "DTC Critics." He suggested that because there will be many critics out there, including some who call for the firing of specific marketers, that "It takes a thicker skin to be a good marketer."

I respond to some of Bob' points, especially regarding DTC marketing ROI and whether or not DTC critics should include ROI estimates in their analysis.

Personally, I feel that some DTC marketers heads get too big in response to all the talk about how "creative" they are. This just might lead to skull thickening, which is known to squeeze your brains and not allow any NEW ideas in! I can understand developing a thick skin, but I have no patience with thick skulls.

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

Meet Dr. Andree Bates, Marketing ROI Expert
Dr. Andree K. Bates, President, Eularis, is a leading expert in pharmaceutical marketing analytics. Her career has encompassed academic, clinical and pharmaceutical positions around the globe, and she has gained worldwide recognition within the healthcare industry for ROI and marketing effectiveness measures.

I am very pleased that Dr. Bates was my guest on a recent Pharma Marketing Talk podcast:

You Want Marketing ROI? You're Not Ready to Measure ROI!
If You Can't Define It, You Can't Measure It!
Listen to the audio archive here

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

Web 2.0: The New WILD, WILD WEST of the Internet!
I am sick and tired of excuses from pharmaceutical companies who, when caught anonymously altering Wikipedia entries about their products, blame "overzealous vendors."

Overzealous vendors or not, pharmaceutical marketers are having a field day pushing the envelope on the Internet and especially in the social networking, Web 2.0 arena -- the new WILD, WILD WEST of the Internet.

Marketing Banditos are out there taking advantage of the system editing content, making comments to blogs disguised as common consumers, designing Google Adwords that flaunt FDA regulations.

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

Rozerem's Cheapskate Sweepstakes Violates Children's Online Privacy Protection Act
Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Takeda needs to find another selling point that it can promote and now has turned to some old-fashioned market research to find the answers.

Hence, the Rozerem Sweepstakes, where you can win "cool prizes" -- NO PURCHASE NECESSARY!

But there are a couple of problems with this campaign..

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

J&J Lawyers Go Wild; PR on Vacation!
J&J's recent announcement that it is filing a civil suit against the American Red Cross (ARC) has been likened by some in the blogger world to "kicking babies."

The sad fact is, no matter what the legal basis for this action is, J&J has allowed its legal department to outweigh its good public relations by acting independently and seemingly catching the J&J corporate communications department off-guard and on vacation.

For more on this, see this post to Pharma Marketing Blog.

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