Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Like a Bad Penny, Jim Edwards is Back in the Pharma Blogosphere

"Like a bad penny, I have opened a new drug news blog, titled 'Jim Edwards’ NRx.'"

That's how Jim's email announcement, which all you bloggers out there have probably received, starts out.

You can find Jim's new blog at http://jimedwardsnrx.wordpress.com/

It seems that Jim is simultaneously accepting freelance money from Brandweek--a company he used to work full-time for blogging--and yet claims his blog is "separate" from Brandweek. I think he means that he writes stories freelance for Brandweek and ALSO writes his blog, which is not financed by Brandweek and is independent of Brandweek.

Jim's blog tagline reads "Drug Business Stories the Media Hasn’t Written Yet." That could be interpreted two ways: (1) Jim beats the Media to the punch with important stories, and (2) Jim write stories that are too trivial for the Media. Both are acceptable niches for us bloggers.

Jim says in his email:

"Mainly, the blog will highlight stories that are under-reported or not reported at all. (As such, it is intended as a story idea sheet for media members.) It is not intended as a high traffic news-aggregator blog [Oh no, you dinnit! Look out Pharmalot and WSJ Health Blog!] – I’m looking to make no more than one post a day."
One interesting story Jim blogged about that probably fits interpretation #2 better than #1 is about PhRMA's new code for drug company interactions with physicians. In a July 18, 2008 post to his blog, Jim points out a loop hole that allows drug companies to still serve meals to physicians and be compliant with the code. He discovered this loophole by reading Lilly's press release about the code (see Jim's post: "Eli Lilly Kindly Points Out Loophole in the New Ban on Wining and Dining Docs").

But the MEDIA (ie, Brandweek) carried this story EIGHT days before and the story was written by the FREELANCE Jim (see "Drug Swag Gets Bagged"). So, technically, the Media Jim beat the blogger Jim to the punch! However, I first heard about it through Jim's blog -- I no longer read Brandweek since Jim and Peter Rost left.

Anyway here's the loophole as reported in Brandweek:
The rules also purport the ban on "token" consulting arrangements, in which doctors sign on as paid "consultants" in exchange for promises to write a certain number of prescriptions as part of a post-marketing evaluation. But the rules also say, "It is appropriate for consultants who provide advisory services to be offered reasonable compensation for those services and reimbursement for reasonable travel, lodging and meal expenses incurred as part of providing those services. Any compensation or reimbursement made in conjunction with a consulting arrangement should be reasonable and based on fair market value." Again, that leaves companies with wide latitude for interpretation.
Be Brutal, Says Jim
Jim wants feedback and says "As always, advice and criticism are welcome and encouraged. Go on, be brutal."

OK. Not that this criticism is brutal but I note the title of Jim's blog is, well, not too, how shall I say it, modest or catchy. I only mention this because Jim himself has criticized the title of other blogs like "Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look," which Jim claims is "badly named." Now, Jim, let's not call the kettle black!

BTW, Jim also has a penchant for personalizing other blogs -- like my blog ("Pharma Marketing Blog") and Peter Rost's blog ("The Pharma Law Blog"). Jim lists these blogs in his blogroll under "John Mack" and "Peter Rost."

Jim, it's an honor for my blog to be listed in your blogroll and thanks for that. However, I am not as famous -- or infamous -- as Peter Rost and I would like links to my blog to include the blog name, Pharma Marketing Blog. Bad name or not, it's the name of my blog.

While you're changing that listing, how about adding Pharma Blogosphere to your blog roll? I am adding yours to mine!

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