Thursday, November 20, 2008

Is Ed Silverman Interviewing for a New Job?

Yesterday, Ed Silverman -- the prolific Pharmalot blogger -- wrote that he was taking the afternoon off for a "speaking" engagement at a major pharmaceutical company:

"Pardon the interruption this afternoon," Ed wrote, "but believe it or not, we have again been asked to talk about what we do - you know, covering pharma and this new media world in which we live. Who asked us this time? Well, if you must know, it is….a big drugmaker. Which one? Guess correctly, and we will send you a Pharmalot t-shirt. Seriously. We have a trunk full. However, we should point out that, no, we are not paid for this activity, although we will accept a cup of stimulation. Wish us luck and see you shortly..."
Starting with me, about 38 of Ed's loyal fans suggested the name of the drug company.

Last night, Ed posted this comment in response:
"Since it is now nearly midnight back here in the nation’s medicine chest, I thought it might be a good time to say the guessing game is over. The lucky winners will be contacted for mailing addresses and, yes, I will actually send honest-to-goodness Pharmalot t-shirts, which sport the spiffy Pharmalot logo. Perfect for, well, just about anything. No charge involved. Meanwhile, I want to thank those of you who took the time to guess. I never expected so many responses."
If the guessing game is over, Ed, why not tell us where you were? Why all this secrecy? It's worse than trying to guess who Obama will pick next!

Has Ed been offered a corporate mouthpiece job at one of the pharma companies commenters mentioned, where he’ll take over or start up the blogging function?

Inquiring minds want to know!

Ed finally responded:

Hi John,

Sorry for the secrecy. I was just trying to have a little fun by making this into a guessing game.

The correct answer was…Pfizer. And I was asked to speak to their global communications and policy folks, who also heard from the gentleman who runs Sermo.

I’ve spoken a number of times - the NY/NJ chapter of the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society; the Association of Health Care Journalists NY chapter; Sanofi-Aventis policy and communications people; the NJ Chapter of the American Association of Indian Pharmaceutical Scientists; the Healthcare Compliance Packaging Council; a DTC Perspectives conference, and the recent Pharma Compliance Congress in Washington DC.

Well, I was right on one count: Ed was talking to corporate communication types. It's still possible that Pfizer will offer him a job working for the group he spoke to. Just trying to have a little fun by making this a guessing game!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Peter Rost's Blog's New Name: Peter Rost for FDA Commissioner

Today I noticed that Peter Rost -- former Pfizer Marketing VP, turned drug industry whistle blower, author, and blogger -- changed the name of his blog (again!) to PETER ROST FOR FDA COMMISSIONER.

It all started when I reported on Pharma marketing Blog that FDA Intern -- Strange visitor from an Ivy League school who came to FDA with powers and ability far beyond those of Janet Woodcock or even FDA commish Andy von Eschenbach! -- announced her endorsement of Peter Rost as president-elect Obama's nominee choice for the new FDA Commissioner (see "FDA Intern Supports Peter Rost for New FDA Commish!").

Peter himself had re-published on his blog a 2004 press release in which Rahm Emanuel -- Obama's new Chief of Staff -- expressed a glowing opinion of Rost (see "Emanuel Statement: Importation Press Conference with Pfizer Vice President Dr. Peter Rost").

Shortly afterward, I decided to start my "Who Should Obama Nominate for FDA Commissioner?" survey (see "Vote for New FDA Commissioner: Let Obama Know"). I picked names of 10 contenders from opinions expressed by various bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere to include in the survey. Out of respect for FDA Intern, I included Peter Rost in that list. Respondents can also write-in their own choices.

I asked several bloggers to include notices about my survey on their blogs and a few, including Peter, did so.

What surprised me -- and I think Peter as well -- was that Peter became the leading contender very early on and still leads the pack with nearly 100 people voting to date (see "FDA Critics Lead the Pack of Contenders for New FDA Commissioner According to Poll!"). This despite the fact that I endorsed Susan Wood on Pharma Marketing Blog (see "Susan Wood: 'The One to Take the Lead' of the FDA").

At first, Rost did not take himself seriously as a contender for FDA Commissioner. But he also saw the results of mt survey and posted them to his site and the story was picked up by a German newspaper that obviously took all this seriously (see "Germany discusses possibility for Dr. Rost to become new FDA Commissioner").

I also pointed out to Rost that the Obama transition team had a Web site where people could submit their resumes for government jobs in the Obama administration. Peter thanked me for the heads-up and quickly applied.

I also notified the Obama transition team about my survey and suggested they keep up with the results and comments from respondents when I publish them in an upcoming issue of Pharma Marketing News.

Here are the top contenders to date for FDA Commissioner nominee, according to my survey respondents:

  1. Peter Rost - 24.5%
  2. Steven Nissen -- 14.9%
  3. Janet Woodcock -- 12.8%
  4. Susan Wood -- 10.6%
If we look at just respondents from the USA, the results are a bit different:
  1. Steven Nissen -- 17.3%
  2. Peter Rost -- 16.0 %
  3. Janet Woodcock -- 12.0%
  4. Susan Wood -- 12.0%
Of course, now that the ROST FOR FDA COMMISSIONER campaign is in full swing, we can expect even more votes for Rost!

What do you think? Is Rost your choice for FDA Commissioner? Vote now!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Has the alliconnect Blog Been Abandoned?

The last post made to the alliconnect blog was on September 3, 2008 (see screen shot below).

Who Do You Think Should be the New FDA Commissioner?

Click on the image to take the survey

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Pharma 2.0: A New (to me) Blog in the Pharma Blogosphere

I just discovered or re-discovered Pharma 2.0, which is a blog written by Bunny (aka Beatrice) Ellerin who is a Managing Director in the New York office of InterbrandHealth, a brand consultancy, which is part of Interbrand, which is part of the marketing communications giant Omnicom.

Bunny leads the research division and is responsible for all facets of the business including operational performance, business development, client management and staffing. She is also spearheading the firm’s efforts in the Health 2.0 space.

Here's her "mission statement" as expressed in her first post to the blog:

This is my first stab at blogging. It’s taken a while to find a topic that I was interested in writing about consistently, but finally I have. Over the past year I have immersed myself in the world of social media, particularly as it relates to healthcare. The number of health-related social networks, blogs, videos and wikis is astounding. Even more so is the level of trust they inspire and the depth of personal information patients share with each other online. While patients still turn to their doctors (when they can reach them), they are also increasingly turning to each other to discuss medications, treatments, symptoms and more.

What is happening online today is very different than what we experienced in the early days of the Internet – remember the term eHealth? The early eHealth sites were information aggregators, primarily one-way in nature. They did not encourage interaction among site participants. Today’s sites are the opposite, all about community, conversations, collective wisdom and UCG (user generated content).

So where does pharma fit into all of this? Traditionally the pharmaceutical industry has been a sizable funder of web-based activities through sponsorships, online CME, unbranded disease sites and branded product sites. According to eMarketer (April 2008), online ad spending will reach $1.2 billion in 2008 and nearly double to $2.2 billion by 2011. Indeed without support from the pharma industry, many health sites would have failed.

Today’s web, however, poses new challenges for pharma marketers. Dialogue is happening all over the Internet - patients talk about drugs in online videos, physicians discuss products they have used (and perhaps disliked) on blogs, parents post information (and misinformation) about childhood vaccines in social networks. In the old days, pharma could control the message; today that is neither possible nor desirable.

So then how and when should pharma engage? The goal of this blog is to address that question. We will explore specifics related to social media and identify how industry (pharma, biotech and medtech) to can engage successfully and meaningfully. We will look at specific examples of programs that are launched, interview industry leaders, talk to CEO’s of interesting social media companies, examine the regulatory environment, capture insights from patient opinion leaders and highlight relevant data.
I wonder what Bunny has to say about my recent post to Pharma Marketing Blog -- "King of the Hill Blasts Social Network Marketing: Lessons for Pharma." Maybe she also saw that King of the Hill episode.