Friday, January 16, 2009

Pharmalot Refugees Launch Pharmalittle Blog

This note comes in from pharmalot refugees 'Justice in Michigan' and 'Jaynesday'

In fondest tribute to Ed Silverman and his extraordinary Pharmalot site, and with appreciation to the Newark Star Ledger for sponsoring Pharmalot, a few of us Pharmalot "refugees" have founded the site, "Pharmalittle".

This is an all-volunteer, unfunded effort. Needless to say, it ain't no Pharmalot. Our hope is simply to keep a few of the conversations going about issues of shared concern.

Given our limits in time and person-power, we will post very selected news, have short bloggette discussion starters, and perhaps a surprising interview or two every now and then. Issues of particular focus are likely to be FDA (including preemption), pharma and politics, and perennial issues like DTCA, COIs, and the like. Occasionally, we may post a article that is an 'oldy but goody' - just for the sake of discussion. As on Pharmalot, our core goal is to learn from each other.

On the other hand, should we get a scoop, we won't hesitate to pass it on. Just send a us a cone.
Here's a scoop with cone:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peter von Rost?

Every aspiring king, prince, or FDA Commissioner should have a family "shield" (aka "coat of arms") to use on his letterhead and Peter Rost, who aspires to be the new FDA commish, says someone sent him just the shield he's been "looking for" (that's it on the left; see the original here).

BTW, back in January, 2008, when I was writing about Rost speaking before the Swedish parliament, I came up with my own version of the "Rost Family Shield," which is depicted on the right.

Which ever shield fits, all Rost now needs is to prepend "von" to his name and the "von Rost" dynasty will be set to begin -- as soon as he's nominated for commish, that is.

But "von Rost" may be too reminiscent of another "von" we all are happy to be rid of come January 20, 2009.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pharmalot Folds: Good Bye and Good Luck to Ed Silverman

I was sorry to hear that Ed Silverman "took the money and ran" and will no longer be writing for Pharmalot, which I assume will fold without him. I will miss Ed's presence in the Pharma Blogosphere, although I am sure he will continue to contribute somehow.

"This is my long goodbye," said Ed in his final post.

"For two glorious years, I have had the privilege and good fortune to run this site. Now, though, the time has come to walk away. This was a difficult decision, but one that is rooted in the turmoil engulfing the newspaper business. Let me explain.

"Three years ago, I suggested a site that could somehow become a go-to destination for news and discussion concerning the pharmaceutical industry. As someone who had covered pharma for a decade, but was itching to do something different, a web site represented not only a next step in gathering and disseminating information, but also an opportunity to get ahead of the curve and move on to another stage in my career.

"Happily, the notion was backed by Jim Willse, the editor of The Star-Ledger of New Jersey, which owns Pharmalot and is the flagship in the Newhouse chain of newspapers. After the usual planning and tinkering, Pharmalot launched exactly two years ago. And since then, the site has become popular and well-known – as of last month, we notched about 11,000 unique daily visitors and some 330,000 monthly pageviews on a 30-day rolling basis. There were accolades from The Financial Times and the Association of Health Care Journalists. I was regularly asked to speak at dinners and conferences.

"Meanwhile, as you know, the newspaper business has been declining rapidly and, last summer, the Ledger offered generous buyouts, sufficiently generous that I was tempted to consider the package. And for various personal reasons, that is what I have chosen to do. Yes, there were discussions to continue with Pharmalot – the Ledger, particularly Willse, recognizes the potential for the site and I thoroughly enjoy the work. The long hours and intense routine may be grueling, but Pharmalot has been an extremely challenging and satisfying preoccupation. In the end, though, we were unable to find a path forward.

"And so, I am now moving on."