ExL's 6th Annual KOL and Advisory Boards Summit
ExL's 6th Annual KOL and Advisory Boards Summit | June 8-9, 2015 | Philadelphia, PA

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pfizer Continues to Dominate DTC Ad Spending

If Pfizer chose not to do direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, we'd have less bad ads to criticize (as, for example, this ad for Viagra) and the total spending on DTC advertising would be 30% less than it is today. In 2014, Nielsen estimates that the U.S. drug industry spent $4.53 Bn on DTC advertising. Pfizer spent $1.4 Bn.

That's right... Pfizer spends nearly one-third (30%) of all the DTC ad dollars!

The last (red) bar of the following chart shows what the 2014 ad spend -- excluding Internet search ads -- would look like without Pfizer. We're talking 20th century numbers!


Pfizer simply is too big to fail as far as the DTC advertising world is concerned!

According to Bloomberg (here), Pfizer spent "$751.9 million on television ads, more than double second-biggest spender AbbVie Inc." This domination of the drug ad airways goes back to at least 2011 as shown in the charts prepared by Bloomberg.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear Patient, Come to the "Dark Side" & Engage with Pharma

Engaging patients was a major theme of the eyeforpharma Barcelona 2015 conference (hashtag e4pbarca), which just closed out after 3 days of presentations with a keynote presentation by Dr. Anne Beal, Chief Patient Officer, at Sanofi.

"Patients can help in many ways and we (pharma) have to reach out to them all," said Dr. Beal.

@TuLupus -- a Spanish Lupus patient blogger ("Tu Lupus Es Mi Lupus")-- was impressed and she offered this advice (as quoted by Paul Tunnah):

"patients, don't be afraid of going to the 'dark side' - engage with pharma and industry (is not so dark)."

"It's one of the most important things I've learnt in #e4pBarca," tweeted @TuLupus a few minutes later. "Dark side? No way! We need each other and you do great things."

Dark side? Let's imagine Pharma as Darth Vader and patients like @TuLupus as Luke Skywalker:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Scary Pharma/Drug Ads in Medical Journals

Drug print ads aimed at patients are usually upbeat showing the benefits of the pill. Print ads intended for physicians on the other hand are often dark and downright scary. I came across this medical journal print ad about "poorly controlled LDL-C" yesterday:

Click on image for an enlarged view
What's up with this?

Attending #e4pbarca Remotely: Second Day

There's been a lot of tweeting during the eyeforpharma Barcelona conference yesterday and today. I summarized a few of the issues being discussed that were of interest to me during yesterday's session (see here). Here's some impressions data from Symplur for the #e4pbarca hashtag:

I'm happy to see that I'm #3 on the list! That's pretty good for someone following remotely in a time zone that is 5 hours later than the time in Barcelona! I had to wake up at 3 AM yesterday to catch the opening presentations! Compare that to a day in the life of a typical digital marketer here.

Today, I woke a little later and missed most of the morning sessions, but there was still a good deal of interesting insights from attendees.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Attending #e4pbarca Remotely

I'm getting up early to attend the 13th Annual eyeforpharma Barcelona 2015 conference from the comfort of my home office.

Disclosure: eyeforpharma is a client of mine - Pharma Marketing News is a Media partner for this event. But this post is a bit of "earned" media coverage - i.e., no one is paying me to do this.

Mostly, I'm using Twitter and following the #e4pbarca tweet stream, which is pretty active. I recommend that all conference producers use specific Twitter hash tags like this to allow people who cannot physically be at the conference to at least follow what's being discussed in real time. Make sure you keep your hash tags as short as possible! Also, make sure everyone at the conference has access to Wifi and knows the hash tag.

I've embedded the #e4pbarca tweet stream at the end of this post.

I will post here some highlights from the conference of interest to me. Also, I'm hosting my first ever Google+ "Hangout" to see if I can interview some conference attendees during the lunch break. You can access that Hangout here.

So, here are some highlights so far. I will add more during the day:

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