Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Doling Out Dough to Docs: Types of Payments Pharma* Made to Physicians in 2013, Excluding Research-Related Payments

Click on image for an enlarged view.
On September 30, 2014, CMS published data records containing 4.4 million payments valued at nearly $3.5 billion in payments and transfers of value made to physicians and teaching hospitals in the last five months of Calendar Year 2013. This includes ownership or investment interests in applicable manufacturers and GPOs held by physicians or their immediate members, in addition to payments provided for research activities, gifts, speaking fees, meals, or travel.

These and other data are available to peruse using the "Data Explorer" tool on the OpenPaymentsData.CMS.gov website.

I recently used this tool to find out more about the types of payments big pharma companies make to physicians. I only looked at payments for items/services unrelated to research and ownership of stock; i.e., marketing-related items/services, which include
  • Food and Beverage
  • Consulting
  • Charitable Contributions
  • Education
  • Grants
  • Honoraria
  • Speaker Fees
  • Travel and Lodging
Unfortunately, I could not download the entire database because the number of records exceeds Excel's limit. Instead, I downloaded data for six specific pharma companies to perform my analysis. Although the result may not be representative of the entire drug industry, it does show how different companies dole out the dough to docs.

*The six companies I chose for my analysis include several with the highest yearly global sales:

Friday, May 01, 2015

Pharma Buzzwords Heard During a Conference

Pharma marketers cannot communicate with each other without using "buzzwords." Some critics suggest, however, that some of these buzzwords alienate patients and physicians (see, for example, "Do Marketing Buzzwords Affect Pharma's Reputation Among Patients & Physicians?"). According to results to date of a new survey, even pharma insiders think there may be too many terms that just are not useful and should be dumped!

Before I present some preliminary results from that survey, I'd like to show you a real world example of the use of buzzwords mentioned during an industry conference, specifically the Transforming Healthcare Conference that was hosted by MM&M in NYC yesterday.

I wasn't able to actually attend that conference, so I followed the Twitter stream from the conference via the unfortunately very long #transforminghealthcare hash tag. Of course, this method may not have revealed all the buzzwords that were actually mentioned by presenters at the conference. But terms become "buzzwords" only when they are repeated --i.e, when they create "buzz"!

To keep track of the buzzwords, I used my handy Pharma Buzzword Bingo Card! Whenever a buzzword (or equivalent term) on the Card was mentioned in the Twitter stream, I drew a diagonal across the term in the Card.

Here's what my Card looked like at the end of the day:

A Facetious Version of WebMD's Dr. OZ Style Kybella FAQ

The following facetious FAQ list is based on a WebMD FAQ list ("Here’s what you need to know" about a "New Drug [that] Zaps Double Chin"). WebMD appears to be vying for notoriety as the Dr. OZ of the Internet!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PharmBingo Contest: Pharma Buzzwords Heard at Corporate Meetings or Industry Events

Print the following PharmBingo Card, which is loaded with drug industry/pharma marketing "buzzwords", and bring it to your next industry conference or corporate meeting. You can Win a Prize!

Click for an enlarged view or download PDF version here.

To be eligible, you must:
  1. Complete the Pharma Marketing Buzzwords Survey 
  2. Achieve a winning PharmBingo pattern (see below) 
Continue reading for the instructions.

Some Questions and Answers About Digital Health

"If you think that digital health brings with it many questions and maybe more questions than answers, you are not alone," says Denise Silber, organizer of the 3rd Annual Doctors 2.0 & You conference, which will take place on June 4-5, 2015, in Paris.

In a post on LinkedIn (here), Denise provides a list of "26 sizzling questions" that she says will be tackled at this conference.

As I said before, I have 10 reasons for not liking lists (especially long lists), which you can read here.

That being said, here are a few questions from Denise's list I DO like and for which I have answers.

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