The site focuses on how drug companies can get accurate and trustworthy information to doctors and consumers. John Mack, publisher of the monthly online newsletter Pharma Marketing News, started his blog in January 2005. He offers commentary on news events and is often critical of the industry's focus on blockbuster drugs and what Mr. Mack views as unethical or misguided marketing. Among his pet peeves is erectile-dysfunction advertising, which he believes focuses too heavily on younger men and libido-enhancing promises while failing to educate consumers about the disease. The site lambastes pharma companies for ads that foster a "magic pill solution preference among Americans," while rarely mentioning changes in lifestyle or diet that will help reduce risks such as cardiovascular disease. But he's quick to praise efforts that address the industry's credibility problem with consumers, such as Johnson & Johnson's new TV and print campaigns that he says put drug risks on more-equal footing with drug benefits.I think this captures well the essence of the mission of Pharma Marketing Blog, which is to lambast unethical or misguided pharmaceutical marketing and to praise efforts that address (rather than criticize) the industry's credibility issues.
How have I become a source that pharmaceutical marketers "must read"? Simple. I rely on a network of experts who have worked in the industry for many years. This network includes the interactive online PHARMA-MKTING discussion group and the Pharma Marketing Roundtable as well as subscribers to the monthly Pharma Marketing News e-newsletter. These experts often participate in online surveys, conference calls, and meetings hosted by Pharma Marketing Network.
Many professionals in pharmaceutical marketing want to do the right thing. Sometimes, however, they stray from what I and others would consider acceptable boundaries. When that happens, the entire industry can suffer. (And suffer in the pocketbook too. See "Big Drug Makers See Sales Decline With Their Image.") These boundaries are always changing and it is imperative that we constantly evaluate pharmaceutical marketing to keep it within limits considered acceptable by consumers and physicians.
Hopefully, what I do helps in some small way.