Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Pfizer PhD Phobia

The Annals of Family Medicine study of DTC advertising (see "TV DTC Educate Little, Increase Sales Less") may or may not be Pharma Marketing Blogworthy (ie, worth my time analyzing here), but a statement from a Pfizer spokesperson meant to counteract the conclusions of the study is blogworthy.

Jack Cox, a spokesman for New York-based Pfizer, the world's largest drug company, said in a phone interview: "It was a bunch of Ph.D.'s sitting around, looking at ads."

As far as comebacks go, this ranks up there with Pee-Wee Herman's famous line: "I know you are, but what am I?"

If this expression of disdain for PhDs is representative of Pfizer's attitude, it may explain its recent problems bringing drugs to market (see "Pfizer's torcetrapib: Who Knew What, When?" for example).

Or maybe Pfizer is not with the mainstream thinking of pharma-friendly organizations like the Coalition of Healthcare Communication, which urges that FDA fund more studies by PhDs and other experts on how to communicate risk in DTC ads.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:20 PM

    I can assure you that Pfizer holds its Ph.Ds in the highest regard. Indeed, most middle-management there won’t even talk to anyone without a Ph.D, although I understand that some of them do allow their younger children some dispensation.
    I think what Jack Cox was really saying is that Pfizer have so many Ph.Ds, they are considered common currency. To be considered really worth listening to, you have to have an MBA as well…


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