Sunday, January 28, 2007

Pharma Marketing Network Forum Update

It's not possible for me to cover all the interesting pharmaceutical marketing issues here on this blog. But I and other interested parties often post news summaries, ask questions, or start up discussions over at the Pharma Marketing Network Forums (PMN Forums) site. Some interesting discussions are unfolding over there right now. Every once and a while I will post here a summary of these discussions and invite you to join the community and post your own comments. Read the article "An Online Community to Call Our Own" for a review of the features and benefits of the PMN Forums community. You might also read How PMN Forums Differ from Pharma Marketing Blog.

Meanwhile, the following is a selected list of discussion threads you might find interesting.

Forum: Industry News
Member contributed or generated sources of pharmaceutical news from newsfeeds, press releases, news stories, etc.
Thread: Can "Ethical" Pharmaceuticals Slash Prices?
This month, scientists at Imperial College, London, unveiled their model for "ethical pharmaceuticals", claiming that they will slash drug prices and save poor countries from disease. Read this article about how some Indian pharmaceutical companies cooperating with UK scientists plan to alter a patented Hepatitis C drug and offer it for sale much more cheaply than the brand drug. Do you believe that this scheme can slash drug prices? You can take the poll or leave your comments as part of this thread (registration is not necessary).

Thread: Allergan Set To Make Juvederm A Name
ALLERGAN, WHICH HAS TURNED BOTOX into a household name, is poised to launch new advertising to market its other injectable wrinkle reducer, Juvederm. Will Allergan be able to make Juvederm a household name so that all it needs to do is run reminder DTC ads like it does with Botox? I invite you to submit your comment in a reply to this thread! At the moment, consumers are being made aware of the Web site through a giant billboard in Times Square, which went up on Dec. 1 and will appear until Jan. 31. If you are in the area and have a cell phone, please capture an image of this billboard and send it to me at

Thread: $4.6 Billion Spent on DTC in first 11 months of 2006
Drugmakers led by GlaxoSmithKline Plc spent $4.9 billion for consumer advertising in the first 11 months of 2006, $86 million more than for all of 2005. If the rate continued at that pace through December, then DTC spending would have reached $5.3 billion for all of 2006, which would be over $400 million more than was spent in 2005. Is Pharma on a DTC "Spend Before Losing It" binge in anticipation of Congressional restrictions? I invite you to submit your comment in a reply to this thread!
Forum: Product/Brand Manager Corner
A place for pharmaceutical product managers, brand team leaders, etc.
Thread: Are Product Managers Lemmings or Scaredy Cats?
I have noticed that pharmaceutical marketers are lemmings of a sort -- they only follow the herd. That usually means they do whatever Pfizer does. If Pfizer doesn't do it, neither will we. Are too many product managers merely lemmings following what their predecessors have done or, worse, mimicking the competition or market leaders like Pfizer? Hear what some other people have to say in response to this and submit your own reply to this interesting discussion thread.

Thread: Hospital and FDA fines and penalties
I am not sure this thread is posted in the appropriate forum, but a vendor is asking for information about recent fines/penalties levied against companies that print pharmaceutical packaging to help prepare a seminar. Maybe you can help by replying to this thread.
Forum: Physician Marketing
Discussions related to physician marketing and advertising.
Thread: News Sales Model Needed?
In the January issue of Pharma Marketing News I wrote an article entitled "Reinventing the Sales Model" in which TNS Healthcare experts talk about moving beyond current approaches to a new sales model. Specifically, this new model calls for relationship building based on a service model of selling -- bringing real value to the doctor, whatever that value may be for a particular doc. Some docs value therapeutic knowledge, others value patient support programs, staff training, CME, etc. Some lively replies include "Is this a new idea?" and "Nice in Theory, But Physician Access Will Continue to Decline." What do you think? I invite you to submit a reply to this thread. NOTE: You can find a full-text version of the article mentioned above in a reply to this thread.
Forum: Disease Awareness Marketing
Discussions related to disease awareness or unbranded marketing and advertising.
Thread: "Disease Awareness" or Disease Mongering?
Points of discussion include:
  • What is Disease Mongering?
  • What are some examples often cited as disease mongering?
  • What role do pharma companies, press, patient groups, medical associations, etc. play in this? What motivates them?
  • Is this an troublesome issue? If so, what can and should the pharma industry do about it?
You can paricipate in this thread and also take the survey, which asks if certain conditions like ED, IBS, and RLS are true medical conditions that are best treated with drugs? Or do pharmaceutical marketers exaggerate the prevalence and severity of certain conditions in order to increase sales of product? You can find some interesting discussion points in this thread.
That's it for now! You can keep up with these and other discussions by registering at the Pharma Marketing Network Forums site. Registered members can use an alias and start up new discussion threads and even add events to the calendar.

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