Thursday, January 29, 2009

At Last! A Company with a Great Drug Pipeline...

With all the bad news out there about anemic drug pipelines and subsequent laying off of R&D personnel at major drug companies, it's good to see that at least one company has a great pipeline.

By "Company" I mean publisher of a pharmaceutical industry trade magazine. And by "pipeline," I mean a cover image representing a drug pipeline.

So far, I've collected 3 different covers showing three different ways of visualizing drug pipelines. The first one -- shown on the left in the triptitch above (click on it for an enlarged view) -- is the recent cover of Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine showing a pipeline that resembles a kitchen sink drain pipe. I blogged about this previously, saying that I thought it was not the kind of pipeline that inspires me (see "Pharmaceutical Executive Magazine's Drug "Pipeline" Looks More Like a Money Drain!").

The middle image is how the publication R&D Directions sees drug pipelines -- somewhat similar to PE's, this publication uses the faucet end of the kitchen sink as a symbol of a drug pipeline.

Both these images show pills coming out of one end. At least the R&D Directions image has a pill coming out the good end, not the waste end as in the PE image. In the future, I think we shouldn't use pills at all. As traditional pharma companies BUY biotechs to beef up their pipelines, many new generation drugs they bring to market may be biologic injectable compounds and not pills at all.

By far the BEST image representing a drug pipeline is the one on the cover of the January 2009 issue of MedAdNews (on the right in the image above). It looks like the kind of pipe you imagine when you hear the word "pipeline," ie, the Alaska oil pipeline -- a huge and imposing structure, carefully engineered to bring me a product I need and desire.

So, kudos to MedAdNews for bucking the kitchen sink pipeline trend.

The image, however, is a bit confusing. Who are those little white androygnous gnomes with the magnifying glass?

What are they looking at?

It looks suspiciously like ... wait for it ... the top view of a kitchen sink faucet!!!

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