Pharma Marketers May Have to Get More Creative

Angie Drakulich PharmTech editorWe’ve all seen trademarked skeletons, wall charts, calendars, paperweights, and supplies in doctors’ offices. And it’s blatantly clear that these items came from pharmaceutical companies—their names are written all over them. But soon, those long waits in the examining room before the doctor comes in may be quite boring because there won’t be much to look at. Read more »

Should Drug Marketing Stay Out of Med Schools?

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorHeads up pharmaceutical marketing firms: your branded “freebies” at US medical schools may be on their way out. An editorial in the current issue of Archives of Internal Medicine is calling for the new policies on interactions between pharma companies and physicians, even would-be medical professionals. The editorial highlights a study in that publication investigating whether medical students’ attitudes may be influenced by exposure to small branded items such as pens, clipboards, notepads, etc. That study involved 352 third and fourth-year students from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, which has a strict policy against promotional material, and the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, which does not. Read more »

Sales Exec’s Guilty Plea Prolongs Bextra Fallout

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorApparently, the Bextra (valdecoxib) nightmare is lingering a bit longer for Pfizer. More than four years after the initial lawsuits against the drug were filed, a sales executive of a separate company pleaded guilty yesterday to encouraging her sales staff to promote the painkiller for uses she knew had been rejected by the US Food and Drug Administration. Read more »

Cutting Costs, but Not at Patients’ Expense

Erik Greb PharmTech editorMany state legislatures are looking for ways to keep their healthcare costs down. Given our difficult economy, attempts at fiscal prudence do not come as a surprise. What’s heartening is that many states’ bills draw a link between healthcare expenses and doctor–patient confidentiality. Read more »

How Do We Preserve Competition and Innovation?

Erik Greb PharmTech editorLast week, the European Commission (EC) published a preliminary report that described how the makers of branded pharmaceuticals delay the introduction of competing generic medicines. Industry associations for originator companies and generics manufacturers in Europe were quick to weigh in on the report. Now a UK judge has joined the debate. Read more »

Report Says Merck’s Vioxx Study Was All Marketing, Not Science

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorA paper published in the August 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine says a 1999 study done by Merck & Co., Inc. for its now-withdrawn painkiller Vioxx is “an example of marketing framed as science.” The journal first published results of the trial, known as ADVANTAGE (Assessment of Differences between Vioxx and Naproxen To Ascertain Gastrointestinal Tolerability and Effectiveness), in 2003. Read more »

Will a Marketing Integrity Code Maintain Trust?

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorRegardless of how much I may agree with the general objectives of a professional organization, there are times when I just have to question the effectiveness of its tactics. Last week, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America revised its PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals. The document is an updated list of the original 2002 edition describing what constitutes as the “highest ethical standards” for pharmaceutical marketing professionals when communicating with healthcare providers. Read more »

Pharma Marketing’s 2nd Med School Report Card

Alexis Brekke Pellek PharmTech editorThe American Medical Student Association (AMSA) released its second annual PharmFree Scorecard report last week, which ranks medical schools’ policies on the presence of pharmaceutical reps on the campus. This year, AMSA worked with The Prescription Project to produce the report. Read more »

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