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Current Affairs

11 CEO’s weigh in: Is there one main thing you could do to fix the healthcare system?

By | Biopharma, Communities, Current Affairs, hospitals, patient-centricity, providers | No Comments

Is there one main thing you could do to fix the healthcare system? Becker’s Hospital Review asked 11 healthcare system CEO’s what was the the one thing they each would do first to fix the system we have. What is interesting is not just what they say, but the implication that no matter what aspect of healthcare you work in, the challenges seem enormous and unresolved. It is like a wound that will not heal. For those of us working on the manufacturer side, these pithy quotes are eye-opening and can be taken as dire. But flip it on its head: these also expose opportunities for the Biopharma industry, which is in a tumult itself. Can these challenges be an…

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The A.I. Challenge: What happens when robots replace truck drivers? A fascinating view of one economic theory.

By | Artificial Intelligence, Biopharma, Current Affairs, Strategy, Web/Tech | No Comments

AI is seeping into our conscious but not as quickly as it is seeping into the technology we already use or about to purchase — like Amazon Echo or Financial Service Bots, to name two. What happens when robots replace drivers? Not just like the Uber Pittsburgh pilot, or those in Silicon Valley, I am speaking of the real truck drivers — and the Pew interactive graphic is a bit stunning to view — never did I imagine in so many states being a truck driver in the dominant job. This email from the Octalysis a Weekly email, which usually has a singular focus on gamification but this week took a social engineering note that blew my mind. Here is…

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The “Periodic Table of Storytelling”, an amazing resource for a strategy we all should embrace

By | Current Affairs, Strategy, Uncategorized, Web/Tech | No Comments

Storytelling by employees, patient advocates and patients themselves who just feel compelled to share…this is a fundamental strategy that Pharma, ACO’s, Hospitals, need to use NOW to break down the barriers between their customers/patients and the inherent regulatory and cultural limitations they have to deal with. As an example, Pharma which has a terrible reputation (undeserved, complex and not black and white), should be the first category to stop creating non-authentic, non-emotional, advertising and create credibility and connection through storytelling. It is a gravity point for human-2-human communications and connection. Unlike MLR fears of QOL promises gone amok, the fact is, patients just want to hear a “real” voice to relate to. Authenticity would do wonders for Pharma Brands. It…

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Welcome to the adherence party, Sears. And The Gap. And Target. And …

By | Current Affairs | No Comments

When it comes to marketing, the pharmaceutical category is usually more conservative than typical retail marketers. Not anymore. A story in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal seems to prove that when it comes to adherence, it's the retailers, not the pharma people, who are late to the party. But, at least they're here. The piece, which is behind a WSJ password, is about how the current economic downturn is affecting big retailers like Target, Sears, The Gap, etc. Here's the heart of the story: It's number-crunching time. Marketers, their ad budgets under increased scrutiny amid the economic downturn, are mining their customer databases and reaching out to loyal consumers with targeted ads, instead of relying on the traditional yuletide blitz. Rather…

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Forest vs. trees

By | Current Affairs | No Comments

The DTC Perspectives blog reported today that according to the folks at Harris Interactive have polled the public, and found that the overall reputation of the drug industry declined again in 2007, dropping by two points to a new low of 26%. That means that 26% of the general public give drug companies a positive rating. The only industry with a lower rating is tobacco, at 10%. As the post goes on to observe, one of the major issues driving this is the perception of overly high prices. This includes a lack of understanding of the availability of price-support programs, and the belief that drug companies make profits a higher priority than safety. While none of this is good news,…

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RM In the News

By | Current Affairs | No Comments

A really interesting story in today’s New York Times about an attempt to use what seems to be a flavor of RM to bring Medicare costs down. The story concerns a program called the Medicare Health Support program. Eight companies participated in the test, which affected roughly 160,000 patients. According to the Times, the program simply involved having teams of nurses maintain telephone contact with patients to insure that they are taking the right medications, and seeing their doctors. It’s unclear at this juncture whether or not the program actually creates cost savings, but prelimiary data doesn’t look promising. The story says "Experts say that Medicare and the companies alike were too optimistic about how easy it would be to…

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Robert Jarvik, the Baby and the Bathwater

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This will be the last, last word on the fate of Dr. Robert Jarvik. We have two parting thoughts. First, Jarvik’s departure was appropriate. Second, we have to be careful not to throw the baby out, as they say, with the bathwater. The blogosphere has been full of commentary on the situation. Here, and here, and here. We have written two previous posts about the situation as well, because it will have an enormous impact on pharma marketing.  Essentially, Jarvik, who was paid over a million dollars to be a spokesperson for Pfizer’s Lipitor, turned out to have several strikes against him. He wasn’t a cardiologist. He didn’t actually scull, although he was depicted as doing so in one commercial….

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Dr. Robert Jarvik’s problem: It’s the agency, stupid

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In a recent post, we wrote about the risks in using celebrities for advertising. Our pharmaceutical poster boy was Dr. Robert Jarvik, who has spent the last couple of years starring in DTC ads for Pfizer’s Lipitor, one of the biggest drugs in the world. Well,it looks more and more like the problem wasn’t Jarvik, but Pfizer’s agency. Dr. Jarvik found himself on the front page of the New York Times today. The article says that in addition to not being a practicing physician, which we already discussed, Jarvik also does not row. As in sculling. Which would be neither here nor there, except that in the ad, he is shown vigorously rowing a one-man shell across a pristine mountain…

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The Upside of Relationship Marketing: Not Rolling The Dice

By | Current Affairs | No Comments

There’s been a fair amount of controversy throughout the pharma blogosphere in the last few days about the revelation that Dr. Robert Jarvik, star of Pfizer’s Lipitor ads, is not actually a licensed, practicing physician. Blogs weighing in on this issue have included Pharma Blogosphere and John Mack’s Pharma Marketing Blog. At the time the Jarvik ads first appeared, they were a big deal because Jarvik was allegedly the first "real" doctor to be used in a pharma ad. To us, this incident points up another major difference between relationship marketing and conventional DTC advertising, whether it’s for pharma or, for that matter, anything. Using Jarvik is, basically, using a celebrity. This tactic, which is as old as adverting itself,…

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