S&R Blog

Who will lead pharma back to a constructive, trusting, and value-based industry?

The “conspirators” have been revealed—the  Pharmageddon2012 “conspirators” that is.  This past week, the November issue of MedAd News broke a story on Pharmageddon2012 and the people behind the scene—S+R Medical Communications (SRMC) and Friday Morning.

For those of you who have not taken the time to check out Pharmageddon2012, this multifaceted website uses a variety of social media outlets to carefully and anonymously describe what we believe is the pharma industry’s greatest problem—the breakdown of communication and trust between physicians and the industry.

The site, describes the issues and problems that exist but what it doesn’t address is the passion, belief, and attitude of those people at SRMC and Friday Morning who have to live and deal with the implications of what Pharmageddon2012 represents. You must admit a campaign like Pharmageddon2012 could be risky for a business that that has spent over 18 years enabling and helping our pharma clients devise the very same communication pieces and strategies that we believe contributed to the demise of physician trust.

However, we also believe that someone needs to lead the charge for change and why shouldn’t it be SRMC and Friday Morning? We spent the last 10 years closely watching, listening, and seeing firsthand the strategies and tactics that led to the mistrust problems. We were frustrated and angry about the situation, and we struggled to understand what new strategies and solutions we might incorporate into our business model. The end objective is to help us build our success—and, equally as important, that of our clients.
To that end, we must help clients find ways to restore physician confidence AND improve patient outcomes.

So while we are willing put our collective necks on the line, the real question is which pharma companies will be the first to understand and see the need for communicating with physicians in a different way? Which companies will choose to use educational programming that is needs-based? Are you, as a pharma marketer, willing to use total transparency and clarity as you describe ALL of the important aspects of how your brand is best used? When a physician asks, “Which of my patients are specifically and best suited for what your product does?” what will your sales force say? How will you provide educational and promotional programs that allow your sales force to bring value and relationship building to every sales call?

Is YOUR pharma company willing be a leader and change the pharma/physician communication model back to a constructive, trusting, value-based relationship? Do you believe that you can participate in this change process and at the same time positively impact your brand’s financial achievements? It’s tough to be a leader and to stand out from the crowd. But in fact, that is the opportunity that is before us right now.

If you have the same passion and spirit for this issue as we do, if your brain and heart tell you it is time to do it differently, please contact me. I can show you how we can work together to put our industry, your company, and your products back on a more productive, positive path.

Dave Recht
CEO, North State Resources, Inc.


2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The restrictions in spending on pens , mugs etc and meals are an indication of how unbalanced the situation has become. There is a clear perception that pharma is out to create bias. THe pressure for financial disclosure in presentations is another indicator. The prohibition of reps and samples at many accademic centers is another.
Reps have their job to do and they may be irritating and persistent in their persuit of the close. They are certainly somewhat unlikely to present a fully balanced picture if it is likely to go in favor of a competitior. But who in their right mind is surprised by this.
The alternative for the industry is to become less agressive in marketing and sales and become the purveyor of science and even the source for evidence based medicine. Pharma should become aware that “it’s all about the optics” when dealing with physicians. The interaction in all its aspects must be acceptable to all the stakeholders which includes patients and payors. But, to stop the interaction in order to make sure there are no optics to criticize is clearly cowardly,and not in anybody’s best interest. Doctors are by and large creatures of habit in very busy lives, regarding change as a source of risk. If the information about new products cannot reach them except through CME or journal articles, then the lag between innovation and reward for the patient will be unacceptable.

Comment by Roger Vogel MD

Doctor Vogel:

Thanks for your reply & comments. I am not sure that pharma should take a less agressive role in the process you describe. Rather pharma is the best suited party to provide clear, factual and full information about where there brands are best used. It is in this capacity that they should be fully agressive in making sure that the prescriber understand this information and then apply such to the best potential outcome for a patient.

Given some of examples about how the industry has chosen to convey (or not convey) such information is not in the best interest of anyone involved. Therefore the context of this blog and the hopes that industry will choose to communicate in a different way.

Comment by srcomblog

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