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January 15, 2013
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Agency Update 
  • Digital spending to hit $118.4 billion in 2013
    Global brands will spend $118.4 billion on digital campaigns in 2013, up 15.1% from last year, according to an eMarketer analysis. Double-digit growth is expected to continue through 2015, by which point digital will account for about a quarter of all ad spending. eMarketer (1/9) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • If states build them, will consumers come to exchanges?
    States establishing their own health insurance exchanges under the Affordable Care Act are turning their attention to the challenge of spreading the word, particularly to young people and those who opposed the law. Washington state data illustrate the challenge: Officials there want to enroll 410,000 people in the exchange's first two years, but just 1 in 6 residents have heard of the marketplace. Some states are bringing public relations agencies on board to tackle the challenge, which requires a balance of education and innovation to reach the disparate groups whose participation is needed. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Trends, Research & Stats 
  • "Inappropriate marketing" tarnishes pharma's rep, survey finds
    The reputation of the pharmaceutical industry has tumbled, with 42% of 500 patient groups in 2011 giving the industry an "excellent" or "good" rating and just 34% of 600 patient groups doing so in 2012, per a Patient View survey. Further, half of those surveyed ranked the industry "poor" on fair pricing, and 40% said the reputation of the industry had declined. Patients offered myriad complaints, including "inappropriate marketing, a designation that included off-label marketing," writes Ed Silverman. blog (1/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • New packaging, labeling might improve Rx adherence
    Blister packaging labeled with the days of the week, pill bottle caps that send alerts and sound alarms when they are not opened on time, and clearer patient instructions are among the methods intended to increase prescription adherence. Patients who don't take their medications as prescribed are at higher risk for complications and expensive hospitalizations, and CMS reimbursement to health plans depends in part on refill rates for cholesterol, hypertension and diabetes drugs. The Wall Street Journal (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Go to Market Strategy 
  • Shorter launch window with smaller peak requires a different strategy
    Launching a drug in today's environment once FDA approval is secured presents a unique set of challenges, according to Accenture Life Sciences senior manager Peter Hansen. The shift toward treating smaller populations of patients, who may be down to their last options, erodes peak sales. And aggressive follow-on competitors cut into the period of exclusivity. Manufacturers must shift to accommodate the new reality, starting earlier on their commercialization strategy, replacing large sales forces with peer-to-peer teams and embracing sophisticated targeting of physicians with expert sales reps, Hansen writes. blog (1/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Policy Pulse 
  • PhRMA raises concern over revised Mass. rules on dining with docs
    The drug industry is particularly concerned with the reporting requirements under an amendment in Massachusetts that allows makers of drugs and medical devices to pay for meals at informational sessions, PhRMA Senior Assistant General Counsel Marjorie Powell said. Under the rules, companies must report the amount they spend on meals, the event's location, the product discussed, as well as "other information as determined necessary," which leaves companies facing uncertainty as they collect and record information, Powell said. The Boston Globe (tiered subscription model) (1/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Pharma execs indicted for allegedly disguising kickbacks as rebates
    Former and current executives with Korea's largest drugmaker, Dong-A Pharmaceutical, were indicted for allegedly paying a half-million dollars worth of kickbacks to some 1,400 medical facilities, according to The Korea Times. "This case shows that the pharmaceutical and medical industries are still not free from the practice of providing and receiving kickbacks," an investigator said. The alleged kickbacks included trips and luxury watches. blog (1/11), The Korea Times (Seoul) (1/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Coalition News 
  • Coalition advises members to track fiscal challenges and privacy legislation in 2013
    At a Coalition for Healthcare Communication policy update meeting held in New York last week, Prevision Policy’s Kate Rawson and Coalition Executive Director John Kamp told Coalition members that although there were many positive developments for pharma companies in 2012 – such as 39 new drug approvals, new FDA drug approval programs, and the U.S. Supreme Court decision resolving the status of the Affordable Care Act – 2013 will bring new challenges. These challenges include possible tax code reform, which could result in the elimination of the marketing tax deduction, new privacy legislation, “Sunshine Act” final rules and major questions about traditional FDA regulation in the wake of the U.S. v. Caronia decision. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Closing the Deal 
With both the time to achieve peak sales and peak sales themselves significantly reduced, launch brands must adopt new launch approaches to make the most out of their limited windows of opportunity."
--Peter Hansen, a senior manager with Accenture Life Sciences, as quoted by Pharmalot's Pharma Blog
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