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December 11, 2012
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Agency Update 
  • Former FDA counsel analyzes Caronia decision
    The recent court ruling overturning the conviction of a pharmaceutical sales representative for alleged illegal off-label promotion will not open the floodgates for unchecked off-label promotion, writes Arnie Friede, a former senior corporate counsel with Pfizer and a former FDA associate chief counsel. The decision is binding only in Connecticut, New York and Vermont, many drugmakers are subject to binding settlements regarding off-label promotion, and statements that the FDA deems false and misleading remain open to regulatory action in all states, Friede writes. Considering that the case may make it to the Supreme Court, drugmakers are not likely to begin promoting their drugs off-label, he writes. blog (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Grey London wins GSK branding campaign
    WPP agency Grey London beat other WPP shops as well as Omnicom Group's TBWA in winning GlaxoSmithKline's new worldwide corporate branding and communications project. "WPP has established Team GSK to work with GSK to develop and leverage the brand across its entire portfolio. A number of WPP companies have contributed to this effort and will work over time on this assignment," WPP said in a statement. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Trends, Research & Stats 
  • Cleveland Clinic embraces "secret sauce" in focus on costs, quality
    Doctors at Cleveland Clinic are salaried and on one-year contracts and undergo professional reviews each year in an effort to reward quality over quantity, says CEO Delos Cosgrove, whose contract is also renewed annually. The hospital also reorganized into institutes focused on disease area instead of separate departments for surgery, medicine and pediatrics. Outcomes and costs are measured and reported, and doctors are aware of how much supplies cost. Business Insider (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Interactive Ads & Technology 
  • Heart association: Social media can help fight childhood obesity
    The American Heart Association has issued a scientific statement that says social media may become an important tool for fighting childhood obesity, but it noted that evidence from intervention studies so far is inconclusive. Jennifer Li, chairwoman of the group that wrote the statement, said studies do show that parental involvement and more interaction with counselors and peers is linked to greater success for children who participated in online programs. Forbes (12/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Social media fails to get a bigger chunk of pharma budgets
    The number of drugmaker employees using social media rose 36% from 2011 to 2012, but about half of drugmakers spent 5% or less of their budgets on social media in 2012, according to a Cegedim survey. Fewer drugmakers said marketing and brand teams led the pace of change over the same period, while executive management was seen as the primary driver of technology changes, the survey found. (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Go to Market Strategy 
  • How to calm a disgruntled customer online
    A disgruntled customer can do serious damage to a brand, Jennifer MacDonald writes. To de-escalate a situation, respond quickly, apologize whole-heartedly and do your best to engage the angry customer by e-mail or by phone. "Try to get the conversation offline as quickly as possible," MacDonald writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Social Media (12/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Policy Pulse 
  • Heart center sues drugmaker for alleged fax abuse
    Forest Laboratories sent too many faxes, according to the St. Louis Heart Center, which filed suit in federal court claiming the drugmaker violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. Dr. Ronald Weiss is seeking $60,000, or $1,500 for each unwanted fax inviting cardiologists at the practice to attend teleconferences and dinners to learn about the hypertension therapy Bystolic. blog (12/4) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • "History sniffing" must stop, FTC tells Epic Marketplace
    The Federal Trade Commission has ordered ad company Epic Marketplace to stop using "history sniffing” tools to collect data on Web users' browsing habits, and to destroy information already gathered using the technology. Epic used browsing histories to determine which consumers likely suffered from impotence, had memory loss, or were struggling with fertility issues, and then served up related ads, the FTC said. "Consumers searching the Internet shouldn't have to worry about whether someone is going to go sniffing through the sensitive, personal details of their browsing history without their knowledge," said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. Bloomberg Businessweek (12/5) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Canada updates drug advertising standards
    The Canadian Pharmaceutical Advertising Advisory Board, which approves drug advertising, amended parts of the Code of Advertising Acceptance dealing with social media and the Internet. The new version, which will be enforced starting July 1, allows advertisers to include a URL or link to the terms of market authorization approved by Health Canada for the drug rather than attaching a copy. Financial Post (Canada) (12/7) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Featured Content 

Coalition News 
  • Industry experts react to DTC advertising study findings
    Industry experts agree that a recent study published in Cancer -- regarding the impact of direct-to-consumer advertising on prescribing for aromatase inhibitors -- shows the benefits of DTCA to patients. John Kamp, Executive Director for the Coalition for Healthcare Communication, said the study "is strong evidence supporting the value of marketing in the delivery of appropriate care, blowing away much of the unsupported criticism that marketing leads to inappropriate prescribing." Matt Giegerich, Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide Chairman & CEO, and Jim Davidson, Executive Director, The Advertising Coalition, also comment in this story posted on the Coalition's Website. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Closing the Deal 
To be sure, Caronia is important. But I think it is mistaken to believe that pharmaceutical companies will put the off-label horse before the final judicial cart comes along."
--Arnie Friede, former FDA associate chief counsel and former Pfizer senior corporate counsel, writing on the Pharma blog
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