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April 17, 2012
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Agency Update 
  • Merck renews effort to promote shingles vaccine Zostavax
    Merck & Co. re-established the supply of shingles vaccine Zostavax after years of manufacturing and shipment constraints. The drugmaker, which launched TV ads to raise public awareness about shingles, is modernizing processes and equipment, adding capacity and expanding manufacturing to fill back orders. Analysts say the vaccine could generate more than $1 billion in yearly sales. The Wall Street Journal (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Ogilvy lands Aetna's B2B marketing account
    Aetna is replacing G2 with another WPP agency, Ogilvy & Mather, for its B2B marketing. Ogilvy's duties will include sales documents, e-mail, trade shows and digital. The change is part of a larger shakeup, with Aetna recently tapping Interpublic's UM as its media agency of record and planning to name a new agency for digital marketing to consumers. Advertising Age (tiered subscription model) (4/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Grok wins Zicam with category-shifting creative
    Grok has won Zicam creative following a review, succeeding incumbent Cramer-Krasselt. The client lauded the shop for the "presentation of a unique category shift." Parent Matrixx Initiatives spent about $20 million in measured media on the brand last year, per Nielsen. Adweek (4/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Rapper switches to generic song title
    Kanye West changed the title of his song "Theraflu" to "Way Too Cold" and changed an image on his website that included a bottle of the flu remedy to one with a plain, white bottle after drugmaker Novartis took issue with the song. Pharmalot.com (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Trends, Research & Stats 
  • Little research explores benefits of industry-physician ties
    Eighty-nine percent of journal articles published in the past 25 years regarding industry-physician relationships focused on the risks, and few explored the benefits, according to a review of 108 papers. "In our view, the dominance of risk-emphasizing papers and the low prevalence of opposing viewpoints in those papers have contributed to the evolution of policies concerning academia-industry relationships," the review authors write. Medical Marketing & Media (4/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Voices from the Inside 
  • Study: Off-label prescribing varies by doctor, patient
    Prescribing drugs for unapproved uses is common in primary care and varies by the number of approved uses, drug class and age, patient sex and physician attitude, according to a Canadian study published in Archives of Internal Medicine. Drugs to treat central nervous system disorders were the most likely to be prescribed off-label, and drugs with the most approved indications were the least likely to be used off-label, the researchers found. Older drugs were more likely than newer drugs to be prescribed off-label, and doctors oriented toward evidence-based medicine were the least likely off-label prescribers. HealthDay News (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Big Pharma must take on image problem, PhRMA chief says
    Drugmakers often take heat for health care costs and must do more to refute misplaced blame, says Chris Viehbacher, outgoing chairman of industry group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. The industry employs millions of people but does a poor job of communicating it economic benefits, said Viehbacher, CEO of Sanofi, adding that the industry should play a greater role in discussions about drug adherence, which can limit health care costs. Medical Marketing & Media (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Interactive Ads & Technology 
  • Other News
Go to Market Strategy 
  • Brands can use Instagram, too
    Relatively few brands have ventured onto Instagram, but experts say Facebook's new acquisition has plenty of marketing potential. The application's design will be familiar to users of Twitter, and content posted via Instagram can easily be distributed across a brand's other social channels. "This is such a great platform for visually communicating aspects of company culture that allow people to make more personal, emotional connections to brands," says digital publicist Crystal Rim. Ragan.com (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Policy Pulse 
  • Health care app developers clash with FDA
    Developers of smartphone applications are typically not accustomed to dealing with federal regulators, setting up a culture clash between the FDA and health care app developers. The agency does not intend to regulate general health and wellness apps, but developers of apps that claim it can diagnose or treat a medical condition must demonstrate the app's safety and efficacy under rules for marketing medical devices. Politico (Washington, D.C.) (4/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Patient perception of quality may differ from medical standards
    Women's perceptions of breast cancer care quality were strongly linked to the process of obtaining care as well as the degree to which they trust their doctors, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found. The survey of 374 women who had surgery for early-stage breast cancer found 55% perceived their care as excellent, but 88% actually received high-quality care as defined by medical guidelines. Payers, including the government, increasingly tie reimbursement to patient evaluations. Reuters (4/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
  • Other News
Industry Insight 
  • Is your word of mouth getting lost in translation?
    Word-of-mouth marketing techniques don't necessarily translate smoothly to online communities, say marketing professors Jonah Berger and Raghuram Iyengar. Some brands are inherently less likely to be talked about online rather than in face-to-face conversation, while some real-world marketing strategies simply aren't suited to digital platforms, they argue. "[I]t may be easier to leave a boring conversation when your conversation partner is not physically there," they warn. Knowledge@Wharton (4/11) LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Coalition News 
  • CHC/TAC say “dual modality” study should not result in FDA requirement for TV ads
    The Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC) and The Advertising Coalition (TAC) contend that an FDA study of “dual modality” does not support creating a requirement for drug sponsors to include simultaneous audio and text risk disclosures in all TV ads for their products. In comments sent to the agency last week about the study, CHC and TAC state that such a requirement “would approach if not cross the important demarcation between prior restraint of advertising and a post-publication assessment that a particular ad is untruthful or misleading.” Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterGoogle+Email this Story
Closing the Deal 
We need to hammer home that we support over 4 million jobs. We are thought of as health care, but we create human capital."
--Chris Viehbacher, outgoing PhRMA chairman, CEO of Sanofi, discussing how pharmaceutical companies contribute to the economy and improved health care, as quoted by Medical Marketing & Media
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