Medical Communication

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Ranbaxy and Cipla jostle in the Indian Markets

Posted by drneelesh on April 28, 2010

India’s largest pharmaceutical company by revenue, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd, has launched an initiative to reach out to smaller towns and villages and invest more in research with an eye on becoming the leader in the generic drugs market in the next two years. Ranbaxy chief executive and managing director Atul Sobti says that with the new initiative, the firm expects to reach a minimum 350,000 doctors by 2012, up from the current 200,000.


The company has already hired nearly 1,500 marketing personnel since the strategy, named Viraat, was kicked off in January—taking its workforce to 4,300. Ranbaxy is aiming to overtake Cipla Ltd as the market leader.Two-thirds of the new hires are field personnel, who will spread out into towns and rural areas to push the company’s over-the-counter and prescription drugs. The rest have been hired at managerial levels.


On the other hand, Cipla has tied up with the Manipal Group-promoted Stempeutics Research to market stem cell-based therapies. Cipla will fund Rs 50 crore within the next two years to conduct clinical trials and to further develop two products being worked on by Stempeutics.


Ranbaxy’s current market share is 4.9% against Cipla’s 5.4%, according ORG IMS. In order to overtake Cipla in the market, Ranbaxy is streamlining its medical communication efforts. Separate strategies are being considered for metros and for towns. If they look deeper, they would also realize that it is important to have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy to reach the high-value prescribers in metros and cities. Even within this strategy, content and channels would have to be fine-tuned depending on the particular molecule/ product/therapeutic class being targeted.

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FDA regulations for e-marketing of Drugs

Posted by drneelesh on October 27, 2009

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Sales and marketing in the Pharmaceutical industry has always been a very expensive affair, with some people claiming that the industry spends more money on marketing than on R&D.The emergence of internet technologies, and especially Web2.0, has dramatically changed the scope and potential of marketing functions for most industries, except pharmaceuticals. Why?
Because there are NO clear guidelines by the regulatory authorities.

Regulatory guidelines are sorely lacking for direct-to-consumer spending by pharmaceutical companies using internet media Though FDA has been working on this for a long time, no concrete guidelines on Direct-to-Consumer marketing have emerged yet.

Podcast with Dr. Jean Ah Kang, Special Assistant to Tom Abrams at DDMAC in charge of Web 2.0 policy

The pharmaceutical industry is a heavily regulated sector and needs FDA approval for (almost) all their medical communication materials. Though a few companies like Pfizer and Novartis have been wetting their toes in the social media ocean, most are hesitant to take initiative because of absence of guidelines.

Healthcare + Social Media: 2009 Trends and strategy
The dilemma of not having regulatory guidelines for marketing via such tools as Twitter, Face book, blogs and websites, came to a head in April of 2009 when the FDA sent warning letters to 14 companies for search- engine ads that the FDA said violated regulations regarding presentation of fair balance. The industry argues that the regulations requiring disclosure of risk information in print and broadcast advertisements should not be applied to internet ads that only contain 12 words on Google ads, or 140 characters on Twitter.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration will now hold a two-day public hearing on November 12 and 13 in Washington, on how pharmaceutical companies use the web and social-media tools to market their products,  the first step in a long overdue process that will finally establish guidelines for how drug makers proceed in a Web 2.0 world.
“This meeting and the written comments are intended to  help guide FDA in making policy decisions on the promotion of human and animal prescription drugs and biologics and medical devices using the Internet and social media tools,”
 “Although the agency believes that many issues can be addressed through existing FDA regulations, special characteristics of Web 2.0 and other emerging technologies may require the agency to provide additional guidance to the industry on how the regulations should be applied.”
Very few expect the hearing to provide any solid guidelines so soon, but the inclusion of social media enthusiasts in this  meeting is a very positive sign from the FDA.

Not all are optimistic about the use of Social media in pharmaceutical marketing.Some of them are sitting on the fence while others believe social media tools may not be the path to be followed by Pharmaceuticals.

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Posted in Business, marketing, Prescription drug, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Twenty rules of engagement in new age marketing

Posted by drneelesh on September 25, 2009

Recently, Read this interesting synopsis of the changing rules of engagement in the online world. I have edited a few original writs and added a few, but in essence it replicates ideas of Rich Meyer.

Twenty New rules for engaging your customers

1. Traditional mass marketing is dead.

2. Brand marketers no longer control the  message.
3. Your audience is using social media whether you decide to use social or not.
4. Great marketing is not enough to ensure success.
5. Senior manager need to get middle managers more involved in formulating strategy and implementation of tactics.
6. The best marketing plans in the world mean nothing without flawless execution.
7. To get consumers to buy you product forget about features and start thinking about how you product provides solutions to their problems.
8. There is no such thing as free social media programs.
9. Social media programs need to be tied back to business objectives. Executives need to agree on a measurement criteria for social media programs.
10. Keep it simple. If you can’t clearly explain your strategy and message to your employees than you need to start over.
11. The days of free spending consumers maybe over. Today consumers are saving more and spending less. It’s all about needs rather than want.
12. Web analytics should tell you a story of how your consumers are thinking about your site and products.
13. Employers have all the power now and can lowball new hires and increase workloads on current employees. However this will eventually change and lot more people will seek to leave big companies in search of smaller companies where they can provide a lot more input and be satisfied with their work.
15. Lowering prices is not a marketing or brand strategy.
16. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
17. Learn to see the world in the eyes of your customer or website visit.
18. Simplicity is the new currency.
19.Don’t favor credentials over passion.
20. Speed has become even more of a competitive advantage in the age of social media.

Rich’s Rules of New Economy

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Posted in Business, health, Health 2.0, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Twenty rules of engagement in new age marketing

Posted by drneelesh on September 25, 2009

Recently, Read this interesting synopsis of the changing rules of engagement in the online world. I have edited a few original writs and added a few, but in essence it replicates ideas of Rich Meyer.

Twenty New rules for engaging your customers

1. Traditional mass marketing is dead.

2. Brand marketers no longer control the  message.
3. Your audience is using social media whether you decide to use social or not.
4. Great marketing is not enough to ensure success.
5. Senior manager need to get middle managers more involved in formulating strategy and implementation of tactics.
6. The best marketing plans in the world mean nothing without flawless execution.
7. To get consumers to buy you product forget about features and start thinking about how you product provides solutions to their problems.
8. There is no such thing as free social media programs.
9. Social media programs need to be tied back to business objectives. Executives need to agree on a measurement criteria for social media programs.
10. Keep it simple. If you can’t clearly explain your strategy and message to your employees than you need to start over.
11. The days of free spending consumers maybe over. Today consumers are saving more and spending less. It’s all about needs rather than want.
12. Web analytics should tell you a story of how your consumers are thinking about your site and products.
13. Employers have all the power now and can lowball new hires and increase workloads on current employees. However this will eventually change and lot more people will seek to leave big companies in search of smaller companies where they can provide a lot more input and be satisfied with their work.
15. Lowering prices is not a marketing or brand strategy.
16. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
17. Learn to see the world in the eyes of your customer or website visit.
18. Simplicity is the new currency.
19.Don’t favor credentials over passion.
20. Speed has become even more of a competitive advantage in the age of social media.

Rich’s Rules of New Economy

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Posted in Business, health, Health 2.0, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

P&G as models for Public Health and Social Marketers

Posted by drneelesh on September 16, 2009

What Public Health and Social Marketers Can Learn From P&G: “
P&G brands
While many people in social marketing and public health often look to companies such as Apple, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Nike as models for successful consumer marketing to aspire to, P&G stands out among the best and most innovative. What is most attractive to me about P&G is that they have 10 different business areas, ranging from baby care to home care, with 43 brands of over a half billion USD each. If you are in the public health business – not just the obesity, physical activity, breast cancer, HIV prevention or tobacco control business – then the way P&G creates and manages a portfolio of brands, not a unitary one, is where you should go to school.
Here are a few nuggets quoted from their annual report – the core strengths to win:
1. No company in the world has invested more in consumer and market research than P&G. We interact with more than five million consumers each year in nearly 60 countries around the world. We conduct over 15,000 research studies every year. We invest more than $350 million a year in consumer understanding. This results in insights that tell us where the innovation opportunities are and how to serve and communicate with consumers.
2. P&G is the innovation leader in our industry. Virtually all the organic sales growth we’ve delivered in the past nine years has come from new brands and new or improved product innovation. We continually strengthen our innovation capability and pipeline by investing two times more, on average, than our major competitors. In addition, we multiply our internal innovation capability with a global network of innovation partners outside
P&G. More than half of all product innovation coming from P&G today includes at least one major component from an external partner.
3. P&G is the brand-building leader of our industry. We’ve built the strongest portfolio of brands in the industry with 23 billion-dollar brands and 20 half-billion-dollar brands. These 43 brands account for 85% of
sales and more than 90% of profit. Twelve of the billion-dollar brands are the #1 global market share leaders of their categories. The majority of the balance are #2.
4. We’ve established industry-leading go-to-market capabilities. P&G is consistently ranked by leading retailers in industry surveys as a preferred supplier and as the industry leader in a wide range of capabilities including clearest company strategy, brands most important to retailers, strong business fundamentals and innovative marketing programs.
5. Over the decades, we have also established significant scale advantages as a total company and in individual categories, countries and retail channels. P&G’s scale advantage is driven as much by knowledge sharing, common systems and processes, and best practices as it is by size and scope.
6. P&G has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best companies for leaders. We work hard at leadership development because, as a build-from-within company, our future success is entirely dependent on the ongoing strength of our talent pipeline.
Put another way:
Public health agencies should invest significant proportions of their resources in 
(1) talking with and understanding their audiences (rather than a few focus groups here and there), 
(2) innovating in public health programs (rather than recreating wheels or sitting still waiting for
evidence bases to develop), 
(3) creating and sustaining strong public health program brands (not their corporate image), 
(4) being the go-to partner for public health retailers or intermediaries (not someone to avoid because of bureaucracy and painful ‘processes’), 
(5) having in place common systems for getting things done across disease and behavioral risk areas 
(6) developing leaders ratherthan rewarding the status quo.
To sum it all up, as the new CEO Bob McDonald phrases it:

I believe it comes down to one simple and remarkably constant
factor: the clarity and constancy of P&G’s Purpose. Since the Company was
founded, we’ve been in the business of providing daily essentials that improve
the quality of people’s lives. We help people care for their babies, pets and
homes. We make everyday chores easier to do. We help people look and feel
better. We’ve stayed true to the inspiring Purpose of touching and improving
people’s lives in meaningful ways.

Posted in Business, marketing, Public Health | Leave a Comment »

Marketing prescription drugs in India- Guidelines

Posted by drneelesh on June 27, 2009

188px-India_(orthographic_projection).svg

The guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing are typically debated all over the world, more so in India. Many issues are not clear and the drug industry interprets the rules the best it can . Cases of unethical promotion of drugs to the health care industry come up with regularity in the western world. Fortunately, no major case has been reported in the Indian media at present. But thats because many such unethical promotional activities havent come to light. There is an urgent need to inform all the concerned parties of the regulatory Dos and Donts of pharmaceutical marketing in India.

Promotion of drugs in India is governed by three major documents. THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT, 1940 is defined as An Act to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It has last been amended in 1995 and new amendments are overdue. The Rules 96 and 97 of THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES, 1945 describe the essential information to be provided regarding labeling of drugs. The product monograph should comprise the full prescribing information necessary to enable a physician to use the drug properly. It should include description, actions, indications, dosage precaution, drug interactions, warnings and adverse reactions.

The OPPI code of conduct ( effective since 1st January 2007) sets out the guidelines to be followed for promotion of prescription drugs to the health care industry. It is based on the IFPMA code and incorporates local region ( India) specific guidelines. it sets out certain principles basic to the ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in the country. Though it is widely followed, it is not legally binding and the final responsibility for implementation lies with the pharmaceutical marketing organizations themselves.

Below is a short presentation document outlining the Major points in marketing pharmacutical products to the health care industry.
http://bit.ly/nHqwE–

Posted in Business, Guidelines, India, marketing | Leave a Comment »

Marketing prescription drugs in India- Guidelines

Posted by drneelesh on June 27, 2009

188px-India_(orthographic_projection).svg

The guidelines for pharmaceutical marketing are typically debated all over the world, more so in India. Many issues are not clear and the drug industry interprets the rules the best it can . Cases of unethical promotion of drugs to the health care industry come up with regularity in the western world. Fortunately, no major case has been reported in the Indian media at present. But thats because many such unethical promotional activities havent come to light. There is an urgent need to inform all the concerned parties of the regulatory Dos and Donts of pharmaceutical marketing in India.

Promotion of drugs in India is governed by three major documents. THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS ACT, 1940 is defined as An Act to regulate the import, manufacture, distribution and sale of drugs and cosmetics in India. It has last been amended in 1995 and new amendments are overdue. The Rules 96 and 97 of THE DRUGS AND COSMETICS RULES, 1945 describe the essential information to be provided regarding labeling of drugs. The product monograph should comprise the full prescribing information necessary to enable a physician to use the drug properly. It should include description, actions, indications, dosage precaution, drug interactions, warnings and adverse reactions.

The OPPI code of conduct ( effective since 1st January 2007) sets out the guidelines to be followed for promotion of prescription drugs to the health care industry. It is based on the IFPMA code and incorporates local region ( India) specific guidelines. it sets out certain principles basic to the ethical promotion of pharmaceuticals in the country. Though it is widely followed, it is not legally binding and the final responsibility for implementation lies with the pharmaceutical marketing organizations themselves.

Below is a short presentation document outlining the Major points in marketing pharmacutical products to the health care industry.
http://bit.ly/nHqwE–

Posted in Business, Guidelines, India, marketing | Leave a Comment »

Glogging in Medical communication

Posted by drneelesh on April 22, 2009

I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the Untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a glog for myself which is tidier and could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.
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Glogging in Medical communication

Posted by drneelesh on April 22, 2009

Mobility and the Future of Marketing and Adver...
I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a slightly tidier glog for myself which could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.

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My first Glog

Posted by drneelesh on April 4, 2009

I have often seen Glogs on other blogs and websites and have been attracted to them, though i usually don’t like the Untidy look that most glogs seem to favor. So i tried to make a glog for myself which is tidier and could be put to creative business use as a tool for digital marketing media. Well done, a Glog can be very attractive and eye catching.Just an experiment, really, but exciting.

Posted in Business, glog, Media | Leave a Comment »