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Pharma support makes health reform more likely


With the unveiling of the Senate Finance Committee's proposal for health reform last month, the US is actually the closest it's ever been to enacting comprehensive reform. While not perfect, this bill has many elements that are broadly appealing across the political spectrum. The passage of reform would be historic -- not just for reducing the ranks of the uninsured but by offering historic benefits to the middle class. Central to these reforms is an agreement by the pharmaceutical industry to reduce drug costs by $80 billion over the next 10 years.

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Portal combat: pull the plug on pharma HCP sites
                                      cian too. a general physician        of $100 to deliver a doctor to a     sible to answer their questions.
                 Bill Drummy          portal strategy presumes that        portal for a single, completed          Using high-value, low-commit-
                 Chairman and         doctors have some desire to go       marketing activity.                  ment techniques like interactive
                 CEO, Heartbeat       to a single company resource for       there are more effective           FaQs, self-guided e-details and,
                 Digital              marketing materials – but they       ways to reach doctors with           especially, online chat is the key
                                      don’t. according to Manhattan        brand-building programs. But         to starting a productive exchange
                                      research, the average physician      to be successful, pharma needs       with physicians. and once they’ve
                                      portal gets a whopping four visits   to reverse its thinking from a       had a satisfying experience with
Strange how some bad                  per doctor per year.
ideas have a way of sticking             You could excuse the early
around. Commercials in movie          attempts as failed experiments.         Pharmas seem to be seriously
theaters, the cellophane they use     Yet here we are in late 2009, and       addicted to their portals. I’m here to
to imprison DVDs and, in phar-        many companies are still invest-
maceutical marketing, online          ing in physician portals.               stage an intervention—just say no!
physician portals.                       Pharma companies seem to
   over the past 10 years, most       be seriously addicted to their       seller-centric model to a cus-       chat, you will have created an
of the largest pharma companies       portals. and I’m here to stage       tomer-centric approach. that         opening for the skilled customer
have committed millions to build      an intervention—just say no!         means distributing knowledge         service rep or MSL to expand the
multi-brand repositories of mar-      Creating a “one-stop shopping”       and service assets where the doc-    conversation.
keting materials, clinical data and   website for people who have          tors’ own information needs will        this new model will transform
service offerings for doctors.        no need or interest in a pharma      take them: general medical sites,    the way doctors and pharmaceu-
   Portals make sense for Speak-      marketing wal-Mart is foolhardy.     specialist sites, search engines     tical marketers interact, finally
ers’ Bureau participants and Key      and expensive.                       and branded product sites. But       delivering on the promise of the
opinion Leaders. But many of             In addition to the multiple       it’s not just a question of where    digital channel, and belatedly
these resources were also intend-     millions it takes to build these     you deploy the assets. You also      closing the hatch on ill-consid-
ed to attract the general physi-      resources, it can cost upwards       need to make it as easy as pos-      ered physician portals.

Pharma support makes health reform more likely
                                      spectrum. as such, the odds are      pr
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