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Archive for April, 2007

For those in the NJ area, we have couple of excellent learning opportunities coming up:

Thursday, May 10 – Karl Kapp on training the younger generation (the Gamers)

Thursday, June 14 – Kee Meng Yeo (recently of J&J) on the use of Learning Technology

Both of these events are to be held in Princeton, starting at 6:00 pm.

Full descriptions, and sign up here.

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If you’re investigating the use of a  learning management system, or seeking to explore how to put eLearning (on-line courseware, webcasting, etc.) to use – I can help. Lots of practical and technical experience in those areas.

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Fabulous 3-D Animation

What goes on during normal birth. If you’re looking for a very cool, medically accurate, yet modest way to explain the birth process to your kids, here’s the animation for you…

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Sanofi-Aventis’ Ambien about to get generic competition. But, some good news on the Lovenox front.

Pfizer gets a major slap for old Pharmacia marketing practices with Genotropin.

Glaxo gets an approval for Veramyst (allergy treatment).

WSJ Health blog speculates “who’s next?“, after MedImmune sale to AstraZeneca.

Novartis reports strong Q1 financial results.

Merck’s Arcoxia goes down for the FDA count.

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Using a very cool free web service (Pageflakes), I pulled together a portal that consolidates a bunch of pharma blogs into one easy-to-navigate portal. You can visit PharmaCentral to get a daily update on pharmaceutical news, as well as check out postings on other topics such as Training and Marketing. Enjoy!

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Starting with a promising blood clot medicine, now in the research phase.

There’s been plenty of talk about Bristol being on the block of late, and of course, there’s a certain history with Pfizer co-promote partners.

Hmmmm….

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You mean…sales reps are supposed to relate to doctors? And their visits are for the purpose of influencing?

Why hadn’t anyone studied that before?

Article here, study abstract here (at least there are a few interesting nuggets of info – esp. about off-label detailing – in the abstract).

More scrutiny on the “coziness” of the doctor-sales rep relationship here.

And a very interesting (longer) story about one rep who called himself “almost a criminal” here.

Hat tip: Bill Senger

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Story here. AZ spending major dollars for some pipeline enhancement therapy.

At least the two companies are within a semi-reasonable geographical proximity, making it easier for some folks to join the acquiring company (though many will undoubtedly be laid off).

The WSJ Health Blog speculates on who may be next. Will there be ANY mid-sized pharma or biotech companies left after next year??

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How Far is Too Far?

After the initial uproar over the “bucket of money” comments of AstraZeneca’s Mike Zubillaga (which got him fired), an additional issue came to light that opens up a serious sales training question. A Powerpoint deck from this AZ group was anonymously provided to a blogger, and subsequently made available to the world at large, showing a head-to-head comparison between two breast-cancer treatment drugs, when in fact the two drugs were not tested head-to-head. You’ll quickly understand, as pharma sales trainers (and former sales people), why this is a problem.

The defense was made that this was a “for information only” training piece, and the information was not to be used for detailing. Well, maybe. Here’s the question I’d like to have your comments on – where does a company draw the line between giving out information like this to sales reps, even if there is a “not for detailing” disclaimer? Where does this stand with the compliance/ethical practices of your company? How far is too far?

Here’s a link with the back story, which contains, if you’d like, a link to the slides in question:

http://pharmalot.com/2007/04/the_astrazeneca_scandal_secret.php

As a sales training community, we have a unique opportunity to give a valuable perspective on this aspect of the scandal. Your comments welcome!

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After Hours

I’ve decided to put together a separate site in which I explore “After Hours” topics, including recipes I’m trying out (yes, I try to cook once a week!), wine we’re enjoying, great coffee, and other pleasures of this life.

This site is called Its a Pleasure, and a few posts are already up for this week. Take a look!

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