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Archive for September, 2008

From the CEO: Deer Mr. Woodruff…

On behalf of the Boonton/Boonton Township herd of wandering whitetails (the “Rampaging Ruminants”), I’d like to personally thank you for your donation of land and foodstuffs during this past season.

After a winter of the typical boring forest fare, my companions and I found your yard and its carefully cultivated hors d’oeuvres to be particularly engaging. A night-time stroll through your delightful property revealed such delicacies as tender shoot of tiger lily, sweet dogwood greens, fresh cucumber stem…not to mention an array of perennial flower buds too numerous to list on this brief note of thanks.

Your kindness to me and my companions has not gone unnoticed. In fact, we left deposits of our thanks in a multitude of places throughout the yard, where you’d be sure to notice. Hopefully, these symbols of gratitude warmed your heart, and have made you even more determined to set a bounteous abundance before us for the upcoming 2009 foraging season.

I studiously instructed my young ones not to forget that your property is THE place to come for midnight snacks, and they have assured me that the word has been spread to all their four-legged friends. How grateful we are for homeowners like you, who look out for our interests every season, and who are stringently outlawed (may I simply remind you) by local ordinance from using those dangerous “firesticks” of yours to turn us from strolling minstrels of appetite into appetizing venison steaks.

In closing, as we now turn our white tails toward more distant fields for the cooler season, having assisted you with keeping your many plants “under control” for yet another year, may I give you one more tangible expression of my thanks by leaving a final love offering in a pile right next to the gazebo there. For all that you’ve given me, it’s the least I can do to give something back.

Sincerely,

Bambino Bucksnort
Chief Eating Officer

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I’m a big advocate (and regular user) of what is commonly called “social media” – tools that enable people to publish, connect, and interact on-line. Inevitably, social media is evolving into strategies for marketing, PR, and training – although very slowly for our highly-regulated pharma industry.

Next month, I’ll be attending a conference exploring the use of Digital Media in pharma (Princeton, NJ, Oct 14-16).

This week, I saw a press release by a company that is moving in the inevitable direction of joining social media tools to a Learning Management System in a new platform they’re calling LearnSocial. We’ll see more stuff like this in coming months.

There’s also been a bit of noise about the 3-D platform called Second Life. SL has some cool factor, but I’m skeptical about its utility for training (in its current level of evolution). I do see one place where a Second Life application could be very useful, however – an orientation tool for pharma sales new hires. Think about how cool it would be to have a virtual world for new hires to explore during Home Study, where they could be oriented to the company and its culture, while “meeting” trainers and other new hires on-line before coming in for residency training. This would be a great way to spice up on-boarding!

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The Sales Force Shuffle, from Pharmaceutical Executive – The last week the pharma atmosphere was abuzz with news about sales force cuts, outsourcing, and overhauls. First, Schering-Plough announced that it had eliminated the 1,000 sales positions it said it would trim in April. This is being done as part of a new sales model called—internally—a productivity transformation program (PTP). The new model, to go into effect next month, will streamline the sales force to take a more customer-centric approach, including targeted and relevant physician calls and a relationship management–oriented business model…more

Alpharma to King: No. – In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Alpharma calls the $37-a-share offer was inadequate and continues to explore all strategic alternatives, including a possible sale to King or another party for a higher price…more

Lilly CEO to Boston: you’re scaring us away – The ink is barely dry on a new law governing how drugmakers can market to docs, but Lilly’s John Lechleiter isn’t wasting time trying to make lawmakers regret their decision. In remarks to the Associated Industries of Massachusetts Executive Forum, he claims the law will hamper innovation and force companies to reconsider expanding in Massachusetts, The Boston Business Journal reports…more

B-I goes to the shrink – The drugmaker has ended a contract with InVentiv, one of the players in the Rent-A-Rep business, which was promoting its troubled Micardis, an angiotensin receptor blocker, otherwise known as a blood pressure med…more

The needle or the drug? – Acupuncture works as well as Wyeth’s antidepressant to fight hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms caused by breast cancer treatment, and its benefits last longer without causing unwanted side effects, according to new research…more

Pfizer’s Pfuture – The big drugmaker is dramatically stepping up sales efforts in emerging markets, overhauling US business operations and slashing more costs ahead of the 2011 patent loss for cholesterol blockbuster Lipitor, the Associated Press informs us…more Plus, going after emerging markets for growth

Paxil damages sperm? – A group of 35 healthy men who were given Paxil over a five-week period had higher levels of sperm with damaged DNA, according to a report..more

Medicis to re-state numbers; stock plunges.

Tarceva linked to liver damage - Genentech Inc and OSI Pharmaceuticals have alerted doctors about cases of liver damage among patients who took the cancer drug Tarceva in a post-approval study, U.S. regulators said on Tuesday…more

Takeda goes for diabetes combo – Takeda Pharmaceutical Co said on Wednesday it had applied for approval to market in the United States the SYR-322 and the Actos diabetes drugs in a single tablet for the treatment of type 2 diabetes…more

An interesting analysis on adverse event reporting, and social media.

Is the war on cancer really winnable? A realistic and pessimistic analysis from Newsweek.

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After Hours 9_26

I want this desktop doomsday device.

Yes, even wine can be politicized!

There’s no place like a new home office!

A much cooler version of something we’ve shown before – a worldwide map showing the traffic patterns of airplanes over the span of a day. Very cool!

Even if you’re not into golf, this amazing putt by Tiger Woods will blow your mind. A classic.

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FREE Webinar next week: Learn what’s shaking up the learning industry and what’s causing it to reevaluate its strategies when you join Training magazine for a live, interactive Webinar, as Training Technology in Action Conference & Awards host Bryan Chapman discusses the five major trends driving changes within the industry. Tuesday, Sept. 30 – all the details and registration here.

Chief Learning Officer on Leading with Substance and Style.

Chief Learning Officer on Social Media implementations.

CLO’s InfoZone – free downloads (must register first).

NEW THING - one of my roles is to find new things (or be available to be found by people with new things!). I’m eyeballing a device/service which is an inexpensive, branded, one-time use digital player for training and/or marketing purposes. This would occupy the middle ground between your typical audio CD-ROM, and a low-end iPod. You produce the audio – the company loads it onto the player, brands it, and you distribute to your audience. Sound interesting to you? Let me know what you think!

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Huge cuts at Schering-Plough: 1,000 sales jobs going away – As part of a reorganization already under way, the drugmaker is eliminating 1,000 sales jobs – or 20 percent of its sales force – by October. Many of the 4,000 or so surviving reps, meanwhile, will be shifted to pitch different types of docs or work in other territories. A Schering-Plough spokesman confirmed the cuts…more

New Roche arthritis biologic delayed – In a setback for the drugmaker, the agency has issued a ‘complete response’ letter for Actemra, a biologic Roche hopes to market for treating rheumatoid arthritis. An FDA advisory committee endorsed its use last July by a 10-1 vote, but the agency wants “additional documentation” about manufacturing and other unspecified info, some of which relates to final labeling, according to Roche…more

Merck’s Gardasil: OK for vaginal cancer – U.S. health regulators have approved Merck and Co’s Gardasil vaccine to protect women against rare vaginal and vulvar cancers, the Food and Drug Administration said on Friday…more

GSK’s Tykerb: OK for head and neck cancer (maybe) – New clinical data supports the use of GlaxoSmithKline’s drug Tykerb as a treatment for head and neck cancer, endorsing the company’s move to push ahead with a final Phase III study in this indication…more

UCB’s Keppra XR: OK for sale – Belgian pharma group UCB said on Monday that U.S. health authorities had approved epilepsy drug Keppra XR and that it would go on sale just before its mother drug loses patent protection…more

Impactiviti’s Recommendra: Now prescribed for all training recommendations (OK, just checking to see if you were reading…)

J&J putting some heat on Enbrel for psoriasis – Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday its experimental psoriasis drug proved more effective than top-selling treatment Enbrel in a late-stage trial, was just as safe and required far fewer injections…more

Memory Pharmaceuticalsforget about jobs for half of employees.

An interesting new avenue of diabetes research unveiled – new class of hormones produced by body fat identified.

On the pharma marketing front….

Reuters and The Doctor’s Channel collaborate for streaming video healthcare “snacking.”

On-line detailing taking off.

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After Hours 9_19

A couple of very cool astronomy pictures – the shadow of an eclipse on earth (from orbit); and, an image of my favorite deep space object, a globular cluster (way back when, I owned a telescope and was a backyard amateur astronomer – one day I aspire to live somewhere with dark skies and renew that hobby!)

Remarkable close-up pix of dew drops – if you’re having a negative day, these images will brighten things up!

Top NASA photos of all time – 50 classics!

Trade in your old electronics and get cash – interesting (and eco-responsible) program from Office Depot.

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