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Archive for May, 2010

Yes, I know, this is usually a pharma news post. But you know what? It’s the Friday before a holiday weekend, and a gorgeous morning yielded some lovely pictures of a backyard stroll today. So, forget drug news. Here’s a visual jump-start for your pending weekend:

Oh, and if you haven’t seen it yet – we launched a new portal yesterday, for people with diabetes: DiabetesOne. Check it out!

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Impactiviti has launched a new venture, and we’d like to ask for your help to make it a success! Introducing the Impactiviti Talent Network – on-line job search joined to social networking. This can help you as a job seeker, AND as a company posting openings!

TODAY’S NEWS:

Head of Pfizer R&D pulls up stakes, goes to AstraZeneca.

Pfizer‘s Inspra meets primary study goals early – Pfizer reported Thursday that it plans to stop enrolling patients ahead of schedule in a late-stage trial of Inspra (eplerenone) after those taking the drug experienced a significant reduction in risk of cardiovascular death or heart failure hospitalisation compared with those receiving placebo...more

Sanofi‘s prostate cancer drug: 28% survival improvement in study – Sanofi-Aventis’ cabazitaxel candidate prostate cancer drug combined with prednisone reduced the risk of death by 28 percent compared with another treatment, the outcome of a final-stage trial showed. The French drugmaker said on Thursday that the combination of the treatments led to an improved median overall survival of 15.1 months against 12.7 months in patients who took a chemotherapy of mitoxantrone with prednisone/prednisolonemore

Intermune to lay off 40% of workforce – InterMune Inc. said it will fire about 60 employees, or 40 percent of its workforce, to reduce costs after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected the company’s lung drug earlier this month...more

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Facebook page development/monitoring. If your marketing group is thinking about Facebook as a platform, we have the development and management partners you need for social media.  Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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I don’t usually wander into political waters on this blog. But I found this article to be so compelling and cogent, I had to share. America’s New Culture War: Free Enterprise vs. Government Control. Worth the read!

JUST FOR FUN

Splash of yellow. From my backyard. And, daisies in the evening.

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TODAY’S NEWS:

Very big news for Vertex75% of hepatitis C patients never treated before achieved a viral cure after receiving a 12-week course of the company’s experimental drug telaprevir plus the current standard of care, according to results from a phase III studymore

Genzyme’s Pompe remedy approved by FDA; meanwhile, more detail on their consent decree.

More on alleged Wyeth tactics to promote Rapamune off-label. If true, yuck! Gold-in Rule at work.

Connecticut passes new pharma ethics code.

Part 2 of my interview over at MessagingLab blog (by Karl Schmieder): Pharma, Social Media, and the FDA.

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Coaching skills. Your field managers and other leaders are constantly in need of improvement here.  And we have great partners to recommend for coaching programs. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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Social Media in Pharma stuff today: An “Ultimate Guide to Facebook“, from our friends over at Pixels and Pills. And, reporting adverse events on social media. More? Sure – comparing how pharma companies are using social media currently (from @healthcarengage). Even more? OK, you asked for it – Social Media and Celebrities in pharma (from John Mack’s blog)

JUST FOR FUN

Examples of Lightning Photography. Stunningly beautiful.

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TODAY’S NEWS:

Watson gets FDA approval to start shipping generic Valtrex.

Novartis oral MS drug – FDA extends review another 3 months – Novartis will have to wait a bit longer in its bid to get the first oral treatment for multiple sclerosis on the market after regulators in the USA put back a review of Gilenia. The US Food and Drug Administration has extended by three months, to September, its review period for Gilenia (fingolimod), previously known as FTY720more

Genzyme: Big fine, big changes to get manufacturing back under control.

Another day, another whistleblower suit comes to light. This time, Wyeth and Rapamune promotion for unapproved uses.

Layoffs at Quintiles.

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Train-the-Trainer. Your new trainers have whole new sets of skills (curriculum design, ISD, project management, presentation, etc.) – we have great partners to recommend. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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The Three “I’s” of Tomorrow’s Successful Company. An important perspective from Dennis Urbaniak (VP U.S. Diabetes, Sanofi-Aventis). Titles, Budgets, and Staff are out – Ideas, Initiative, and Inspiration are in.

JUST FOR FUN

50 Beautiful Examples of Architecture Photography.———-

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Guest post by Dennis Urbaniak, VP U.S. Diabetes, Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals

Today if you work in corporate America, massive organizational change is the norm.  There are multiple causes in multiple industries but one common theme across all is a glimpse of recognition that companies need to change how they work in order to survive and drive sustainable growth.

For the majority of the working staff at companies undergoing these changes the transition can be confusing and frightening.  For some, however, these changes can be the most exciting trends to hit the corporate scene in decades.

For leaders within companies charged with forging this new path, one key assessment criteria to help understand who has a forward-looking mindset is to see how individuals respond to changes in Titles, Budgets, and Staff.

A lot of people in companies place a high value on these three things.  It’s no surprise; for years the concept of the climbing the corporate ladder was created as the ambition people should have if they want to be “successful”.  Promotions lead to bigger titles, bigger budgets, bigger staff, bigger offices, bigger compensation, and bigger control.

And all this control and all this “bigger” has led to today’s environment where many corporations need to change how they work in order to survive.  Hmmm, something doesn’t quite fit.

Now it’s time to value something different.  I think we need to replace titles, budgets, and staff with three things that actually matter.  Ideas, Initiative, and Inspiration.

Too soft for you? These softer-sounding traits may have been de-emphasized in the past, but if you just breathed a sigh of relief, then you “get” what the future is about.

Survey after survey of company leaders show they are looking for new ideas and people who can get these new ideas executed in the market to drive performance.  The top three sources of the best ideas in a recent IBM CEO survey were identified as employees, customers, and external business partners.

Winners value contribution, not control. “Bigger” is out. “Smarter” is in.

The best ideas, driven by the best initiative, led by the greatest inspiration will define those companies that successfully survive today and thrive tomorrow. Employees that see this recognize it as the most important opportunity in our business world in decades.  This liberates every employee in the company to contribute an idea that can impact the entire company regardless of where they sit or what it says on their business card.

So if you find yourself presented with a massive organizational change that rocks you to your core, the first thing you may want to ask is: what did I value before and what should I value now?

And for those of you who choose to spend time mourning the loss of an org chart that took up two power point slides, please don’t be offended if the emerging leaders in your company aren’t spending a lot of time with you.  Most likely they are working desperately to find those others who “get it.”

If that describes you, you won’t be hard to find because you will be moving faster, pushing harder, and creating groundswells within the company. Forward-thinking colleagues can’t believe how lucky they are to be in a time where they can completely redefine their careers and their companies.

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TODAY’S NEWS:

We’re in the pre-ASCO oncology news build-up phase. Here’s a brief preview. And even more here.

Does HGH really help athletes? Interesting article – the last paragraph is the kicker.

Whistleblowers (J&J) get a payday. And, allegations about illegal sales practices by Roche with Tamiflu.

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eLearning. We know that space inside and out, and we have great partners to recommend. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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Karl Schmieder of MessagingLab interviews me about Impactiviti. Plus – the timing is never really “right,” is it? 29 and Counting.

JUST FOR FUN

If this doesn’t make you want to visit South America some day, nothing will!

AND, a pharma spoof – So, What’s your Problem with Gram-Negative Bacteria?

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-by Bruce G.N. Bacterium, Esq.

It’s really unfair. All this bad press about gram-negative bacteria. Would you feel different if we were gram-positive? Well? Would you?

Here we are, just bumping along, doing a little harmless infecting of human hosts, and WHAM! – we’re suddenly the bad guy in all the newspapers.

So we occupy a little space in J&J’s Tylenol factory. Look, we’ve got to live somewhere, right? You going to consign us to some bacterial ghetto, like a BP oil rig, or maybe HoHoKus, NJ? But no – as soon as people find us near some kids’ medicine, everything shuts down and we get kicked out.

Again.

Hey, what would you rather have in there, bubonic plague? We’re just gram-negative, for crying out loud, trying to replicate like everyone else.  So what if we’re not positive like those other bacteria – everybody needs a little gram-negative, and whatever happened to diversity in the workplace? Who’s next – gram-neutral?

Go ahead, recall your medicines, and blame us. We’re always the bad guy. So we have lipoproteins attached to our polysaccharide backbones. Does that mean you can just dismiss us as unworthy pathogens? How many of your other bacteria can boast of sporting a cytoplasmic membrane?

But, I get it. We’re just lowly producers of cytokine reaction, and thus, we’ll always be misunderstood. But one day, you’ll wish you had some gram-negative to blame in your facility, instead of faulty SOPs or lax compliance records. Go ahead, bring on the Lysol. Just remember – we’ll be back!

Inspiration provided by this post from The Onion

(Image credit)

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Prior Impactiviti spoofs

Connect with Steve Woodruff

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TODAY’S NEWS:

Abbott making a big India buy – The speculation that has been fuelling the shares of Piramal Healthcare over the past few days has been put to rest after Abbott Laboratories announced Friday that it will buy a unit of the Indian pharmaceutical companymore

Lots of Oncology. Rituxan: cutting lymphoma recurrence – The final phase of a drug study finds that two years of treatment with rituximab (Rituxan) cuts in half the risk that follicular lymphoma patients who respond to chemotherapy will suffer a recurrence of the diseasemore And, some good news on sarcoma: An experimental drug from Ziopharm Oncology Inc. helped keep fast-growing sarcomas, lethal tumors that can grow to the size of basketballs, in check 77% longer than a standard treatment, a company-sponsored study foundmore Plus, Amgen experimental drugs slow down some tumors.

Some side effects of popular cholesterol-lowering drugs? – Drugs to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease, taken by millions of people worldwide, increase the risk of cataracts, kidney failure, muscle pain and liver dysfunction, a study of more than 2 million Britons foundmore

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Social Media Community/Facebook Moderation and Management. Our social media partners offer a range of services, including community moderation and platform design. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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The Doctor Won’t See You Now training.

JUST FOR FUN

It’s spring, and the weather’s fine. So, go on one of America’s Scenic Drives.

AND, a pharma spoof – So, What’s your Problem with Gram-Negative Bacteria?

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TODAY’S NEWS

Novartis: huge punitive fine in discrimination case. $250 million game-changing dollars.

FDA to the public – let’s talk more. Or, tell us more about what we should tell you.

GSK and more Avandia flak. This story will never end, it seems.

Pfizer and multiple corporate cultures. An interesting interview at Forbes magazine.

The Manual of Clinical Psychopharmacology gives a raspberry to the Vanda/Novartis schizophrenia drug Fanapt.

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Software training. The Impactiviti partner network has the providers you need for training on software systems. Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

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Good advice for all situations, including business: Give them your heart, then your head. From my friend Drew McLellan.

JUST FOR FUN

Visual treat. The stunning colors of Glacier National Park. I visited there once, years ago – it really is magnificent! And – Slow Motion Gum And Gelatin. Cooler than you might think (quick video).

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TODAY’S NEWS

Sometimes I can’t help but voice a bit of skepticism, especially when it comes to sexual disorder treatments. So, count me as less than convinced about this experimental treatment from Boehringer-IngelheimData from pivotal Phase III clinical trials demonstrate that a higher proportion of pre-menopausal women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD) receiving flibanserin 100mg reported both an improvement in their condition and a meaningful benefit from their treatment, compared to placebomore (the single-question Patient Benefit Evaluation appears to me to be really…ummm…meaningful).

Lung cancer preventer for former smokers? Interesting – A drug approved to treat a range of conditions may also work to prevent lung cancer in people who have given up smoking, U.S. researchers reported on Tuesdaymore

AstraZeneca replaces Nexium sales force with telemarketers. And it works.

J&J‘s recall of OTC products. This is becoming a huge black eye, for a company that managed to keep quite a good reputation over the years. It will be an interesting case study of reputation management and quality improvement, esp. for a company that has been a leader in social media usage in this sector.

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Compliance and Diversity. The Impactiviti partner network has the providers you need for corporate training – including diversity, compliance, ethics, and much more! Contact us (stevew at impactiviti dot com, or phone at 973-947-7429) for recommendations.

PLUS

Red Meat – maybe this picture isn’t so simple after all. Intuitively, this result is actually not too surprising. AND – Are you in a Museum?

JUST FOR FUN

I only rarely get to see hailstorms. That’s what makes this video particularly awesome. Must be seen to be believed!

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