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Archive for July, 2007

1 year.jpgThis week was a real milestone for the Impactiviti blog.

Today marks 1 year (plus one day) from the very first posting – the launch of Impactiviti occurred in mid-July of 2006.

Since that time, 215 posts – including this one – have appeared on this blog. I guess I always was a frustrated writer!!

Just as important, your comments have been a big part of this venture – both on the blog, and more regularly, via e-mail and voice conversation. Many of you have freely given me your opinions, your recommendations, and your input, which has not only been to my benefit, but has also benefited other colleagues who were seeking information.

Thank you for reading, and for contributing. To my growing group of clients, thank you for the opportunity to work with you. To my fellow bloggers, thank you for sharing your thoughts, and for sharpening mine.

I look forward to many more years of learning together.

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Sun, Surf…and Storm

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A day at Long Beach Island, NJ (July 19th, 2007)

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This OB/GYN doctor published, on his (I am assuming gender here; it is not actually given) blog, some great tips for making an engaging lecture/presentation. Although he is talking about medical lectures, and uses clinical topics, the points he makes are excellent for any teachers/trainers who try to make their points “stick” with their audience:

Teaching Medicine to Residents and Students 

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I just wrote a post on this blog about the place of skepticism when reading news, or any other source of spin for that matter. Then I saw this news article, which really got me steamed.

As I mentioned in my prior post, everyone has an agenda. And here, you can see a dual agenda at work – bash-the-government for its stance on not using public money to finance embryonic stem cell research involving the destruction of new embryos (note each word carefully); and, bash company-sponsored research.

This is actually a very encouraging article – using adult stem cells to treat heart failure, a very serious medical problem. My father-in-law died from it. But note how the bias comes out. Here’s an extract from the article; I’ll add my comments in blue:

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    The new experiments all use adult stem cells harvested from blood, bone, muscle and fat ( it is worth noting that, so far, treatments with adult stem cells seem to be far more effective, and safer, than attempted treatments with the embryonic variety). Stem cells extracted from embryos may be more effective in rebuilding hearts, researchers have said (what researchers? On what basis is this speculation made?). American trials (all American trials? What about privately funded ones?) use the less controversial (and perhaps more efficacious?) adult cells because the U.S. government won’t finance research that derives stem cells from embryos (existing embryonic stem cell lines? Or new ones?).

    The human studies generated criticism from scientists (you can find a scientist, researcher, or doctor who will take a stance on anything – who is being referred to here?) who say it is premature to test stem cells in patients (even in last-ditch efforts, with consent?), and that much of the positive data is coming from company-sponsored trials (the horrors! That means that any results must be invalid).

Many folks want to portray all stem cell research as being condemned by the U.S. government, which is patently false. Often, these same people are desperate to paint a portrait of embryonic stem cells as THE panacea, which again is quite unproven. Solid reporting should make accurate distinctions between embryonic and adult stem cell research, what exactly is and is not supported by tax dollars, what is and is not being researched with private funds, and what the relative successes and failures are.

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Here are some recent client requests, for advice and recommendations, that we’ve received. Maybe you’ll see something you’ve been thinking about:

    Global training development and strategy

    Role play evaluation system

    Train-the-trainer program

    Oncology training program

    Hospital selling program (on site at medical centers)

    Account Manager (Managed Care) training program

Contact us with your needs, and we’ll seek to make knowledgeable recommendations!

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Merck investing even more in its cancer portfolio – a growing trend among the top pharma companies.

Takeda seeking to grow its Amitiza franchise, now that Novartis’ Zelnorm has been pulled from the market.

Novartis gets approval for patch version of its Alzheimer’s drug Exelon.

More encouragement on the anti-blood-clotting front – BMS/Pfizer experimental drug apixaban meets goals in a mid-stage study. And, Bayer’s experimental rivaroxaban is more effective than standard injections of Lovenox in preventing blood clots after knee surgery.

Can Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug also be effective to help curb drinking?

GE and Abbott agree to disagree on the acquisition of Abbott’s diagnostics biz – the deal’s off.

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This month marks the one-year anniversary of my blog here at Impactiviti. I thought it might be a good time to pause and explain, to my readers, what this blog is about, and why it is different from other pharma-oriented blogs that are out there.

When I started publishing the Impactiviti blog 12 months ago, there were only a handful of pharma-oriented blogs in existence. That number has easily doubled or tripled in the past year, which is a good thing! You can see the feeds from many of them at the Pharmacental portal, a site I set up a few months ago to consolidate the “blogs of pharma” for easier viewing.

The Impactiviti blog is a bit different from others, however, in that it is primarily a communications platform for my consulting business, which focuses on life sciences sales training. On this blog, I seek to provide news, resource, links, and other interesting “stuff” for a specific community – pharma training/marketing/communications. As such, I post on issues of interest with a focus on both pharma and training, and I also touch on aspects of my business offerings. This is not, strictly speaking, a pharma news and issues blog – though I don’t shy away from addressing issues, and giving regular news summaries. And, on occasion, items of personal interest that I think others will find useful.

Impactiviti also publishes a weekly e-newsletter, the Friday Collection, with links to articles of interest on this blog and elsewhere. This brief newsletter currently goes out to over 500 subscribers; the link above allows you to subscribe if you do not currently receive it (you are welcome to join in even if you’re not in sales training!).

So, if you have occasionally come across the Impactiviti blog and wonder why it doesn’t seem to be strictly news (like Pharmalot, WSJ Health blog, or Brandweek NRx), or why it’s not full of edgy comments on marketing (like John Mack’s Pharma Marketing Blog), or why it’s not a primary goal to surface whistleblowers or pass on the latest snarky gossip (like Pharmagossip or Peter Rost) – well, it’s because this blog is a hybrid. I filter through all that stuff and pass on what I believe is of most value to my readers. I try to be balanced with both the good and the bad in our industry. I seek to give insight. And, yes, I am seeking to expand my business as a consultant – I have no problems with full disclosure. So, if you didn’t know before…now you have a glimpse what we’re about here at Impactiviti!

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