In a surprise portent of things to come, the FDA has issued its first “blue box promo” of a pharmaceutical product.
New FDA Commissioner John Paprika, who gained fame for heading up highly successful promotional efforts at Proctor and Gamble, has instituted a new system based on his prior brand-building experience as CEO of a consumer goods company.
“People are getting tired of these negative ‘black box’ warnings,” Paprika declared, referring to the the FDA’s practice of putting stark warnings on drug labeling surrounded by intimidating black boxes. “Sure, occasionally we have to give some warnings, but net-net, the ones taking these meds are consumers, and when there’s something good out there, we should not hesitate to promote it. The blue box program is designed to differentiate those brands that we think should get greater market share.”
The first beneficiary of this startling new policy is Lunambezem, a sleep-promoting drug manufactured by the newly formed company Santakacor (formed in a merger of Sanofi-Aventis, Takeda, and Sepracor). Roused from his daily nap for comment was Mr. J.P. MacRost, Senior Product Manager for the Sleep division:
“All three companies had sleep products, so we just mashed together Ambien, Lunesta, and Rozerem in a huge vat, tossed in some food coloring, and out came this pill with all the best qualities. Apparently the FDA thinks so too, and we are honored to have received the first blue box promo for our PI. If your dreams miss you now, you simply have to swap out your Provigil for a few Lunambezems, and you’ll be playing Texas hold-’em with Abe in no time.”
Other pharma companies howled in protest, while also rushing their products into the new expedited “blue review” process. Medimmune hopes to get a blue banner for FluMist claiming, “A snort away from fewer sniffles!” while Roche Oncology is seeking to splash “Now binding to 22% more HER2 receptors!” across its Herceptin PI.
Asked about the future of Lunambezem, MacRost mentioned that the FDA is encouraging line extensions for sleepers with oily hair, and he hinted at possible new formulations for patients with dry skin or stout thighs. Those would receive the new “cerulean box” promos soon to be announced by the FDA.
The Pharma Side
Copyright 2007 Impactiviti LLC