Introduction: Opportunites and Challenges - Pharmaceutical Executive

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Introduction: Opportunites and Challenges
A new year means a clean slate. It's also an opportunity for product managers to face new challenges—and learn from others' mistakes.


Pharmaceutical Executive


Jeannette Park
As 2006 gets under way, changes in the industry are creating new opportunites for product managers, along with a landslide of challenges. Blockbuster drugs that represent 50 to 60 percent of pharmaceutical sales will come off patent in the next few years, and with consumer awareness now greater than ever, product managers need to work even harder to keep up. The articles in this volume address these growing concerns.

As consumers increasingly go online for health information, it's crucial for marketers to capitalize on this medium by getting out messages to the right audiences. David Stern of Serono reviews some of the best practices in e-marketing today, focusing on the strategies Serono has employed to better communicate with physicians.

Consumers want drug companies to remember they're people, not just patients. A new study from Health Strategies Group reveals that when it comes to choosing prescriptions, patients seek drugs that help them optimize their quality of life. So your drug promises to relieve symptoms...so what? People want to know how it'll make them feel.

Companies that don't have internal checks-and-balances systems to monitor compliance will pay the price. Wayne Pines and Ilyssa Levins suggest investing in education and consulting regulatory counsel to better address compliance questions—and gain competitive advantage.

And finally, Lesley Frank of FDA gives companies a "don't-cheat sheet" for DTC ads. Misleading information, and unclear communication of indications and clinical significance, are just some of these infringments. To avoid getting a warning letter posted to FDA's Web site, read what not to do when promoting your drug directly to consumers.

Jeannette Park is Pharmaceutical Executive's special projects editor. She can be reached at

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