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Letter from the Editor #522

May 23, 2010

There are winds of change in the Pharma business that are going to affect the way things get done. Last week Pfizer announced they were going to eliminate 6,000 jobs and eight manufacturing plants. And while drug prices made their steepest gain in almost a decade, the current business model just won’t continue to work. Too many aggressive marketing people have cost drug companies billions in fines; the FDA continues to make it harder to get new drugs to market; more drugs are failing to meet clinical endpoints; and new tightened controls are making it almost impossible to even find enough people to do the studies. Add this to the contempt that patients and clinicians hold against DTC marketing, for their one-size-fits-all advertising and there is no doubt change is on the way.

According to Richard Meyer at Online Strategic Solutions, companies are going have to do some things differently. The rep of the future will have to be a medical professional who can really interact with a clinician, and not a business major with a couple of weeks of training. DTC marketing needs to be for each and every patient — not just segments and numbers — and they need to focus on making the brand experience a good one to keep patients on their product. And lastly, companies are going to have to give up on the idea of a single blockbuster and work on a family of drugs for a condition. Start looking because there is a change a comin’!



Just four weeks ago Bayer announced that they were releasing their new Digit meter. This meter links a handheld video game to a glucose monitor and gives an incentive to increase monitoring amongst children. Now a new article by Neal Kaufman, M.D., M.P.H, Engaging Patients with Technology for Sustained Behavior Change points to the fact that adults can benefit from technology as well.


No Mas, No Mas. It’s hard to believe all the questions you have for Sheri Colberg, Ph.D. Your response is overwhelming, and Sheri has more answers for you. Check out Physical Activity Q&A with the Doctor, Part 5.


4th Annual Diabetes Forum, presented by TCOYD and Close Concerns: Monday, June 28, Orlando, Florida
A Benefit For: Taking Control of Your Diabetes. Close Concerns invites you to attend the 4th annual diabetes forum to benefit Taking Control of Your Diabetes, 501(c)3. On Monday, June 28th, at at The Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida, an esteemed panel of diabetes experts will present a fast-paced panel discussion. For more 2010 upcoming conference details, please go to TCOYD.org.

dLife.com: May 23, 7PM ET on CNBC
Topics:   dLife celebrates the best in athletic and diabetes achievement with the All-Stars of Diabetes team, presented by NBA veteran Chris Dudley. Plus, Dr. Emily Senay gives guidance on assembling a healthcare team; and in the dLife kitchen, Chef Michel Nischan shows you how to make a low-carb appetizer favorite. Special Guest: Chris Dudley. Sundays on CNBC at 7 PM ET, 6 PM CT, and 4 PM PT. Catch up on dLife.com.

Please answer this week’s Poll question:

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Check out this week’s “Test Your Diabetes Knowledge” question!

Dave Joffe, Editor-in-chief