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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19999

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Silverman E
Pharma Execs Admit: ‘Our Model Is Broken’
Pharmalot 2012 Mar 21

Full text:

As if we didn’t already know this, yes? Still, a new survey finds that 68 percent of pharma execs agree that Humpty Dumpty has fallen off the wall. To be specific, 44 percent agree that the pharma industry model is broken and 24 percent strongly agree with this statement. Another 22 percent are neutral and 6 percent disagree. We wonder where this 28 percent is working right now…
And over the next two years, 76 percent believe the healthcare system pricing and budget pressures will be the biggest challenge; followed by 70 percent who believe they will have to demonstrate cost effectiveness; 69 percent who cite more restrictive market access; 60 percent who fear generic competition; 53 percent who worry about less access to docs and 50 percent who are concerned about the ability of patients to pay for their meds.
The survey canvassed 156 pharma execs who either influence or have responsibility for sales and marketing at big drugmakers in the US and Europe. On average, they have held their jobs for five years and 52 percent are directors, with 15 percent say they are vp’s and 20 percent identifying as managers. Most are responsible for a product portfolio, 46 percent, or a specific brand, 33 percent.
A few more nuggets: 43 percent believe face time with docs will decline and 26 percent think the reverse is true. Not surprisingly, spending will shift away from docs – a 32 percent decrease – while more money will be directed toward payers, hospitals and key accounts – with spending rising 47 percent, 30 percent and 47 percent, respectively.
More resources will also be devoted to: 59 percent will rely more on pricing strategies; 56 percent on payer collaborations; 55 percent on pharmacoeconomic studies; 48 percent on direct-to-consumer initiativves and 47 percent on patient adherence. In each case, less than 10 percent of the respondents predict a decrease in spending on these activities.
Interestingly, only 21 percent say they meet with payers to discuss evidence and medical needs before or during Phase II testing. And just 24 percent do so between Phase II and Phase III. Another 26 meet during Phase IIIa and Phase IIIb and the remaining 29 percent wait to do so after Phase III is complete.
Finally, lots more will be spent on social media and other forms of digital interactions. A few examples: 58 percent cite physician-oriented social media; 55 percent point to mobile technologies and 52 percent named e-detailing (you can read the entire survey results here ).


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Far too large a section of the treatment of disease is to-day controlled by the big manufacturing pharmacists, who have enslaved us in a plausible pseudo-science...
The blind faith which some men have in medicines illustrates too often the greatest of all human capacities - the capacity for self deception...
Some one will say, Is this all your science has to tell us? Is this the outcome of decades of good clinical work, of patient study of the disease, of anxious trial in such good faith of so many drugs? Give us back the childlike trust of the fathers in antimony and in the lancet rather than this cold nihilism. Not at all! Let us accept the truth, however unpleasant it may be, and with the death rate staring us in the face, let us not be deceived with vain fancies...
we need a stern, iconoclastic spirit which leads, not to nihilism, but to an active skepticism - not the passive skepticism, born of despair, but the active skepticism born of a knowledge that recognizes its limitations and knows full well that only in this attitude of mind can true progress be made.
- William Osler 1909