What’s on your mind: Opinions

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R&D will tell I am not sure that the mega company strategy/structure will support the trend toward biopharmaceutical products (and fur ther into the future, gene therapies) that offer therapeutic solutions for more specific diseases. The trend toward blockbuster product launches will give way to more targeted medicines, diagnostics, and devices. Advancements in medicine that treat the largescale chronic conditions may soon become harder to come by. The blockbusters like allergy and cholesterol controllers may have smaller audiences due to more specific and effective treatments. These will mandate new competencies and new organization structures that the undue strain of merger activity will weaken. Smaller, more focused (although wellfinanced) R&D and marketing organizations that work in tandem will be required to be effective and efficient. And as technology and discovery continue to speed up, organiza tions will need to be structured to act quickly as well as harness the passion that brings about quick change. Support resources such as com munications, advertising, public relations, or customer relationship management, and such also will need to follow this newmodel of highly customized output. So, will megapharma companies be willing to launch and invest in products that have the potential to fall in the $250 million range? This may be tough medicine to swallow, especially at a time when we are enjoying the wave of DTC, which can grow the market to meet our larger sales demands. Ken Ribotsky PRESIDENT RIBOTSKY WORLDWIDE INC. Less is more Megapharmaceutical companies always seem to manage the ever evolving lifescience environment. My experience has been that man aging mergers, takeovers, and the effect that these have on daytoday business decisions as they relate to program development, communi ty education, or communication initiatives meant to sustain or build relationships with audiences, is sometimes negatively affected. When the weight of redefining the pharmaceutical landscape begins to greatly affect the decisions that senior marketing managers make on behalf of a brand, a company begins to shift from its fundamental responsibility of positively influencing life through medicine. I do not know what Pfizer and Pharmacia are planning, but other merged companies when assessing duplication of efforts made business decisions to provide less grant in aid, limit sponsorships, and decrease program development initiatives; and everyone knows that in reality “more for less” is only a mar keting campaign. Gene M. Cavazos EXECUTIVE VP, DIRECTOR OF MEDICAL EDUCATION MARKETING WISHBONE INC. Business as usual There are small and “megasized” firms in every industry that cannot effectively manage obstacles and change. We should expect to see OPINIONS Big, bigger, biggest … I n the September issue of PharmaVOICE,we asked in light of the recent spate of megamergers of pharmaceutical companies, if behemoth entities can manage and navigate the obstacles of an everchanging life sciences industry. that many megapharmaceutical companies will continue to succeed in the evolving life science environment. The winners will be those companies that successfully manage “postevent” integration/ change, stay focused on core business princi ples (quality products, new product offerings, efficient operations and financial manage ment, customer focus, employees, etc.), and maximize their position in the marketplace. With the exception of “postevent” acti tivies, the keys to success are not size depen dent. Focused and/or additional resources in a “mega” firm, however, may bring some of these keys closer to their reach. Mike Myers EXECUTIVE VP/MANAGING DIRECTOR CLIENT SERVICE PALIO COMMUNICATIONS Taking pride As members of the pharmaceutical indus try, my colleagues and I always have taken pride in the role we play in marketing new treatments that prolong life, relieve pain, and improve living conditions for patients world wide. But competition — which is normally a healthy stimulus for innovation — has in recent years spawned a deadly war that has turned lawsuits, counterdetailing, dubious claims, and financial incentives into the weapons of the day. With billions of dollars at stake, it is no sur prise that some companies have begun to adopt such cutthroat tactics. The results are grim: regulations that make our jobs more difficult, legislators who run with issues for political gain, and press coverage that infuriates con sumers, who respond with rage and distrust. Nor are those results reserved for the wrongdoers. We all end up paying the cost of competition gone awry. So great is that cost that we can only hope that the pendulum will swing back, allowing marketers who have remained above the fray to continue reaping the benefits of responsible competition. Julie Laitin PRESIDENT JULIE A. LAITIN ENTERPRISES INC. Embracing the code …

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