Taren Grom, Editor
NOTE: The content below contains the first few paragraphs of the printed article and the titles of the sidebars and boxes, if applicable.
PharmaVOICE is pleased to present our annual Year in Preview issue. Our thanks to the more than 135 thought leaders who generously took the time to take stock of what they believe are the most-pressing issues the industry will face in the coming year. These hot trends address issues that will impact all areas of the life-sciences industry — from the clinic to the market to the boardroom. An overriding theme that touches all sectors and areas of concentration throughout this issue — as well as in past issues of PharmaVOICE — is the pressing need to improve the industry’s image and impress upon all its stakeholders the value that the thousands of dedicated and hardworking individuals bring to our communities. In keeping with this sentiment, I was touched by a letter we received from Dale Taylor, president, CEO, and cofounder of Abelson-Taylor Inc. “Lending support and sustenance in times of crisis — like the one brought on by Hurricane Katrina — does indeed do our industry proud,” Mr. Taylor says. “Yet even beyond times of crisis, support can be extended to people in third-world countries, where even small contributions count. The holiday season is a great time to consider the contributions we can offer — and where. “The holidays are a hectic time and it’s hard to step back and acknowledge the spiritual aspect of the season,” Mr. Taylor says. “Gift-giving, which should bring light to the occasion, can be a challenging task, often viewed with entitlement instead of appreciation. What’s more, traditional gifts — such as gourmet edibles — are meant to be consumed. Once eaten, they are gone, leaving no trace of the investment made.” For many years, Abelson-Taylor pursued the traditional route. Like other companies, the agency sent out gifts that ranged from personalized, hand-picked items to baskets of fruits and homemade jams. The commercial goodies always looked great, but rarely were such gifts acknowledged. “One day it dawned on us that the recipients — our branding partners within the industry — did not need food,” he says. “We set out to find an alternative, something at once more creative, more substantive, and more enduring. Most of all, we were looking for something that would have a positive impact on the world and that would reflect the industry’s mission of protecting health and extending life.” It was Mr. Taylor’s daughter, who was in the Peace Corps at the time, who told him about Heifer International. The 60-year-old nonprofit organization uses cash donations to provide livestock and training to community groups in 50 countries, including the United States. When the original animals reproduce, the offspring are donated to others in the community, boosting the local economy — and creating jobs — through the sale of milk and eggs, wool and feathers, honey, and other agricultural products. Apart from fostering independence, the program has a direct impact on health, saving lives that might otherwise be lost to famine and disease. “We decided to forego the food and donate money, in our clients’ names, for the purchase of animals instead,” Mr. Taylor says. “We began with goats in 2002. The following year, we spread our wings and sponsored geese. We generated buzz with bees in 2004, and this year we’ve decided to get really rambunctious with rabbits.” When Abelson-Taylor began the program four years ago, there was uncertainty as to how clients would react. “The answer was different from anything we expected,” Mr. Taylor says. “Instead of silence, we were inundated with letters and calls, many of them from senior executives at the pharmaceutical companies. A manager at Amgen went so far as to write, ‘I wish everyone would take this approach.’ ” PharmaVOICE applauds Abelson-Taylor and all the other companies that so generously give back to the community — a great industry image. Taren Grom Editor In the spirit of giving PharmaVOICE December 2005 Taren Grom PharmaVOICE wishes all of our readers a healthy, happy, and prosperous new year. Year in Preview 2006