Letter from the Editor

Contributed by:

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.

In the People Business

According to PhRMA, 74% of the medicines in clinical development are potentially first-in-class medicines, meaning they represent a possible new pharmacological class for treating a medical condition. Furthermore, PhRMA reports that there are 822 projects, defined as unique molecule-indication combinations, that are designated as orphan drugs, and a multitude of novel scientific approaches are being pursued, including cell and gene therapies, DNA and RNA therapeutics, and conjugated monoclonal antibodies. Six therapeutic areas dominate the percentage of projects that are potentially first-in-class, including Alzheimer’s disease, 86%; cancer, 79%; psychiatry, 75%; neurology, 74%; cardiovascular, 73%; and diabetes, 73%.

With more complex therapies in the pipeline, it’s more important than ever that a brand’s story and position in the marketplace support the science.

In this month’s cover article, agency executives discuss the challenges and opportunities they and their clients face in a “new” era of advertising being influenced by big and small data, analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.

Like several of her peers in this month’s cover story, Kim Johnson, president of GSW NY and LA, is tracking the impact of AI on patients and healthcare, as well as the increasing sophistication of analytics, particularly predictive analytics. She says one of the most exciting trends she and her team are analyzing now is how behavioral insights and intervention can inform sharper customer insights and communication strategies.
“We are in life sciences after all; the notion of frequently using science and proven behavior driving principles to inform the work we do is fascinating to me,” she says.

Sharon Callahan, CEO of TBWA\WorldHealth agrees that big data will inform marketing in a much more significant way. “As far as creating campaigns that touch people in a meaningful way, if we understand people better, then we will be much more successful and creative; the real differentiator is that we’re still a creative business,” she says. “We’re not creating widgets out of data; we’re using data to create things that touch people emotionally; there’s still a lot of humanity in what we do.”

Data side, all of the leaders interviewed for this month’s agency roundtable are quick to point out that the true framework for great creative and a great agency is great talent.
And finding that talent, growing that talent, and retaining that talent in a highly competitive agency marketplace is one of the top concerns of all agency leaders.

As Ms. Johnson says, “We are a people business and advertising is a team sport. There is no crying in advertising; it’s not for everyone. But for the creative, idea-driven, curious problem-solvers, and status quo challengers out there, it can be exhilarating.
Finding the right people and keeping great people by engaging them in all the right ways is a daily pursuit for me.”

We salute all of the ideators, innovators, and inquisitors who are devoting their talents to developing and executing brand stories that support all the great science that is taking place throughout the industry — or the people business.

Taren Grom, Editor


Their word…

Denise Myshko
Managing Editor

Biologics now account for the fastest-growing segment of prescription drug spending.

Robin Robinson
Senior Editor

Think life-sciences companies can’t leverage data-driven personalization services such as Pandora? Think again. The industry is using data to better engage its consumers.

Kim Ribbink
Features Editor

New breakthroughs in CNS and other brain-related diseases offer much promise but barriers still remain.


October 2018

Digital and Smart Medicines
Agencies: Paying it Forward
Clinical Trial Sites
Nontraditional Pharma Companies
Women & Health: Marketing to Women
Showcase: Patient Solutions
Showcase: Supply Chain Management


Volume 18 • Number 8
Publisher Lisa Banket
Editor Taren Grom
Creative Director Marah Walsh

Managing Editor
Denise Myshko

Senior Editor
Robin Robinson

Features Editor
Kim Ribbink

Design Associate
Ariel Medel

Director of Sales
Cathy Tracy

National Account Manager
Suzanne Besse

Webcast Network Producer
Daniel Limbach

Circulation Assistant
Kathy Deiuliis

Copyright 2018
by PharmaLinx LLC, Titusville, NJ
Printed in the U.S.A.
Volume Eighteen, Number Eight

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