Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
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Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News
Pharmaguy curates and provides insights into selected drug industry news and issues.
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Boehringer Defends Pradaxa Ad as Example of "Highlighting" More Women in Ads, But Only as Caregivers, Not Patients

Boehringer Defends Pradaxa Ad as Example of "Highlighting" More Women in Ads, But Only as Caregivers, Not Patients | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Now a year into the "Red Fish" campaign, Boehringer was pleased with the feedback and effectiveness of the fish-as-blood-clot imagery, but the German drugmaker decided it was time for an evolution of the AFib campaign. The new DTC work, created by GSW, moves away from a simple all-white background for the CGI fish and gives them the blue-water backdrop of an aquarium, while also adding in visitors walking along and watching.

 

“We obviously still wanted to keep the red fish because that has been the key to success with its very simple way of describing a complex problem that resonates with consumers,” David Edwards, Boehringer executive director of cardiovascular marketing, said in an interview. “We’ve evolved it in way that infuses it with a bit more, I guess you could say, 'humanity,' as it was just the fish before.”

 

With a couple in focus in the ad, Pradaxa not only adds that human element, but also a subtle note of the woman leading the man, Edwards said, as a way to highlight women more in the communications. Women have AFib at about the same rate as men, but through marketing research, they've also been proven as household gatekeepers and purchase influencers.

 

Physician feedback for the campaign has also been positive, Edwards said, with doctors noting an uptick in patients asking about the treatment represented by the red fish or wanting to discuss the AFib treatment “with the reversal.” Pradaxa is the only med in its class with an FDA-approved reversal agent, which may ease some patients' and doctors' worries about the potentially fatal bleeding side effects that come along with the new-age drugs. As in the original "Red Fish" ad, agent Praxbind is not mentioned by name, but rather referred to as the only emergency reversal treatment just for Pradaxa.

 

The red fish imagery also appears in Pradaxa communications with healthcare providers, as well as TV, print and digital consumer-facing work, and it will likely be around for some time. Edwards said this campaign will run through the end of the year, but he expects that thanks to its success, it will continue to evolve beyond that.

Pharma Guy's insight:

I have noted in the past (http://bit.ly/1dBgGRz) that every anti-Afib medication DTC campaign uses similar imagery of an elderly couple and the patient is the husband (or father).

In these ads, the man is clearly the focus although women are equally as likely to have Afib. 

At the time I asked: "Why are women only portrayed as caregivers and otherwise "left out of the [Afib] picture" in these ads?"

 

Clearly, the BI marketers are trying to defend themselves by "highlighting women more" in the ads - but it is so subtle as to be meaningless because it actually reinforces that the man is the patient and the woman is there just to guide him.

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Boehringer's 2 SIDES OF LIVING WITH COPD - Tugs at Heart Strings, Then Scares the Bejeezus Out of Us!

Boehringer's 2 SIDES OF LIVING WITH COPD - Tugs at Heart Strings, Then Scares the Bejeezus Out of Us! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Have you seen the #2sides of #COPD? Reduce exacerbation risk now.

Pharma Guy's insight:

Is it necssary to pull at our heart strings and then bring us down with scary death mask-like imagery?

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▶ Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lilly and Company Diabetes Awareness Video - YouTube

Diabetes is a common medical condition affecting 382 million people today; and that number is on the rise. Without careful management, diabetes can lead to s...
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Boehringer planning job cuts in Germany

Boehringer planning job cuts in Germany | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Germany's Boehringer Ingelheim has implemented a hiring freeze and plans to reduce its headcount in its home market in a bid to reduce costs.


The news was revealed in German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, which cited a company spokesperson who said Boehringer wants to trim its costs by 15 per cent in order to make more money available for investments.


The news also comes shortly after the company agreed a $650m settlement of all state and federal litigation in the US regarding its oral anticoagulant Pradaxa (dabigatran), which focused on the drug's safety.


"We have to create scope for further development, which will enable us to continue to invest vigorously in organic and sustainable growth," said Boehringer's chairman Andreas Barner.

Pharma Guy's insight:


I hope the digital/social media people are not the first to go!

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How Do You Measure Social Media Content Effectiveness?

How Do You Measure Social Media Content Effectiveness? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Social media provides brands with another channel for content sharing. But as this becomes the norm, content marketers are looking to the next step in the process: measuring the effectiveness of this content. Based on an April 2014 study conducted by Ipsos OTX for the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), the overwhelming majority of brands are now doing so.


According to the research, 80% of US client-side marketers measured the effectiveness of their social content, with social media metrics such as “likes” the most common. Usage statistics—daily or monthly active users, for example—fell in the middle of the list. Meanwhile, metrics that could identify business ramifications were not used nearly as much, with financially based measurements such as return on investment and sales landing near the bottom.

Pharma Guy's insight:


See how Boehringer Ingelheim measures success of its disease awareness TweetChats. It's in their "How to" playbook reviewed in this Pharma Marketing News article: 


How to Host a Successful Pharma TweetChat

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UK's NHS Says Boehringer's Health Info is "clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based, & current"

UK's NHS Says Boehringer's Health Info is "clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based, & current" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Germany-based Boehringer Ingelheim has become the first pharma company to be awarded The Information Standard (TIS) certification for the healthcare information it provides to patients, their families and carers.


The certification, which covers materials published in England, serves as a 'kite mark' for the standard of information provided by companies and organisations, acknowledging the content has undergone rigorous assessment by an independent authority.


Commissioned by NHS England and run by Capita, the TIS is intended to help people identify what health and care information is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date among the sea of content they have access to.

Pharma Guy's insight:


Wow! This sound pretty impressive. But if you read  on, you will learn that (1) companies have to apply for the TIS certification, and (2) it could be that no other pharma company bothered to apply.


Nevertheless, applying for the TIS requires some work to make sure the information is up to snuff. So, Boehringer has to be commended for that.


"The Information Standard is a certification programme for all organisationsproducing evidence-based health and care information for the public. Anyorganisation achieving The Information Standard has undergone a rigorous assessment to check that the information they produce is clear, accurate, balanced, evidence-based and up-to-date. " To learn more about TIS, click here.

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"Desperate Turds" Print Ad: How Long Have They Been Trapped in That A-Hole?

"Desperate Turds" Print Ad: How Long Have They Been Trapped in That A-Hole? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Are you constipated? Well, if it's caused by your opioid pain medication, you might need prescription Movantik (read "Cam Newton Was Not the Only One 'Blocked' During Super Bowl 50").But if it's just run of the mill "occasional constipation," you might try an over-the-counter product such as Dulcolax Laxative by Boehringer Ingelheim.

I recently came across a Dulcolax print ad,  which ran in Singapore newspapers and bus shelters and which was on a 2014 shortlist under the outdoor category at Lions Health (read "Pharma Advertising is So Bad It Has No Big Winner at Cannes Lions Health 2014").

Creative advertising people have labeled the ad "Desperate Turds."

 

Yep! It's a view of turds (Scheisse) trapped inside an A-hole! The tagline -- along with a photo of a Dulcolax Laxative package -- is expressed in a turd's thought balloon: “Only you can set them free”.

As is often the case with OTC drug ads, the "Desperate Turds" ad misrepresents the effectiveness of Dulcolax Laxative to treat occasional constipation. More here...

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Boehringer Ingelheim Supports Undocumented Immigrants & Sides with Latino TV vs. Donald Trump. Bravo!

Boehringer Ingelheim Supports Undocumented Immigrants & Sides with Latino TV vs. Donald Trump. Bravo! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Two stories caught my attention yesterday:

One involved drug company Boehringer Ingelheim and Spanish-language television network Telemundo.

The other involved Donald Trump and another Spanish-language television network - Univision.

In the first case, a major (non-US) pharma company has the courage to support “illegal” Mexican immigrants and at the same time raise awareness of diabetes among the U.S. Latino public, whether they are illegal or not (read the press release here).

In the second case, Donald Trump evades questions about his Mexican deportation plans from Univision Spanish-language news anchor Jorge Ramos and kicks him out of a press conference with the words “Go Back To Univision” (read the story here).

How does Boehringer support “illegal” Mexicans in this country?


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Pharma Guy's insight:

An interesting way to support a political cause and promote good health at the same time. Also good for the bottom line, I suppose - not that there's anything wrong with that!

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Two Pradaxa Post-Marketing Safety Studies Reach Different Conclusions: Which One Will Boehringer Distribute to Docs?

Two Pradaxa Post-Marketing Safety Studies Reach Different Conclusions: Which One Will Boehringer Distribute to Docs? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Boehringer's anti-clotting drug Pradaxa is marketed as better and safer than warfarin, the generic and much cheaper alternative. The ads specifically mention that no frequent blood tests are needed to monitor the safety and effectiveness of Pradaxa, whereas such tests are necessary for warfarin.

This makes easier to sell Pradaxa to cardiologists and family practitioners who can pass on these obvious safety advantages to patients who need to carefully weigh benefits vs. risks of these powerful drugs. 

But this task is made much more difficult when there are two post-marketing approval safety studies that come to two different conclusions. Considering that news of the studies have been released on the same day (today), the stage is set for battling it out in public.

One study of Medicare patients -- by the FDA -- was published online inCirculation on October 30, 2014. A press release dated today (November 3, 2014; here) claimed that it "further reinforces the favorable benefit/risk profile of PRADAXA."

Another, independent study of Medicare patients, titled "Dabigatran Associated with Higher Incidence of Major Bleeding vs. Warfarin," was published online November 3, 2014 in JAMA Internal Medicine (and embargoed until 3 pm Central). That study claimed that the "incidence of major bleeding was 9 percent for the dabigatran (Pradaxa) group and 5.9 percent for the warfarin group."

How do two different studies seemingly reach two different conclusions based on the same population? And which study will Boehringer (BI) distribute to docs via its sales reps?

Pharma Guy's insight:


Recall that BI was sanctioned for violating Clauses 2, 9.1, 3.2, 22.1 and 22.2 of the ABPI Code of Practice in 2011. The case originated from a complaint by a "general practitioner" filed with the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), which oversees the ABPI Code.

The PMCPA "was very concerned about the content of the press release and the briefing material for spokespersons. The [PMCPA] Panel considered that these would in effect encourage members of the public to ask their health professional to prescribe a specific prescription only medicine. The Panel was concerned about the lack of information in a consumer press release relating to side effects."

The news articles written based on BI press materials made some great marketing statements that BI could never make, such as referring to Pradaxa as a "super pill" and a "revolutionary drug." The stories also dissed the competition (warfarin) by referring to it as "rat poison." BI press materials did not refer to warfarin as rat poison and "otherwise made no disparaging remarks about the medicine," said PMCPA, which had no evidence about how warfarin had been described by Boehringer Ingelheim’s spokespersons or at any press conference. Therefore, no breach of the Code was ruled in that regard.

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Running effective webchats

Running effective webchats | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it
Best practice
  1. Always aim to host the webchat on an independent website: for example a charity, patient group or other relevant organisation. This adds more credibility to the event.
  2. Plan a webchat at least two weeks in advance, in order to promote the event to as many people as possible and ensure there is adequate support for you on the day.
  3. Encourage people to submit questions in advance and have some answers prepared, to publish as soon as the web chat starts.
  4. Aim to answer as many live questions as possible in the allotted time.
  5. Answer questions directly and succinctly (one or two sentences should be enough).
  6. Provide links for further information before and during the chat
  7. Respond to questions in the order in which you receive them.
  8. If two or more questions are broadly the same, it is acceptable to refer the participant to an earlier answer i.e. ‘please see my response to [name here]’.
  9. Tell participants how they can contact you again after the chat
Pharma Guy's insight:


Compare this to guideline from Boehringer Ingelheim for organizing and running pharma TweetChats: How to Host a Successful Pharma TweetChat


Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) has hosted several disease-specific TweetChats focused on atrial fibrillation, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) and lung cancer. Despite the regulatory challenges posed by such activities, these were all successful, both in terms of delivering value to stakeholders and to BI, while remaining compliant with existing laws and regulations. 

This article reviews BI's "playbook" -- titled "How pharma TweetChats can drive healthcare innovation" -- which provides detailed insights for planning and delivering successful pharma TweetChats.

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Understanding the psychological blocks in medicine-taking: how pharma can help

Understanding the psychological blocks in medicine-taking: how pharma can help | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Medicines adherence remains a massive problem for healthcare systems, the pharmaceutical industry and patients, leading to increased disease burden and personal risks. In this new white paper, Hannah Gagen looks beyond traditional approaches into the psychology behind adherence to understand the real challenges and solutions.

The major focus for the pharmaceutical industry is market access – making sure that novel medicines make it through the clinical and cost barriers to reach patients. But even once this has been surmounted a potentially bigger hurdle exists – adherence. Failing to take medicines as prescribed is expensive for healthcare systems and pharma, plus potentially damaging, or even life-threatening, for patients.

Despite numerous attempts to tackle non-adherence, it remains a significant challenge. But perhaps we are not looking at solutions the right way? Here, Hannah Gagen, from Boehringer Ingelheim, challenges traditional solutions and takes a more in-depth look at the psychological factors behind this problem and how they can inform new approaches that underpin a more collaborative resolution between doctors, patients and the pharmaceutical industry

Read this white paper from Boehringer Ingelheim to understand:

• Key definitions and metrics around medicines non-adherence

• Factors underlying intentional and non-intentional non-adherence

• Expert views on the psychology of adherence

• How pharma needs a new collaborative approach to tackling adherence

Pharma Guy's insight:


As Kevin Dolgin, president of French healthcare company Observia explains, there is still a long way for us to go. He points out that while patient adherence budgets have quadrupled over the past five years (to roughly $1 million on average per product per annum, according to US data), spending on traditional promotional channels are still 30 times higher, as shown in the figure above.


Check this out: 

The Adherence Problem: Are Patients Just Forgetful, or Are They Rebellious?
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