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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What’s in a Name? Is Naming Rx Drugs an Art or a Science?

What’s in a Name? Is Naming Rx Drugs an Art or a Science? | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

Yearly lists of the "most popular baby names" show how tastes change over time. While Jennifer, Heather, Michael and Jason may have been favorites in decades past, today's top contenders include Emma, Olivia, Liam and Noah. The same applies to pharmaceutical drug names.

 

"Aspirin," for instance, was a name with legs in the early 20th century. Bayer branded its pain medication with this simple moniker in 1899 and sold it around the world for years. By the end of the century, though, drugs were named with a "blockbuster" edge and struck very different chords. The late 1990s was the era of Celebrex and Viagra as well as the now-infamous OxyContin.

 

More recently, drugs have reached for even more exotic sounds. Within the past few years, the US Food and Drug Administration has approved Farydak for treating multiple myeloma, Avycaz for abdominal infections, Vraylar for schizophrenia, Idelvion for hemophilia, Luzu for athlete's foot and Byvalson for high blood pressure.

 

Saying these names aloud, some may hear a strange and lovely music, while others may imagine aliens arriving from distant planets. Similarly, naming a drug is a complicated process.

 

"Prozac is what I call the Big Bang of pharmaceutical naming. It came out of nowhere, it means absolutely nothing, and it really just said, 'Wow, OK, this is blockbuster naming in the drug world,' " said Scott Piergrossi, vice president of creative development at the Brand Institute, which names, tests, markets or otherwise works on about 75% of FDA-approved names each year and about two-thirds of the global names.

 

Though each step of the naming process presents hurdles, approval for a brand name is the most difficult to clear. More…

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Mad Men, as opposed to Med Men, "Don't need no stinkin' FDA!"

Mad Men, as opposed to Med Men, "Don't need no stinkin' FDA!" | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

In the September 2014 issue of MM&M, I came across what these days is referred to as "content marketing," but what MM&M calls "ViewPoint." I'm referring to the piece -- you can't call it an article -- titled "Medical marketing needs mainstream Mad Men" written by John Barker (find it here). At least I'm pretty sure it's content marketing, because you can never be sure when it's labeled something else. More on that later in this post.

The premise of the piece can be summed up in the last sentence: "Going forward, staying competitive in the ACA marketplace may mean asking more Mad Men to be Med Men." That is, the pharmaceutical industry should hire agencies -- such as Barker, which is Barker's agency -- that "don't know the difference between the FDA and FDR. But they know branding."

Yeah, that's going to go over big with pharma brand teams, which these days are figuring out how to be more "patient-centric" while staying compliant with FDA regulations.

Barker's logic is that somehow the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is forcing pharma marketers to "shape authentic and trusting relationships with their customers, moving beyond traditional selling points to generate emotional resonance with the target audience, not unlike Apple, Pepsi or Nike."

Let's leave ACA out of this for now and just consider branding versus customer relationship, aka "patient-centricity."

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Bad Brand v Super Brand: Dawn of Justice - Love the Graphic!

Bad Brand v Super Brand: Dawn of Justice - Love the Graphic! | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

While superheroes are fantasy, trying to be a Super Brand is not. It's totally achievable. A Super Brand must have four characteristics similar to superheroes: show the end users your extraordinary abilities, demonstrate a strong moral code, exhibit the courage to stand up for something, and be resourceful and innovative with your approach. The parallels are (dare we say it?) uncanny.

 

A Super Brand must have four characteristics similar to superheroes:

  1. Extraordinary Abilities
  2. Courage
  3. Strong Moral Code
  4. Ability to be resourceful and innovative

 

Let’s look at each one.

 

[You go look. Look good!]

Pharma Guy's insight:

So glad to see that the woman super hero is not the muscular one, but otherwise super-endowed!

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