on February 29, 2004
...becomes evident when you examine this book. As a previous reviewer noted, the authors of this work undertake to utter an authoritative text on pharmaceutical market planning without even acknowledging the existence of either industry codes of conduct in marketing and promotion *or* government regulatory agencies empowered to come down like an avalanche on pharma companies whose officers violate the restrictions of 21 CFR 202.1 and associated laws.
Throughout the '90s, all the industry ever heard from marketing clowns like Lidstone and MacLennan was that FDA Warning Letters and similar regulatory actions were "a cost of doing business." Some of these arrogant weasels even *boasted* of their derring-do in skating their companies over thin ice, their fixation entirely upon annual (or just quarterly!) P&L figures, while their actions built up vast hematomas of bad blood in Rockville, guaranteeing that those of us responsible for getting the approval of new drug applications (NDAs) had to contend with an increasingly hostile reception from the FDA's regulatory officers.
The individuals considering the purchase of this book are almost certainly *not* going to be spending their own money on it. The cost will come out of their companies' budgets, and they'll be buying it either because they're marketing mayflies themselves (and therefore interested in selling their overpriced services either as company employees or outside consultants) or they're management officers who are trying to make some sense out of the marketing doublespeak they've been getting from such people. Given those conditions, I enthusuastically encourage the purchase of this book. With it or without it, the marketing people can't do much more damage than they're already doing, so they might as well eat up a chunk of their budgets with this purchase.
You management officers, however, should get their hands on Lidstone and MacLennan's dollop of bumf with an eye toward innoculating yourself against the boilerplate arguments voiced by these destructive elements within your corporate structure.
Remember that - like the rats they resemble - it's not what they take for themselves that makes the marketers so deadly to the survival of your company and the pharma industry in general, but rather the damage they do in the process of sucking themselves fat upon your payroll.
on August 26, 2000
This book is an elegant and agreeable summary of Kotler's marketing management and Porter's competitive strategy. This is half of what I was expecting. However I was also expecting that these broad marketing concepts would be adapted and tailored to the specifics of The Pharmaceutical Industry. Unfortunately and unlike what is suggested by the title, the book has the rhetoric and the feel of a general marketing textbook rather than a Pharmaceutical oriented manual. At a macro level the words "product" or "person-to-person" are far more common than "drug" or "sales representative-to physician". At a micro level the book also favors generalities instead of important Pharmaceutical details. For instance, in the Chapter about Communications (8) the authors extensively discuss the elements of the promotional mix and the relationships with an advertising agency (something important for any industry). However, even in that chapter's section about other considerations, they totally ignore the interaction with regulatory agencies such as the FDA's Division of Drug Marketing, Advertising and Communications. This, as any Product Manager in Pharmaceuticals knows, is crucial for the success of the promotional message. Another similar example can be found in the Chapter about Sales Strategy (7). In here general management consulting matrixes (of the BCG 2X2 type common to any industry) are discussed in detail but the actual industry-specific strategy issues, such as sales force rotation and segmentation of calls to health care professionals, are avoid. Finally I believe that the price of the book ... is meant to be elitist so that is bought only by top management (the potential clients of the authors which are consultants). This is a pity because despite its flaws the books present handy general marketing information in an easy-to-read, friendly format, that emphasizes tables and bullet lists rather than extensive text. It will be useful for non-marketing Pharmaceutical Industry Professionals that interact with Marketing and by Product Managers with no academic business background. For those PM out of business school the book is too basic and contains a relatively small amount of data pertaining to the pharmaceutical industry. Such data can be found elsewhere. For instance the 27 pages of Chapter 2 (marketing Pharmaceuticals) of Schweitzer's book on Pharmaceutical economics and policy contain much more data than this entire Pharmaceutical marketing planning book.
on April 18, 2000
Much of the classic marketing thought (Identifying core capabilities, External/Internal analysis, SWOT analysis, Marget segmentation, BCG analysis, Commuunications techniques, Promotion mix analysis, etc.) as well as presentation and communication techniques are discussed here. The book has a nice addition on the PR side ties with Marketing, important specifically to the DTC side of advertising pharmaceuticals. Specifically deals with market plan development, working with various agencies, and the roles of various managers in the marketing planning process.
The book is not just about analysis and asking the right questions, it also provides great ways of presenting these ideas appropriately.
This is a good reference book, and review for upper management, while providing a stimulus for doing deep analysis and real strategy development instead of the daily grind that dulls your senses over time.
Also, look into Revitalizing the Pharmaceutical Business: Innovatiive Marketing approaches. This book will come out soon.