Getting started with Pharma Practice Hub
Hello and welcome to Pharma Practice Hub, a blog about working in pharma, with its many facets.
Whether you're a freelancer, a pharmaceutical industry service provider, a mainstream pharma bod, or just curious about pharma, we'll share ideas, tips, how-to articles, go-to sources, interviews with experts, case studies, and more, on all kinds of topics to help you, one way or another.
If you share our goal of improving practice, there's something here for you, from: training to medical information; clinical research to business development; freelancing to professional development; and, improving personal productivity to book reviews. Because accountability, credibility and authenticity are concepts that you care about, along with the fundamental virtues of courage, justice and honesty that guide practice.
Also, developing this content gives us an opportunity to reflect on practice, including that involved in medical information, clinical research and training. As such, we consider it continuing professional development (CPD), with the added ingredient of - YOU, in the role of critical friend. The acid test of how well we help you, therefore, depends on you. Help us to shape Pharma Practice Hub by giving us your feedback.
Regardless of whether you're an industry insider or outsider, if you want to learn more, to develop your expertise, then we would love to have you as a regular reader of Pharma Practice Hub. Even more, we'd love you to contribute. Either contact us here if you'd like to submit a guest post, or comment on whichever posts move you.
We might even touch on the subject of engagement in social media, as this offers a way for Big Pharma to show how it makes a difference for the better, particularly since I agree with Michael Spitz's take in “IT’S HEALTH, NOT BIG BAD PHARMA”— CHANGING AN INDUSTRY THROUGH SOCIAL MEDIA. He makes the case for pharma to get more involved: -
"...Although social media is often portrayed by pharma as part of its reputation problem, as Peter Pitts asserts the medium is actually central to the solution. Rather than approach social media as a marketing tool or line item on the tactical spreadsheet, the channel must be understood and embraced on its own terms, not only transforming how pharma engages with its constituents, but how the industry views and understands itself".
Furthermore, he states: "...Without engagement there’s no social media, but without transparency and a willingness to expose a brand to risk, there’s no engagement."
On the other, I'd say Spitz inadvertently reveals pharma's catch 22 in his advice, as follows:-
"...So how can “Big Bad Pharma” instead become “Health,” an industry seen not as healing the sick at best or making a buck off suffering at worst, but keeping people healthy, improving the duration and quality of life, and ultimately contributing to the public good? Clearly that rebranding must start from within, pharma redefining itself and its own goals, shifting from the mere creator of treatment options to providing solutions and benefit to real people—not only reactively to sickness, but proactively in terms of prevention, awareness building, and healthy living.
So, "how's that, Marie?", I hear you ask. What's the dilemma?
Well dear reader, here's the long and short of it: when pharma gets proactive in the public health debate, it's accused of inventing new diseases in order to flog product. Often it's a no-win position. More to the point, pharma has been doing what Spitz advocates to transform its image for years, at least here in the UK. Perhaps so, but it seems it's still not enough.
So, while pharma marketers may only just be developing new insights about their customers, in the background, medical information departments have been quietly serving "customers" needs, advising them in the best interest of patients day-in day-out, all according to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry or ABPI Code of Practice.
Yep, we have those - Codes of Practice; and regulations. And yep, we take them seriously. Even when patients just want answers, they're encouraged to seek them from their doctors because, as stated in Clause 26.4 of the ABPI Code of Practice, giving advice on personal medical matters is the domain of the doctor or prescriber.
So, there we have it, a perfectly nice little catch 22: should the industry work harder to let people know how it can and does help health issues that matter, or, should it just keep its head down, quietly getting on with the business of doing what it does best - helping its healthcare partners attend to their business of making people better? At the end of the day, the industry is here to help. Let's not forget that.
If you support that position, then Pharma Practice Hub is definitely the place for you.
Let's make it a place to connect with, and learn from, like-minded pharma and healthcare insiders, who're on a mission to: better explain what we do and why we do it; build relationships, and partnerships that make a difference.
About the author
Hi there. My name is Marie and I'm a pharmaceutical industry specialist.
Many moons ago, I left big pharma behind to follow my own path. Now, I'm sharing thoughts, tools, and resources to open up Pharma Practice. Join the quest to do more great work. Read More.
About Pharma Practice Hub
My aim with this blog is to: explore these strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before...(oops, my true colours as a Trekkie are out).
In all seriousness, if you like thinking outside the box, then sign up for email updates on diverse issues, ranging from: training, med info, clinical research, project management, freelancing, CPD, personal productivity to book reviews. Learn more.
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