How can you have customer service if you don’t know who your customer is?

JD Power just recently put out its report on customer service, “Achieving Excellence in Customer Service: The Brands That Deliver What U.S. Customers Want” (you can get a copy from JD Power by filling out their form here). The report identifies 40 Customer Service Champions: 2011 Customer Service Champions represent a variety of different industries, from … Continue reading

The true costs of prior authorizations

At a recent meeting, I was just pondering whether prior authorizations really save insurance companies money. As defined by MedicineNet.com, “prior authorizations” are a cost-containment procedure that requires a prescriber to obtain permission to prescibe a medication prior to prescribing it” [my emphasis]. Insurance practices, like prior authorizations, clearly cost physicians money in terms of the amount … Continue reading

Branded Drugs Hold No Consumer Loyalty

Why is it that branded drugs hold no consumer loyalty? Oh, sure, people know some drug brands, like Viagara and Pavix. But, as soon as a branded drugs comes off patent, consumers storm towards the generic. The initial generic drug to enter the market is usually priced at 75% of that of its branded competitior … Continue reading

Drug firms fund health advocacy groups

According to a new report recently published by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, many health advocacy organizations rely on financial support from drug companies, but few disclose the extent of that funding or make information easily accessible. The unsaid (but, I would suggest clearly intended) suggestion is that the named advocacy groups … Continue reading

FDA & Internet Guidelines – Up the Creek Without a Paddle

When it comes to waiting for FDA guidance on internet, we are perhaps like this dog in the canoe — up the creek without a paddle.  Hopefully waiting and oblivious to what awaits us downstream. After all, if you’re the police and trying to catch crooks, wouldn’t it be ideal to just watch everyone, figure … Continue reading

Insurers dictate healthcare treatment

While the payment of doctors to act as spokespeople raises red flags amongst the public, who’s really influencing physician prescribing habits? Is it the pharmaceuticals? Certainly, the money trail laid out by ProPublica (see previous blog) would seem to indicate that. However, the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (2008 Outlook report) found that … Continue reading

Why paid KOLs?

When the ProPublica “Dollars for Docs” database went out late last year, there was a lot of handwringing that went something like this — “How can we not pay our KOLs?” My reply (or question, if you will) — “Why do you need a paid KOL?” Paying KOLs raises questions of authenticity of the endorsement … Continue reading

Drugs Like Cars

The pharmaceutical industry and the car industry are very similar in the way they sell. They both sell their goods like they did a hundred years ago — through salespeople: one in a showroom; the other going door-to-door pestering doctors (or if you will, going town to town selling snake oil) … and both types … Continue reading