Monday, April 16, 2007

Brandweek on AZ: "the mainstream media has had its lunch eaten by Rost et al on this story"

From Brandweek:
At AZ, a Potential Smoking Gun Emerges in the Bucket of Money Scandal

Peter Rost this morning posted what appears to be an inexplicable set of PowerPoint slides from the AZ Group of 7 whistleblowers. The entire slideshow (see download below) is a comparison of AZ's Arimidex anti-cancer drug vs. Novartis' Femara drug. I hope I don't have to remind you at this stage that it is against AZ's internal policy (which in turn is controlled by its corporate integrity agreement with the government over the Zoldex scandal), to market Arimidex in comparison to Femara. Especially as the two drugs have never, according to Rost and his sources, gone head-to-head in proper study.

Jim continues with an interesting analysis, including agreeing with what I wrote about AstraZeneca's response:

"This is what good crisis PR looks like. They're not ducking it, spinning it or pretending it doesn't exist. Yes, it is going to suck at AZ for a while, but if the company can be seen to be doing the right thing and not trying to persuade us all that this is somehow 'not a story,' then it will be over faster and with less lasting damage."

Jim also writes, "the mainstream media has had its lunch eaten by Rost et al on this story. Given that it involves breast cancer, breaking the law, and greed ... it's a matter of time before the big boys wade in."

Read Jim's article here.

1 comment:

. said...

Dr Rost,

What facinates me about this AZ issue, is that MOST MDs who are detailed, almost ALL drug reps, all those who work with MDs and drug reps closely and ALL managers and executives in all the PHARMA companies KNOW DAMN WELL that they do this comparison marketing ALL THE TIME. Why is this such a big issue then? BECAUSE THEIR PRACTICE POLICIES SAY THEY SHOULD NOT DO IT!

This reminds me of a story: When I was trying to quit part of my job, my chairman said "NO one yells at anyone in my department." I respectfully replied that IS what he meant to say was that he WAS NOT AWARE OF ANY YELLING in the department? Yes, he said, I have not been aware of any yelling or I would put a stop to it. I said to him with an ironic grin "Do you think Dr. Rascal would call his chair and say... hey chair.. I just yelled at a Black Kitty... Of course NOT.

This is the same as the comparison marketing.