Pharma Talk



Pharmaguy (aka John Mack) is a thought leader in pharmaceutical marketing with more than 30 years experience in the digital space, including interactive game design, computer-based learning, drug website development, ehealth ethics, and social media.


  • The Misleading Marketing of "Low-T" Drugs

    25/07/2017 Duração: 05min

    A conversation with Adriane Fugh-Berman, MD, Associate Professor at Georgetown University Medical Center and Director of PharmedOut. We discuss how the marketing of Androgel uses symptom quizzes to convince men and physicians that "low testosterone" is a medical condition that should be treated. We also discuss the dangerous side effects of testosterone treatment and the similarities with estrogen treatment side effects, which took 20 years to unveil.

  • The Forgotten eHealth Code of Ethics

    22/06/2017 Duração: 04min

    Any research or effort designed to improve the quality of health information on the Internet must build upon the work already done by the creators of the international eHealth Code of Ethics, which is as relevant today as it was back in 2000.

  • AMA Struggles to Reign in Consumer Drug Ads

    15/06/2017 Duração: 04min

    You have to give kudos to the good doctors and policy makers of the American Medical Association for trying over the course of many to ban or in some way curtail direct-to-consumer drug ads by pharmaceutical companies. The latest effort focuses on drug price transparency in ads. Will it succeed where the other efforts have failed?

  • Counter Detailing Offers Redemption But Little Hope of Success

    12/06/2017 Duração: 04min

    Do you hate your job in pharma? Perhaps, like a friend of mine, your position got eliminated after many years of loyal service. But it may be a blessing in disguise if the behavior of Big Pharma is more and more at odds with your personal values. If so, you have options for cleansing your soul.

  • Patient Centricity & Pharma’s Reputation

    01/06/2017 Duração: 03min

    Patient Centricity used to be a buzzword in that it was often mentioned but seldom practiced by pharma companies. A lot of progress has been made in the past years to achieve patient centricity, but not all drug companies have had much success. Unfortunately, that has had a negative impact on the industry’s reputation

  • The Two Faces of FDA Regarding the Opioid Epidemic

    25/05/2017 Duração: 03min

    The #FDA has a lot of hurdles to overcome in its effort to stem the #opioid crisis it helped to create. And it doesn’t help that Trump’s proposed Medicaid cuts will negatively impact funding for drug rehab treatment.

  • The Coming Digital Transformation of Pharma Marketing

    18/05/2017 Duração: 07min

    Many pharmaceutical companies are operating well-established business processes that are not optimized for the digital era. This is leading to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Arno Sosna, General Manager of Commercial Products at Veeva , describes efforts that are underway to overcome these inefficiencies and improve communications with physicians.

  • Big Pharma Struggles to Distance Itself from “Price Gouging” Small Pharma

    12/05/2017 Duração: 04min

    The drug industry is reeling from criticism about drug prices coming from all sides and especially from the president of the United States. First it tried public relations and CEO speaking tours. When that didn’t work it took more drastic actions

  • The Benefits and Risks of Limiting Pharma Sales Rep Access to Physicians

    04/05/2017 Duração: 06min

    Pharmaceutical sales representatives are faced with increasingly limited access to physicians as many academic medical centers and other healthcare centers adopt conflict of interest policies restricting detailing. This is another benefit versus risk challenge for physicians who need quick access to the latest information about novel drugs.

  • The Digital Gap Between Pharma and Other Industries

    28/04/2017 Duração: 02min

    Brain Fox, Senior Partner at McKinsey, talks about how the pharma industry lags other industries in its investment in digital technology and in testing the effectiveness of its digital marketing campaigns.

  • The Internet of Things -> Better Health Outcomes -> Better Adherence -> More Profits

    24/04/2017 Duração: 02min

    While attending an eyeforpharma Philadelphia conference, Pharmaguy interviewed Jeff Usewick, Director for Healthcare Business Development at SoftServe, about how the drug industry should focus on using Internet of Things technology to improve health outcomes. Better adherence and profits will then follow.

  • Why I March For Science

    21/04/2017 Duração: 02min

    This is the speech I intend to make at the March for Science in Doylestown PA on April 22, 2017.

  • Drug Approval Speed Versus Drug Safety

    18/04/2017 Duração: 03min

    More user fees paid to the FDA by the drug industry and the push for less rigorous scientific proof in clinical trials may lead to faster drug approvals, but also more deaths due to side effects. Where’s the balance between speed and safety?

  • “Patient Centricity” Finally Pays Off for Pharma

    11/04/2017 Duração: 03min

    “Patient Centricity” is finally paying off for drug companies in a BIG way, but it has nothing to do with designing more effective clinical trials or better marketing. It has everything to do with influencing lawmakers and especially the FDA.

  • Gottlieb's Views on Drug Safety Versus Speed to Market

    06/04/2017 Duração: 03min

    Where’s the balance between drug safety and speeding up clinical trials to bring drugs to market faster? That was a major issue underscoring the testimony of Dr. Scott Gottlieb, president Trump’s nominee to head the FDA, before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

  • Warren Goes After Gottlieb Regarding Drug Safety

    06/04/2017 Duração: 04min

    Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts challenged Dr. Scott Gottlieb about his views of FDA's drug review process at Gottlieb's April 5, 2017, confirmation hearing before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, & Pensions.

  • Dr. Gottlieb's Comments on Opioid Epidemic

    05/04/2017 Duração: 08min

    At his April 5, 2017, Senate Hearing, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, President Trump's nominee for FDA Commissioner, answered questions about the opioid epidemic by Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Michael Bennet, and Sen. Al Franken.

  • Making Sense of DTC Ad Spending: Patients vs TV vs Digital

    04/04/2017 Duração: 06min

    Data about how much money the U.S. pharmaceutical industry spends on promoting drugs to consumers come from several sources, which often report different numbers. That makes it difficult to ferret out what portion of the total is spend on TV and digital, the two most interesting channels.