{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Does anyone else battle their morals for being in pharma? Sure, I have a good job in a fairly stable industry, I'm set. But my brand's in rare, mortality is high, and treatment costs $750k a year...", "post_id": "5bd2f6d0e67b9b00139984cd", "reply_count": 7, "vote_count": 4, "bowl_id": "5ab3ee57f0c8af001310707f", "bowl_name": "Pharma and Health Advertising", "feed_type": "bowl" }

Does anyone else battle their morals for being in pharma? Sure, I have a good job in a fairly stable industry, I'm set. But my brand's in rare, mortality is high, and treatment costs $750k a year...

likefunny
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The ethical dilemma is real. There are many parts of the category that are broken, there are bad people who forget we’re talking about people. Some of the clients simply have no souls.

But there are far more people focused on doing good. And making a living doing it. We all have to look into the mirror and know what kind of person we want to be, and how to go about our business. I focused on teaching, clarifying, and enlightening. Not selling. While some would argue that is semantics, I don’t see it that way. I could never stomach pushing a substandard therapy or a therapy that people just don’t need. When you find yourself doing that, time to step away and reevaluate.

likeuplifting

You happen to be in pharma right in the middle of a transition point. Not too long ago, big pharma didn’t even attempt to solve rare diseases. But now with biotech firms, rare conditions are getting help. And big pharma is struggling to find a way to fund it properly. It won’t be much longer.

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@TRS - good question. 'selling’ something in this area is something that I struggle with. I think that we can all agree that as responsible humans, we want HCPs to write the right product for the right patients, and as a society we have to trust their judgements.

As a marketer, I wanted to make sure that they were crystal clear on how the Rx works and who the consensus right patient was. When working on a brand that has a functional brand advantage, that’s an easy line to take. My job wasn’t to get them to write. My job was to ensure that they had an understanding and appreciation for the Rx. The high road had a great pass-through to the bottom line.

When we’re working with a commoditized product, or something undifferentiated, or worse a subpar product - that’s when my moral center wavered. We’d push the patient support program and justify it with the thought ‘the best drug is the one they will take ‘. To be honest, the high road didn’t work as well. But I slept better. While it’s the job, it just never sat well with me.

likesmart

I'm cynical. I've seen too many companies and clients intentionally downplay serious side effects and dangers and know they're doing it and I find that immoral. We're talking about people's lives here. Ive actually had a client with a black box drug try to say "may cause a fatal occurrence" when the FDA mandated they say "may cause death". I for one have a much easier time with the moral dilemma of touting one soap's strengths over another's

likeuplifting

Pricing strategy is an unsolved hard problem, largely driven by deep systemic infrastructural issues in the healthcare industry and the way access works in the US that generate perverse incentives across the board, and I agree that things are broken broadly speaking and something has to give. But 1. the rack rate isn't the real price paid and 2. there's nothing wrong with rare disease R&D investment per se! Often it's a catalyst that advances the basic science and can power breakthroughs that carry through into other diseases affecting larger populations.

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Ha. I know exactly what drug you work on

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@Vice President 1, how does your method of selling "enlightening, teaching" affect the bottom line?

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