Tag Archives: Pharmaplasia

You can ignore but you can not hide from Change in Pharma

A few years ago, contrary to the recommendations in Pharmaplasia and in the face of an industry-wide “patent cliff” and a rapidly changing healthcare market, the Pharma industry went on a binge of mega-mergers and multi-billion dollar acquisitions.  The book Pharmaplasia had identified large organizational size as not only challenging but as a liability in the evolving new healthcare market.  But “Big Pharma” wanted to get “Bigger” and it took years for Pharma to appreciate the need for change that had been recommended in Pharmaplasia“eliminate facilities, people, and support systems that no longer have a role in the evolving new healthcare market.”   Now, more recently, we have seen unprecedented downsizings, including elimination of facilities and people in massive restructurings at some Big Pharma.

Sure,  change can take time, especially in large public corporations.  The status quo and doing “what we have always done” is easier but it merely delays the inevitable and can give current frontline employees a false sense of accomplishment and security.

There are over 20 specific recommendations for change in Pharmaplasia that could accelerate a positive evolution for Pharma.  If these recommendations are being ignored by your company for now, it may be just a matter of time before you are affected?

With the information and recommendations in Pharmaplasia you can determine how the changing Pharma business model will affect you in this evolving new healthcare market.  Better yet, Pharmaplasia can help you determine how to  align yourself with these changes so you can participate in these positive changes and not be caught off guard by the inevitable.  mike@pharmareform.com

Price war over Pharmaplasia™ at Amazon.com

As a first time author and publisher it’s been an interesting road from drafting, writing, and editing to finally publishing Pharmaplasia™.  Fortunately I had some fantastic professional help putting it all together.

My intent was to call out the historical missteps of the pharmaceutical industry, provide some deeper organizational and business insight (rather than superficial sensationalized hype) as to why they happened, and identify a better path forward for pharmaceutical companies, especially in light of the evolving new healthcare market.   After a year and a half of grueling long hours of writing and editing I was told the work really begins after you have your book written and published.   I was stunned but can now tell you they were absolutely correct.  Marketing and selling books  is challenging and time consuming.

Recently,  a customer who was interested in purchasing a bulk supply for their pharmaceutical company alerted me to the fact that my book cost $49.99 on Amazon.  At the time I only had the Kindle e-book version available on Amazon for $9.99,  so I was totally confused.

So I searched Amazon.com and to my surprise, in addition to my Kindle version,  Pharmaplasia™ was listed as a “Collectable” (presumably because it was a signed paperback copy) and it was (and as of today,  still is) priced at $49.99.  Anybody who wants a signed paperback copy can send me a check for $49.99 and I’ll be happy to send you a signed paperback copy.

So last week I put the paperback copy up for sale at Amazon for $19.95 (plus shipping and handling) and unintentionally started a price war with my own book.  Within days, somebody decided to offer “new”, “never opened” paperback copies for $19.90.  This is really interesting because I have the inventory in my house except for those that I have sold (mostly through my website) or provided for review purposes or to friends and family.

So you don’t have to spend $49.   Pharmaplasia™  only costs $19.95 (plus shipping and handling) for the paperback and $24.95 (plus shipping and handling) for the hardcover.  Both are available by clicking on the Buy Now button to the right on this website.  The paperback and Kindle version are also available at Amazon.com.  And for those interested in discount pricing for bulk purchases for your group or company, please shoot me a note mike@pharmareform.com and I’d be happy to work with you on pricing and delivery.


Journal of Medical Marketing Publishes Review of Pharmaplasia™


The Journal of Medical Marketing (January 2011) has published an extensive (2+ pages), informative review of Pharmaplasia™, which is now available online.   The author concludes his review :

“As I closed the book for a second time, I felt like I’d had a friendly and useful conversation with an eloquent, intelligent and very experienced man who cared about pharma and had some useful things to say.  I’d have been mistaken to expect his book to give all the answers to the challenges faced by the industry, but if I’d hoped for a more modest but still worthwhile contribution to a complex debate, I’d have felt my time reading the book to be well spent.”

Brian D. Smith   Journal of Medical Marketing (2011) 11, 90 – 92. doi: 10.1057/jmm.2010.33

The Journal of Medical Marketing currently has a free trial so you can freely view the pdf file.


The Reality of Pharmaceutical Industry Predictions is Coming True

The commentary and highlights of pharmaceutical industry challenges noted in Duff Wilson’s article “Patent Woes Threaten Drug Firms” in The New York Times (3/6/2011) and the Morgan Stanley report “An Avalanche of Risk? Downgrading to Cautious” come as no surprise if you have read the book Pharmaplasia.  This disconcerting pharmaceutical industry situation has been decades in the making and unfortunately, will take decades to turn around.

Those looking for or postulating near-term quick fixes from strategic restructurings, mega-mergers, technology acquisitions, or breakthrough serendipitous discoveries to resolve the industry dysfunction will be sadly disappointed.  As described in Pharmaplasia™, the problems in the pharmaceutical industry are deep rooted and involve more than just a lack of  R & D productivity.

Sure there are going to be the occasional successful new product introductions that give us hope that the industry is recovering but even those introductions will have been the result of decades of development work and there will be too few to really make a significant impact on restoring healthy consistent revenue growth for the industry.  For the pharmaceutical industry there are no quick fixes and it could take decades for the impact of the multitude of strategic efforts today to really begin delivering the types of financial results expected from the magnitude of investment being made by the industry.

In addition to fixing R & D, the pharmaceutical industry business model must become more efficient (increase operational productivity and reduce waste), must be more responsive to healthcare market needs, and must replace traditional sales and marketing tactics with healthcare market embraced programs.  Success will depend on competent leadership that is more interested in satisfying evolving new healthcare provider needs and patient well-being than “driving revenues”, satisfying Wall Street, and building personal financial wealth.

In the end, a more prosperous future for the pharmaceutical industry will come from discovering and developing truly innovative new treatments that provide clinically meaningful benefits over currently available therapeutic alternatives.  This will take a major change in R&D philosophy with a much more comprehensive basic sciences approach to finding preventions, treatments, and cures for diseases rather than relying on historical “tweaking of chemistry” and “trial and error” approaches of matching compounds with postulated disease targets.   mike@pharmareform.com

Pharmaceutical Representative Magazine Publishes Review of Pharmaplasia™

Pam Marinko, cofounder of the Atlanta Medical and Pharmaceutical Representative Association and a member of Pharmaceutical Representative ‘s advisory board gives Pharmaplasia™ 4 of 5 stars in her review in the December 2010 issue of Pharmaceutical Representative Magazine.

“Having been in Pharma most of my professional career, I appreciate the author’s perspective and fact-referenced historical account of pivotal events.  Even though I don’t agree with some of the conclusions, they could stimulate some great conversations.”

Pam Marinko, Pharmaceutical Representative Magazine, December 2010


How to Affect Change with the help of Pharmaplasia™

I really appreciate all of you PharmaReform readers who have purchased Pharmaplasia™.  Thank you.

I’m sure many of you realize how hard and seemingly impossible it is at times to affect the magnitude of change we have been talking about for over a year now at Pharma Reform and as described in Pharmaplasia™.  This is especially true in large organizations where the changes have dramatic financial implications for the company, puts careers and the livelihood of so many people at risk, and that are clouded by uncertainty at every step of the transformation.  Yet a more prosperous pharmaceutical industry for the future will require dramatic change.   Some people won’t want to change while others will just complain that things must change but they’ll feel helpless in being able to affect the change.

As a reader of Pharma Reform you have probably even thought, “this is all well and good Mike but… how do I get my management and corporate executives to start thinking differently about these issues and the need to formulate plans that make sense for the evolving new healthcare market?”

For those still contemplating the purchase of Pharmaplasia™, I am certain that as readers of Pharma Reform you would relate to the suggestions and recommendations proposed in Pharmaplasia™ but more importantly, you’ll be well informed and inspired with confidence to begin making your case for change where you feel you can have an impact.  But, how do you do that without sounding like a “whiner” or feeling like the “lone soldier?”

OK.  Here is a self serving but low risk strategy to help you at least get your management to start thinking about what this evolving new healthcare market really means to your company and what they can be doing about it.  If you have already bought a copy of Pharmaplasia™ and read it, this is going to be easy.  If you haven’t bought and read Pharmaplasia™, that’s the first step. Buy a copy and read it.  Wait…I’m not done yet.  Hang on.  This is not just about selling more books, although that would be nice.

If you agree that your company could benefit by at least exploring some of the suggestions and  recommendations in Pharmaplasia™ or  from just talking about the issues, pass the book on to your manager (or somebody else who you feel could help make a difference) with the simple recommendation that Pharmaplasia™ presents some interesting perspectives that are worth reading about.  That’s a pretty benign, low risk commentary and referral.  Then follow up to see what they thought about it and see if they think it’s worth discussing further or doing something about.

If nothing else, Pharmaplasia™ gives you a great opportunity to instigate thinking about the future (rather than day to day activities) and have a non-judgmental discussion around specific issues that might pertain to your company, to better understand your management’s thinking and to explore their strategic rationale.  If you can get the book back from them, you can then pass it along to another person who could help make a difference.

OK.  If you keep passing it around like this I might not sell as many books but that’s not the point.  Neither is agreeing with everything in the book.  The point is to stimulate thinking about your company in the context of the evolving new healthcare market and encourage discussion (not complaining).  Perhaps you will identify some areas where you can take easy first steps to make a change for the better or perhaps even get to the point where it makes sense to “Invite Mike to Speak.”

So. You can remain frustrated, complain all you want, and see what happens or you can make this small effort to contribute to change and maybe you’ll be surprised by the initial impact you can have, even in a large organization.


Pharmaplasia™ reviewed in the context of Pharma Issues and Challenges

A review of Pharmaplasia™ was recently published as commentary to a discussion about well publicized issues and challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry noting:

“How did we come to this, and is there hope that these companies will behave differently moving forward.  That is the subject and basis for the book Pharmaplasia written by Michael Wokasch.  The book does a very good job of describing the history of the pharma industry, with emphasis on the past 20 years and the conditions under which the companies chose to pursue marketing tactics with such questionable ethics.”

“All these topics are well covered and discussed in ‘Pharmaplasia’.  For those interested or involved in the industry, it is an important book to read, and I’m very glad I did.”

Ralph Casale

The Motley Fool CAPS blog



PharmaReform is no substitute for Reading Pharmaplasia™

As a reader of PharmaReform.com are you wondering why you should read Pharmaplasia™?

If you have found PharmaReform  helpful and informative you may want to consider reading Pharmaplasia™.    It  is a perfect compliment to the discussions we have at PharmReform.

Unlike most books about the pharmaceutical industry that take a sensationalized, exposé approach,  in Pharmaplasia™ I try to arm you with the background and information necessary to help you facilitate a change for a better future.  You will not find this insider’s perspective, analysis,  or assimilation of  recommendations anywhere else on the web or in any other books written about the industry.   Pharmaplasia™ provides  specific practical solutions to  many of the the major issues the industry is now facing,  from the implications of healthcare reform to marketing and sales challenges, diminished R & D productivity, and the loss of public trust.

The philosophical perspectives behind Pharmaplasia™ and PharmaReform.com are consistent but the book provides much more depth and important details about the root causes of the industry’s dysfunction (like me,  you may think you know what these are, but I didn’t), explains why it happened, and answers tough questions many people (especially executives) in the industry are afraid to address openly.  Without the background and context provided by the book,  even the recommendations for changes discussed at PharmaReform can seem random and perhaps even idealistic.

For those who still have questions, I invite you to check out the revised Pharmaplasia™ page or shoot me an e-mail. I’d love to hear from you.

Enjoy the read.


Protecting your Career and Financial Security from Healthcare Market Changes

I don’t know about you but it really bothers me that there are now tens of thousands of ex-pharmaceutical industry employees out of a job.  What really bothers me is that the current state of pharmaceutical industry dysfunction should have never happened and didn’t have to happen in the first place.

Warning: This post is intended to be a genuine offer of help to people who work in or for the pharmaceutical industry through an invitation to purchase Pharmaplasia™.

Are you wondering about the future of the pharmaceutical industry and whether your company is making the right strategic choices to succeed in the evolving new healthcare market?  Do you have the insight and “know-how” to exploit the changing environment to your advantage? Or, are you wondering if the pharmaceutical industry is still the place for you to advance your career, fulfill your professional aspirations, make a living, and support your family?  Are you wondering how long this will last… for you?

As in any dramatically changing market environment (think typewriter manufacturers and sales people in light of the personal computer) you want to stay ahead of the changes so you don’t find yourself with outdated thinking, products with no market, or obsolete skills.

Pharmaplasia™ can help you understand and plan for the changes taking place.  It will help you broaden your perspective, challenge your biases, and give you a context to frame your own conclusions.  And even if you don’t agree with all the findings, Pharmaplasia™ will force you to think through your current situation and its viability in the evolving new healthcare market.

If you work in or for the pharmaceutical industry, understanding the impact of the changing healthcare market and the implications for you personally are critical to your career success and financial security.  Pharmaplasia™ describes the impact of healthcare reform at the functional level of a company with specific recommendations for change in leadership, sales and marketing, research, and operations.

Pharmaplasia™ will help you evaluate your personal situation so you can determine what you should be doing to prepare for the changes so you not only have a job but have a professionally satisfying career with financial security in the evolving new healthcare market. You’ll be able to assess your company initiatives against the strategic scenarios and specific recommendations for change to determine for yourself whether or not your company and its leadership understand what lies ahead and are taking the necessary steps to align with the new market expectations.   Using what you learn from Pharmaplasia™, you can also evaluate other companies to see who in the industry seems to be getting it right.  Who has the pipeline products you think will make it in the new marketplace?

No need to leave your career and personal financial security to chance.  Stay in the industry, stay with your current company, or change?  Stay in your current area of expertise and functional responsibility or prepare for a career change? Change to what?

I invite you to order your copy of Pharmaplasia™ so you have the information you need and a context to evaluate and help make informed, rational decisions about the changing healthcare market and the implications for the pharmaceutical industry and more importantly ….. the implications for you.


Pharmaplasia™, Kindle Edition now available at Amazon.com

As word spreads and the popularity of Pharmaplasia increases so do the requests for more format options.  For those who have been waiting for the convenience of an e-book version of Pharmaplasia, it is now available as the Kindle Edition at Amazon.com ($9.99).

For industry insiders, Pharmaplasia provides a nostalgic look back at the changing pharmaceutical industry over the past five decades.  The book is packed with management and leadership lessons learned as industry veteran Mike Wokasch explores the root causes of mistakes and poor decisions that led to diminished trust and credibility and its current state of dysfunction.  With specific recommendations for change, Pharmaplasia answers many of the questions being asked about how pharmaceutical companies can increase R & D productivity; reduce operating expenses without sacrificing profitability, and what they should do to align with the evolving new healthcare market in light of healthcare reform.

Wokasch’s insightful view of the pharmaceutical industry offers some logical explanations for the volatile changes and disappointment in that once proud business sector. As a senior level insider with access to key decision makers, Mike is able to provide both concrete examples and an educated perspective of the pinnacles and pitfalls surrounding this important segment of our economy and lives. This is a must read for both senior level pharma executives and those aspiring to bring back the real value to this once respected industry.Jim Patchen

(book) Came today and I read it straight thru. YES! I can certainly relate to the things you said in there! I just kept saying, how true, how true!C. Karabin

Order your  Kindle Edition of Pharmaplasia at Amazon.com