Lisa Banket
Cofounding Partner/Publisher
Taren Grom
Cofounding Partner/Editor-in-Chief
Heather Hummel
Project Coordinator
Dan Limbach
Producer, Webcast Network
Denise Myshko
Managing Editor
Kim Ribbink
Features Editor
Robin Robinson
Senior Editor
Marah Walsh
Cofounding Partner/New Business Development

PharmaVOICE Editors' Blog

Thursday, August 29, 2013

How to Have a Monster Fourth Quarter

Will your Q4 be like this...

Be victorious in 2014 - life sciences

Or like this?

print and online marketing

With the third quarter winding down, we're nearly into the most important quarter. It's where you miss or make your numbers. Maybe crush your numbers. It's where you earn your bonus. It affects promotions and staffing decisions. Time is finite. You only get so many chances before the year is over and the bean counters tell everyone how you did. Your boss is eagerly waiting for these results.

Perhaps just as important, Q4 is a time for planning for next year. Maybe 2013 was a struggle. Maybe the company had a flat year, or only slight growth. Planning for next year is the first step toward crushing it in 2014.

Tell the world what your company is all about. Showcase the geniuses inside your firm. Don't just pitch. Provide useful, educational information. Demonstrate your expertise. Open the vault of knowledge. Establish industry credibility, your most valuable asset.

That one perfect lead can make your year. Add to your list of prospects now, and develop lasting relationships that will bear fruit over the months ahead. Sales don't happen overnight. Prospects can sense fear and uncertainty. Don't be fearful or uncertain. If you don't move with confidence and authority now, you are only delaying the process further. Are you up for it?

Don't settle for good enough. Don't let up and coast. End the year on a high note. Be memorable.

How do you get started? Ask yourself some honest questions.
  • Do our prospects really know who we are and what we do?
  • Do we have a strong funnel of prospects and a restocking plan for new ones?
  • Are we using our marketing resources wisely and efficiently?
  • Is our marketing portfolio diversified across multiple channels or do we bet on just a couple big things?
  • Are we accelerating or taking our foot off the pedal?
  • Have we done everything within our control to finish the year strong?
  • Do we have a strong marketing plan in place for 2014?
What's stopping you? 

Budget? Get creative. Shake things up. Move money from unproductive sinkhole projects into things that move the needle.

Staff? Find a hungry intern who can't wait to prove herself. Give an employee a new project that takes him just beyond his comfort zone. Find an outside resource who can come in, do great work, and get out.

Lack of Executive Support? Show them you've got game. Challenge the C-suite to look at new ideas. Bring passion and intensity to your activities. They want to support your work, but only if they truly believe you will see it through to a successful outcome. Make believers out of them.

Stop making excuses, and start making a difference.

Here's the pitchy part...Click away now if it's not your thing.

Let us help you. We'll be a coach and a teammate to help you surge to victory in the remaining months of 2013, and prepare for a fast start in 2014. Our playbook is chock full of ideas, strategies, and tactics designed for winning in the life science industry: pharma, biotech, and medical devices. From print advertising and editorial coverage, to digital marketing campaigns and social media exposure, we can help you be victorious. Tap into our massive fan base (subscribers/followers/connections). Many of them are your future clients. What are you waiting for?

For print marketing coaching, contact Lisa Banket at
For online/digital bizdev coaching, contact Marah Walsh at

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Miley Cyrus Will Not Likely Be a Pharma Spokesperson

Celebrity Spokesperson Not
Could she be a future pharma endorser?
Sometimes a celebrity as a potential spokesperson for a product or a cause is a no-brainer.

  • William Shatner for Priceline. Nailed it.
  • LeBron James for Nike. Of course.
  • Angelina Jolie for Louis Vuitton. Absolutely.

Michael J. Fox is clearly a magnificent spokesperson for Parkinson's Disease, as are many celebrities for other important causes.

While we see lots of celebrities jump onto causes and endorse organizations, rarely do we see a celebrity endorse a specific drug or other regulated product. Is it because using a compensated spokesperson can backfire, as Paula Dean did for Novo Nordisk's diabetes drug, Victoza?

Celebrities hold sway over their legions of fans. But is this influence worth it if the celebrity goes off the rails and becomes a liability? Endorsements seem to work best for pop culture products and lifestyle brands, where celebrity blowouts can be dealt with and the damage can be mitigated. But there are clearly industries where it doesn't work. Pharma is probably one of those industries.

This is almost certainly a good thing. Should I really ask my doctor to prescribe a drug just because a pro athlete or entertainer is paid to speak highly of it? Maybe it is better for celebrities to stick to hawking beer and sports drinks and underwear and luxury items, and stay away from regulated products.

Maybe it comes down to authenticity. Do we really believe celebrities use all the products they endorse? Not really. We take it with a grain of salt. We can't afford, however, to get caught up in potentially disingenuous celebrity endorsements when it comes to our health.

What are your thoughts on celebrities endorsing prescription products? Can these arrangements work? If so, which celebrities would you match with specific products? If not, why not? Leave a comment.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kim Ramko, EY: 2013 PharmaVOICE 100

Kim Ramko EY
Kim Ramko, EY
Despite admonition from her parents to never own her own business, Kim Ramko, Americas Advisory Life Sciences Sector Lead, is an entrepreneur through and through. But where her parents managed a small, rural construction company, Kim builds global innovative businesses within the support structure of large firms. And while she may have inherited the entrepreneurial gene, she’s grown into an “intrapreneur,” building lines of business for some of the largest companies in the world.

Kim has always been diligent and driven. As high school valedictorian, she earned a full scholarship — she was the first in her family to even go to college. Kim majored in Computer Information Science, and she was so eager to jump into the working world that she finished college in just three years. Starting as a senior consultant, Kim stayed with KPMG for 10 years, making partner at 30 — at the time, the youngest partner in KPMG Consulting history.

Of her fast rise, Kim says, “It’s all about timing. I was the lead senior manager on a few big deals during a time when our practices were in a significant growth mode,” which helped accelerate her career.

People often think that making partner is the apex of a career — the highest height they can reach. But that’s merely the beginning and that’s just what it was for Kim. After KPMG spun off its consulting arm to BearingPoint, Kim moved on to Unisys to lead their Business Intelligence group, and later moved to CSC (Computer Sciences Corporation) to run a vertical business at the global level.

Through each of these career moves, Kim gained broad exposure to various parts of the industry, all while maintaining the common thread of innovative entrepreneurship at each of post. These collective experiences paved the way to her current post at EY. Since her appointment two years ago, Kim has quadrupled the size of the practice, with continued double digit growth rates.  However, these numbers do not capture the true impact she has had on the organization and the industry.

Collaboration has become a buzz word of sorts, but in Kim’s case, it is not simply a catch phrase.  She embraces the concept when it comes to finding solutions to the toughest challenges facing her clients. In one recent example, Kim dedicated much time to developing a unique solution for the chain of custody for drugs. Rather than limiting her insights to those within EY, Kim took the extra step of sharing them with leaders at other firms, putting the goal of finding a strong solution ahead of proprietary concerns. Kim is also a powerful advocate for women looking to advance in the industry. She recently had a role on an EY women’s advisory board, where she helped organize an 18-city road show talking to women at a local level about the issues involved in succeeding as an executive.

For the last 20 years, Kim has been building organizations from the ground up, helping organizations develop sustainable business models, collaborate effectively with non-traditional partners and demonstrate the value of their products to payers. She is a true change agent and is paving the way for life sciences companies to bring the next great lifesaving medicines to society.

Learn more about Kim through her PharmaVOICE 100 feature in the latest issue of PharmaVOICE.

To learn more about EY, visit

Check out the other 99 PharmaVOICE 100 honorees in the digital edition of the issue.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Disruptive Technology: Creating Opportunity

Exco InTouch

by Tim Davis, CEO and co-founder of Exco InTouch

I’m often asked: what’s the best way to ensure our staff have the vision to keep Exco InTouch one step ahead of the competition? My answer is very simple: give people the freedom to express themselves and innovate.

Businesses really need to invest in their people in this way. Everyone who works for Exco InTouch is a bit of a geek; what we like to do in our spare time – as well as when we’re at work – is to investigate new technology. Our staff are constantly looking at what’s out there and bringing new ideas and innovations back into the office with them. They also have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by our customers. This, coupled with an expertise in current technology, allows Exco InTouch to continually solve problems with new ideas and technologies. Innovative ideas can be sparked anywhere; they’re as likely to happen in the kitchen making coffee as in any board meeting.

Disruptive technology is an odd phrase, which, at first glance, might seem to have rather negative connotations. However, the opposite is in fact true. With disruptive technology comes opportunity. At Exco InTouch we use our innovative ideas to create disruptive technology for the pharmaceutical sector to create a step-change in both the industry, and for those people using the technology.
Mobile internet is the very essence of disruptive technology in that it has come along and changed the way individuals act and behave. It has given individuals, even those in remote areas, access to information that they previously had no hope of being exposed to. The advances enabled in developing countries, such as health test reporting and gathering data on water salinization, are astounding.

In my opinion, a company should always be looking to identify the next disruptive technology and have the agility to adapt their services or products to introduce and exploit it. This is what we’ve done with mobile devices and mobile access to the internet at Exco InTouch. Be the leader, not the follower. There is a great skill in identifying the right disruptive technology, but picking a winner can reap great benefits. After all, any successful business is continually innovating and finding ways to be the best.

To find out more about how Exco InTouch is helping achieve better outcomes for healthcare programs through technological innovation, visit our blog page our view some of our case studies here .

About the Author:
Tim Davis is CEO and co-founder of Exco InTouch, the leading provider of mobile and digital patient engagement solutions to support the Clinical, Late Phase and mHealth industry. Having working in the clinical research technology industry for over 17 years, Tim is passionate about leveraging everyday technology to simplify the process of clinical data capture, both for the pharmaceutical industry and for the patients themselves. As a subject matter expert in the clinical technology arena Tim was recently recognized as one of the PharmaVOICE 100 for his vision in utilizing mobile technology to engage patients throughout the clinical trial and healthcare process.

Monday, August 19, 2013

What's Your Hidden Talent?

What is your hidden talent?
Can you do this?
There are some extremely talented people in this year's PharmaVOICE 100. Some talents are practical, while others are more for entertainment.

Here is a list of a few of their hidden talents.

  • Johnny Cash imitation
  • Dutch oven baking
  • Ear wriggling
  • Pairing food and wine
  • Speed knitting
  • Expert dishwasher packing

Check out the talents of the PharmaVOICE 100 here.

What's your hidden talent? Let us know in the comments.

hidden talent

Friday, August 16, 2013

Where Were the PharmaVOICE 100 Born?

Countries of origin
It's a global community

How many countries are responsible for producing this year's PharmaVOICE 100? Click and see for yourself.

Let us know where you were born in the comments.

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Else Would You Be?

Alternate Profession
You've got a nice career going in the life sciences. It's rewarding, challenging, at times overwhelming, and it pays the bills. It's a great time to be in the industry, and it's extremely important work.

What if your job ceased to exist? What if you could choose another profession? We asked the 2013 PharmaVOICE 100 honorees what they would like to be if they had to choose an alternative profession. The results were quite diverse, ranging from astrophysicist to travel blogger.

What if you could change professions? What would you choose? Let us know in the comments.

See what the PharmaVOICE 100 said at

Friday, August 9, 2013

Cloak of Invisibility

What would you do if invisible
What if you had a cloak of invisibility?
If you could blend in with your surroundings, what would you like to do? We asked the PharmaVOICE 100 folks how they would use a cloakl of invisibility, now, or in the past. We received some very interesting answers. What would you do if you could be invisible? Leave your ideas in the comments.

Check out the responses we received from the 2013 honorees at

Can the Crowd Reinvent Pharma?

drug discovery and development potential
Is Crowdsourcing Viable for Pharma
How did Wikipedia put encyclopedia companies out of business? How did Netflix improve its recommendations to users? Why does Linux dominate web server operating systems? How did amateurs stomp the predictions of geological experts in gold mining speculation? Is there intelligent life in outer space? These are all examples of crowdsourcing, albeit in different flavors.

Can thousands of people solve problems faster and cheaper than a team of bona-fide experts? That is the promise of crowdsourcing.

There is no single magic formula for crowdsourcing success. Here is one common method.
1)      Define the problem
2)      Ask people for solutions
3)      Share all available data (often huge amounts of data)
4)      Examine the submissions
5)      Award the prize(s)
6)      Implement the solution(s)

Can crowdsourcing work for pharma and help improve adherence, patient care programs, and general health and wellness initiatives? According to Duncan Arbour at inVentiv Health and Innovation, we'll find out soon. Check out his article The Sense and Sensibility of Patient Crowdsourcing.

Can crowdsourcing uncover a future blockbuster or help find a cure for a serious disease?

Let’s hear your ideas in the comments.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Pharmacovigilance in a Box

Improving pharmacovigilance decision making
While pharmacovigilance depends extensively on human sources for information input and processing of data, the growing volume of data and evolving regulations necessitates robust technology enabled process execution to manage the myriad of risks. This white paper covers the agile processes and robust technologies needed to provide vital scientific insights, process visibility and key trends for leaders to make real-time and proactive decisions.

Download White Paper

white paper

Monday, August 5, 2013

PharmaVOICE 100: Interesting First Jobs

PV100 first jobs
First Jobs of the PV100
We thought it would be fun to know how these highly successful executives earned their first paychecks. As it turns out, many of them got their start in business by mowing lawns and delivering papers. Some of them had very unique jobs. One of them even worked as a clown.

16% of the PV100 started out in the same industry. Can you guess which industry it is?

Check out the first jobs of 25 of the PharmaVOICE 100.

What was your first job? Let us know in the comments section below.

PharmaVOICE 100
First Jobs

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Announcing the 2013 PharmaVOICE 100

It's that time of year again, when we unveil the PharmaVOICE 100 issue — the feel good issue of the year. We are very excited to once again profile the women and men who are truly making a difference throughout the industry as well as to their companies, their peers, and patients.

Through the many wonderful submissions we received during the year as well as the in-depth conversations and interactions we had with the PV 100 themselves, our goal was  to build profiles that let the PV 100's personalities shine as well as detail their many, many accomplishments.

This year, as in years past, we are showcasing a diverse range of individuals representing all facets of the life-sciences industry, who we hope you enjoy getting to know. We encourage you to connect with them via Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, etc. You can find their social media (or medium) of choice at the bottom of each profile box embedded in their individual write ups. We've also called out a couple special links, such as those found in Jamie Heywood, Susan Grant, and Dr. Zubin Damania's profiles, where you can find info related to some special videos and documentaries.

New this year are some fun facts about our honorees. We asked them a series of light-hearted questions ranging from what their favorite apps are to what's on their reading lists to what their hidden talents are — stuff that makes them uniquely them. We had some fantastic responses. Did you know DJ Mitsch, president of the Pyramid Resource Group, can still twirl flaming batons? (Neither did I.) Or that PwC's Ann Mohamadi wants to write a book and would be a great talk show host? (She has a story to tell and those who know Ann won't be surprised.) Or that Darik Volpa, CEO and founder of, gives back to the Navy SEAL Foundation? (Very inspiring.)  Or that Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institutes of Health, plays a mean guitar and zither? (Check him out on YouTube-amazing.) As you make your way through the 100 profiles, which are grouped in nine different categories (just to make the issue easier to navigate), read more of these great insider tidbits that we uncovered about our honorees.

As always, we want to thank the thousands of PharmaVOICE readers and fans who took the time to submit the thoughtful and creative nominations that our selection team used to compile this year's list of the most inspiring and motivational people in the industry. We also want to thank all of our advertisers who support this issue, for without them, truly where would we be?

And just wait to see what we have in store for our 10th Anniversary! It's going to be great. Stay tuned for more details… Finally, I hope you enjoy getting to know these 100 folks as much as we — myself and the entire PharmaVOICE family — did. We think they are pretty special, we hope you do too. And don't forget to send your feedback to me at