Dec 022014

The decision by The BMJ to further try to enforce its separation from industry is somewhat at odds with the essentially wholly private sector leadership of pharmaceutical R&D.  The lay perception of the #BMJ might be of a respected medical journal, but in fact it’s a USD120m+ revenue international publishing enterprise with 50+ journals. While potential conflicts of interest are important to consider, assess and account for, to assume that industry connectedness is entirely or even somewhat negative is shortsighted and destructive given the increased complexity of R&D. And The BMJ is part of that same health care industry, happily profiting off its back. To put in place yet more barriers to prevent leading investigators articulating the clinical meaningfulness of their trials is surely counter productive. As they address diseases ever more specifically and in ever smaller more segmented patient cohorts, it seems folly to try to stymie the debate that should ensue from these trials’ findings. The BMJ seems to have overlooked the fact of the multi million dollar business that it has become, that open access is increasingly democratising science, that peer review should be about what you’ve done not who you are, and that Impact Factors aren’t perhaps what they once were.

Mar 242013

Just came across this piece from a few months ago. Still, a perennial question remains about how to extract value from networks. Beyond the veil of security offered to clients from the array of dots on a map, which is nothing more than a virtue of scale, what really is there in terms of value-add? Given the realities of network members, namely…

  • the unique market parameters within which any given business unit works
  • the market-centric nature of the P&L
  • no apportioned P&L reflection of cross-market collaboration
  • few tangible rewards for individuals driving value growth beyond their profit centre,

what us there in reality to motivate networks – and their key business drivers – to leverage their collective potential. Surely agency roles should exist to disrupt this shortsightedness and focus on extracting bottom-line benefits accruing from collaborative drivers. Quite aside from the bottom line benefits, which should be motivating enough to mandate this approach, without adding some tangible nature to the nebulous concept of ‘the agency network’, in reality what evidence is there to help the client visualise the value?