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A proof that President Biden is receiving instructions from Big Pharma
In July 2022, President Joe Biden posted a message on Twitter that stated:
“Paxlovid is a game-changer in our fight against BA.5. Doc prescribed it to me when I was COVID-positive.
The drug reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by about 90% - and you can access these pills for free at tens of thousands of local drug stores across the country.”
- President Biden 28 July 2022
In this chapter of PharmaFiles, I will reveal why this is a finely crafted Big Pharma message.
The first thing you need to know when we sell any drugs is that it falls into the “Magic Triangle”. The Magic Triangle has three dimensions:
Convenience (sometimes together with Cost).
The Magic Triangle looks like this.
EFFICACY means how well the drug works to produce the desired effect. For example, it cures the disease, reduces transmission, reduces hospitalizations, or reduces deaths)
SAFETY is self-explanatory. It simply means the level of side effects the drug produces.
CONVENIENCE means how convenient it is for the patient to acquire the drug. For example, will it be an "injection", which is somewhat inconvenient because you need to visit a healthcare professional to get it? Is it through Intravenous Line (IV), which is highly inconvenient because you must visit a healthcare office with a particular facility? Or is this a once-a-day pill that is highly convenient?
The Magic Triangle is usually a TRILEMMA.
You can never get all three sides on the positive. The more efficacious a drug is, usually the more side effects it comes with. For example, chemotherapy kills cancer cells but destroys your immune system.
A safer drug like Tylenol takes away your pain but causes long-term damage to your liver. You won't feel it immediately, but if you take it frequently over many years, you'd wonder why your liver stopped working when you reached 50!
Of course, when they release an experimental drug, all three sides can be negative, too, because the risk-reward is not thoroughly tested.
When we market a drug, we first need to determine which side of the Magic Triangle to fight on (the positive side). For example, if the safety profile is not good, you will market the drug on the efficacy and convenience dimension. All the marketing key messages will be developed and then focus on Efficacy and Convenience. You then send the Key messages to all your reps, doctors and media to create the narrative.
With this in mind, let us look at the Key Message from Mr Biden. On the highlighted text, "The drug reduces the risk of hospitalization and death by about 90%". This is an Efficacy Key Message.
Then, in the following line, he writes, “and you can access these pills for free at tens of thousands of local drug stores around the country”. This is the Cost/Convenience Key Message!
As someone in Pharma, I know that the weakest link of the triangle is Safety because he did not mention it. So why did they avoid the Safety Key Message?
Because a phase 3 trial that evaluates Safety usually takes 2-5 years to complete, they need the safety data!
But all they have is the efficacy/convenience angle.
Of course, they can outright lie by saying it is “Safe and Effective”.
Anyway, what about the first line where he writes, “Paxlovid in a game changer in our fight against BA.5. Doc prescribed it to me when I was COVID positive.”
Do you think Mr Biden, with his excellent intellect, came out with this phrase?
Let me know present to you the Magic Ladder of creating Narratives. This is a REAL training slide they use in one of the Big Pharma - I had to retract some bits because it had the brand name.
The Magic Ladder trains the Pharma Marketing personnel on creating Narratives for any Drug. For example, we can’t sell drugs by simply highlighting Product Attributes because that is terrible marketing!
This is how the Magic Ladder works. At the bottom of the ladder, it starts with Product Attributes. What are Product Attributes? Product Attributes describe how the product works. For example, you have to inject twice a week.
If you take one step up the ladder, you get the Functional Benefits. Functional benefits talk about the benefits of the drug. For example, it will kill the virus).
But the Magic happens at the top of the ladder; we call it the “Emotional/Self Expressive Benefits”!
Psychologically this is where you trigger someone to get the injection!
Of course, again, I simplify it a lot here!
If you like to see how we illicit emotional response, here is a Pharma Marketing Training video!