Corrections or additions?
This article by Barbara Fox was prepared for the May 22, 2002 edition of U.S. 1 Newspaper. All rights reserved.
The Works, MultiMedia Central
The Works, a MultiMedia Company, also offers
tools, and it counts Pharmacia and Ortho McNeil among its clients.
Whereas Ann Heckel’s company works on enabling the end user to get
access to the pharmaceutical companies presentation materials, the
Works has web-based management tools to help clients get the
onto the Web.
"We created this application for ourselves," says John
vice president, "and from the interest of our pharmaceutical and
financial clients, we have developed the application, called the Works
Access, as a service." The Franklin Park-based company is a
and design production studio for development of all communication
media — print, Internet, video, CD-ROM, DVD, presentations, trade
shows, and E-training.
With these web-based project management tools, subscribers can use
templates to create online review-based pages of works in progress
and upload any document to their media archive. The library could
have images, movies, sound bites, print layout, speech support slides,
"We provide subscribers with a central location so anything
with the project can be stored there," he says. Those working
on a presentation can collaborate and provide feedback, and all of
the feedback is captured "so you have a paper trail of anyone
who has been involved in the process."
Once all the components are approved, people can create what
calls "finished high end rich media online presentations, all
template driven, like a PowerPoint presentation, viewable on the
He points out that the tool can be used for programs other than
and that it has an assessment section complete with polling and
"Someone who wanted to do a marketing application could get
from the target audience, with multiple choice and true/false
and capture the results."
Fitzgerald is selling the system to end users that could be anybody
— lawyers or accountants, for instance. "Our goal is to build
the best possible system of presentation tools," he says. "We
are also working with another developer who has created a way to
PowerPoint presentations and save PDF documents so a doctor can search
by key word and create a new PowerPoint presentation. It will be a
Place, Franklin Park 08823. John Fitzgerald, vice president, creative
director. 732-422-2559; fax, 732-422-2558. Home page:
Ron Oberleitner tells of the football celebrity whose
autistic brother didn’t communicate until he was 35, but when he was
able to type his thoughts, his first words were, "I am not stupid,
I understand everything." Oberleitner’s nine year old son has
a similar disability; he has autism and lost much of his ability to
Oberleitner’s nine-year-old son must commute to a Cherry Hill school
because there is no room at Eden Institute or Princeton Child
Institute, two prominent Princeton area private schools for those
with autism. "My little buddy gets on a bus for an hour and a
half every morning. It does nothing for his education. It’s where
technology can change things," says Oberleitner.
So after 14 years of marketing medical devices at Pfizer, Oberleitner
has founded a nonprofit organization, Princeton Autism Technology,
so that those affected by autism can link up with such 21st century
resources as chat groups and telemedicine. This move came after going
on a 6,700-mile cross-country cycling campaign to raise awareness
and money for autism research. "I was bicycling with a police
officer, every time he talked about his son, he cried, and he made
me cry. When I got off of the bike trip, it changed my direction,"
he says. "I saw the needs we had for the community.
"Our mission is to assist the autism community by being the one
place to find many resources, and to assist in connecting people to
other expert sites," says Oberleitner, a graduate of University
of Notre Dame, Class of 1985. He and his wife, Sharon, have two older
children, ages 10 and 16, and Sharon works from their home to help
start up the nonprofit.
A web-based service, TalkAutism, is a turnkey technology and service
for autism organizations to share knowledge, information, and
Like Mapquest, it can be embedded in an organization’s website.
and mail support can be an option.
One goal of TalkAutism is to build a database of the autism community
that will be used as a registry to help obtain more dollars toward
services, education, and research. It will also provide users with
a resource to locate professionals, services, and products, and it
will have a customers’ testimony feature.
Requests for help that formerly languished in someone’s inbox could
be referred to the TalkAutism website, says Joe Guzzardo of National
Alliance for Autism Research at Research Park. "We get calls from
families all over the country asking us to hook them up with schools
and other families, so we look forward to building a relationship
The nonprofit has received a $10,000 in-kind grant from Global MedNet,
a Pfizer vendor, to seed the web programming. "Otherwise it
have gotten off the ground," says Oberleitner.
Oberleitner supports his family with his for-profit consulting
Emerge Medical Marketing, a market development company for new medical
devices — surgical implants or surgical instruments. He was
successful with a contract with Edison-based Doctors Research Group
to market the industry’s most expensive new stethoscope, which sells
for $125 to $750. His marketing plan leveraged the information that
the stethoscope’s inventors had had input from a prominent audio
firm. "And when the doctors heard this, they were totally sold
on the superiority of the stethoscope’s acoustics."
Oberleitner is meeting with representatives from the University of
Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey to work on telemedicine
In particular he is looking at how a multimedia distance learning
program might help those with autism who live in remote places.
kids gravitate to multimedia — our kids teach us a lot," says
A neurological disorder, autism is particularly frustrating because
it affects toddlers who seem otherwise normal until the disease sets
in. Says Oberleitner: "You wouldn’t believe how many people have
reached out from all different areas to lend a hand."
Princeton 08540. Ron Oberleitner, founder. 609-430-0290; fax,
New Media Partners positions itself as the production
arm for companies that do continuing medical education. It offers
cost effective presentations, both computer based, Web-based, or
— PowerPoint, monographs, audio tapes, audio production, and
kits. "We add excitement to presentations, and we import
into programs that allow you to add video and use other multimedia
techniques," says Gary LaSasso, the president.
On May 1 New Media Partners nearly doubled its space from Princeton
Meadows Office Center to 3131 Princeton Pike, Building 2, Suite 101.
"We went from a living room to 800 feet to more than 1,500 feet
in three years," says LaSasso.
Recently, for a New Jersey-based agency that works with a German
car company, the firm completed six training modules, ranging from
six to twenty minutes, plus testing and certification, all available
on an intranet. For the agency of a big pharmaceutical client, they
completed a four-module training program, complete with voice over
narration, "screen grabs" to walk employees through the steps
to complete certain forms, a "screen cam," and "show
and "try me" segments.
"They developed the content and we did the production work,"
says LaSasso. "Ultimately it saves money for the client because
it reduces training costs."
2, Suite 101, Lawrenceville 08648. Gary LaSasso, president.
fax, 609-895-8118. Home page: www.nmpartners.net
If it is true, as AOL claims, that American women are
spending 16 hours a week online and that they mostly investigate
— well, online drug marketing is going to get more important by
"There is more and more influence of the Internet on the health
care marketing mix, and we provide clients with a turbo charger to
the rest of the marketing program," says Rob Rebak, president
of Carnegie Center-based Simstar Internet Solutions, which provides
strategy, development, and servicing of E-business solutions for the
pharmaceutical industry. With 95 employees, it has 30,000 feet of
space at the Carnegie Center and 11 of the top 20 blue chip
as its clients (U.S. 1, May 23, 2001).
Simstar’s trademarked tool and methodology system, Combinatorial
(CEM), looks at different permutations of messages that could affect
behavioral change — whether a patient chooses a particular drug
and whether the patient complies with the drug’s treatment regime.
The CEM name implies "speed" because it evokes how
chemists can come up with new compounds so much faster than the old
way. CEM uses various customer relationship management platforms to
do personalization, content management, analysis, reporting, and
"We have developed pharmaceutical-specific segmentation to serve
up the `next best piece of content’ that will best influence
says Rebak. "Then we track that to refine it, both in real time
and — offline — for analytics. Sometimes we make major
to the initiatives."
"Ninety-five percent of the visitors to a pharmaceutical website
don’t want to volunteer information, so we are tracking individual
patients in an anonymous way," says Rebak. Take www.EffexorXR.com,
the site for Wyeth’s depression and anxiety drug. Like Amazon.com,
it starts to talk to you and react to you as you click on certain
areas. If the site determines that you might be a man, your next click
will bring up a male picture and language. "We serve as the
channel for that relationship."
"Instead of hard coding content on a static site, we create
of chunks of content, dynamically served up, based on what the
is doing on the website. The content becomes more and more valuable
as it is tied to the real-time effort to influence behavior,"
Princeton 08540. David Reim, CEO. 609-378-0100; fax, 609-378-0220.
Home page: www.simstar.com
Interlink Healthcare Communications tends not to
the interactive portion of its business from the more traditional
print and electronic work. Formerly known as Integrated Communications
Corp. (the name of the parent company in Parsippany), this full
medical advertising agency was founded in 1985. It is part of Lowe
Healthcare Worldwide and the Interpublic Group of Companies. The Lenox
Drive office has 150 employees and specializes in cardiovascular and
diabetes product advertising.
"We feel the Web has become so mainstream that E-solutions are
a natural and necessary part of launching and supporting a brand,"
says Lou Davelman, vice president and director of E-Solutions at the
Lenox Drive-based firm.
Davelman has been specializing in E-newsletters and animated banner
advertising aimed at healthcare professionals. He is preparing banner
ads for Medscape, a site frequented by healthcare professionals, to
drive physician traffic to the site of big pharma that has just
the E-commerce marketplace. The purpose of these banner ads is to
make it convenient for the physicians to purchase a particular drug
"There is an unmistakable trend towards using the web for reaching
both healthcare professionals and patients. This will only accelerate
as broadband becomes more pervasive and technologies such as rich
media begin to dominate online advertising," he says.
Drive, Suite 300, Lawrenceville 08648. Larry J. Iaquinto, president.
609-406-9600; fax, 609-406-9046. Home page:
Before the Internet came along, telephone response was
state-of-the-art for market research in the pharmaceutical industry.
Physicians agreed to sit at a phone and put in their responses to
the survey using a keypad, sometimes responding verbally to a tape.
Mail or faxed surveys were also used. That has almost been replaced
by the Web-based solution: To E-mail doctors and get responses that
Two companies that sell primary market research to the pharmaceutical
industry — Cozint Interactive and Market Measures — have
and work in the Internet market research space. In January Princeton’s
branch of Cozint Interactive was bought by Market Measures, which
already had a branch on Palmer Square, and the company is now known
as Market Measures Cozint. The parent company of Market Measures
is NOP World which in turn is owned by United Business Media, a
conglomerate. NOP World also owns RoperASW on Route 206.
The Cozint side has moved from 199 Nassau Street (now the home of
the Henderson family’s Princeton Real Estate Group) to Bear Tavern
Road and has grown to 30 people. Between the two offices, says Cindy
Blodgett, executive vice president, there are from 25 to 30 employees,
and within the next three months they will move to a space that can
hold both of them.
Market Measures is known for its long-term syndicated studies on
areas (such as asthma and cardiovascular disease) and also did
on promotional effectiveness. The results from these studies can be
tailored to the needs of various pharmaceutical firms.
Cozint, in contrast, focused on custom market research and quick
(U.S. 1, November 1, 2000). It might do a quick study of the marketing
opportunities for a potential product. Or try out the effectiveness
of a marketing program. And if a drug gets bad press, the client might
requisition an extra speedy survey in order to publish an
the very next day.
"We believe our doctor panel — 41,000 doctors in all
areas — is one of the largest in the industry," says Blodgett.
The firm also recruits from the 750,000 doctors in the American
Association files. It also has a strategic alliance with Hippocrates,
a company offers access to drug information using a Palm or Personal
Digital Assistant (PDA).
For participating, the doctors (termed "knowledge providers")
get an honorarium equivalent to what they would earn if they were
using that time to see a patient, from $100 to $125 for a 30-minute
Suite 303, Ewing 08628. Cindy Blodgett, executive vice president.
609-883-6800; fax, 609-883-5943. Home page:
Suite 330, Princeton 08542. Donna Famoso, research vice president.
609-688-0540; fax, 609-688-0542. Home page:
PharmaPros does clinical data management and regulatory
technology and works with clinical research organizations to develop
the clinical protocol, to get a study running, and to do technical
support, re-engineering, and reporting.
Just launched: a new web-based system for managing clinical trials.
Called NCompass, it will be available by subscription to both early
stage biotechnology and device companies and large pharmaceutical
"Before NCompass, small to mid-sized companies or departments
of large companies running small trials and contract research
(CROs) struggled with balancing the resources required to implement
and maintain major clinical data management systems (CDMs)," says
Peg Regan, PharmaPro’s CEO. "In the case of companies looking
to run only few or generally small studies, it can be more cost
to obtain the technology and support on an outsourced, subscription
Customers need only provide the study protocol, clinical report forms,
and other requirements, and their system can be implemented in six
to eight weeks, compared to the one or two years required to develop
an in-house system.
NCompass includes the infrastructure needed to support the clinical
study, including Phase Forward’s CDM software from Clintrial, a
clinical data management software. It also has PharmaPros’ proprietary
clinical report form tracking and data validation software. Accessible
through the Web, it allows customers to set up electronic clinical
data management centers anywhere instantly.
08648. Peg Regan, president. 609-912-1100; fax, 609-912-1120. Home
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