OT: Distressing Shift in Pharma Thinking

A Cancer Drug Shows Promise, at a Price That Many Can’t Pay

Until now, drug makers have typically defended high prices by noting the cost of developing new medicines. But executives at Genentech and its majority owner, Roche, are now using a separate argument –— citing the inherent value of life-sustaining therapies.

Also known as “your money or your life” pricing.

Later: From the 2/17 NYTimes: Editorial: Price Gouging on Cancer Drugs?

Lessig Policy Plea For Network Design

Lessig Makes Plea For Read/Write Internet

Stanford Professor Lawrence Lessig warned that today’s fast-growing, free-wheeling Internet is threatened by network providers who want to control innovation and commerce on the Internet much the way AT&T once controlled the phone networks.

Speaking at the Open Source Business Conference here, Lessig said society has to decide if it wants to continue down the current path of a “read-only” Internet or embrace what he called a “read/write Internet” with broad access to content and the ability to legally build on the creative works of others.

Lessig did say he wasn’t in favor of content being entirely proprietary or entirely free, but he fears the repercussions of the former being the dominant business model.

Viral Marketing Strategies and Advertising Culture

Advertising: Fakin’ It: A Marketer Intends to Tease Consumers

The campaign has also revived a question that is routinely asked in the advertising industry: is it acceptable to use advertising to trick consumers?

One recent study has indicated that the buying public is willing to be fooled. A study by Northeastern University released last month found that even when participants who pitch products in word-of-mouth campaigns identify their commercial affiliations, it usually does not affect consumers’ willingness to pass the marketing message on.

And the planners of buzz marketing campaigns often say that in order to reach the modern multitasking consumer –— who may be simultaneously watching television, talking on a cellphone, reading the Internet and sending instant messages –— advertising must be a two-way conversation to have an effect.