What Pharma can learn from James Bond

Dr. Never, living in a dream villa on a paradisiac Caribbean Island, has a diabolic plan: to kill thousands of people with a new, terrific virus. This virus would cause great pain, emotional sufferance and despair (the movie describes during 20 minutes the terrible virus). The British Secret Service got a hint from a mole and calls its best agent: James Bond. After a short briefing on Dr. Never, Bond visits “Q”, who developed a safe, well tolerated, well-functioning antidote to the virus (the plot describes during 25 min the great antidote).

So James Bond travels to the Caribbean, and after having had his Vodka Martin shaken and not stirred, reaches Dr. Never’s villa. Pretending to be a friend of Dr. Never he enters and head to the laboratory, where he sprays the antidote killing all virus! Eventually Dr. Never arrives and James Bond shoots at him with his Walther PKK. Many potential victims are now safe and can continues to live happily many more years!

Would you go to the cinema to watch this movie? Very likely not: it’s boring, too easy!

Now erase Dr. Never from the story and think at the virus as a real disease. Replace James Bond by a Pharma Company… and here you go: the typical Pharma-story!

I remember a rep telling to a customer the story of a patient who got severe side effects -vomiting, skin rash, depressions- from the therapy. Eventually the patient managed to complete the treatment and, even if not healed, he got better. When I ask the Sales Rep why he told such a story he replied “You know, the doctor will see these patients. He will see these side effects. With this story, he will remember the patient struggling but eventually getting better! If I bring an ideal world story, the doctor will simply not believe it and oppose it to the struggles of his patients”.

The hero’s struggles is the core of a good movie. For patients, life can be a struggle. Address the patient’s struggles in your stories! You will be more authentic and credible …and your story will be listened to, eventually passing your message!