A conversation with Eric S. Langer, Adjunct Faculty Member, Johns Hopkins University, and President/Managing Partner, BioPlan Associates, Inc., about teaching "Marketing in a Regulated Environment" to students who are mostly scientists working for major biotechnology companies and who are studying for an MS in Bioscience Regulatory Affairs and the MS Biotech. (See guest bio.)
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In the wake of recent layoffs of researchers at major pharma and other life science companies, many scientists are seeking a new career and want to get out of the lab. Many are seeking MBA degrees to help them cross over to the commercial side of the business.
One place where these people go for training is the Johns Hopkins' Advanced Biotechnology Studies (ABS) Program, one of the largest programs of its kind, which offers three degrees online: MS in Bioinformatics, MS in Bioscience Regulatory Affairs, most of the MS in Biotechnology.
One learning course offered by the program is entitled "Marketing in a Regulated Environment," which is taught by Eric S. Langer, President and Managing Partner, BioPlan Associates, Inc. This course helps students understand the process and importance of effective marketing of medicines to healthcare professionals and patients. The class is designed to help students understand general marketing principles and the unique nature of marketing in a regulated environment.
The module, "Effective Social Marketing," focused on a specific case study involving a hypothetical drug indicated for the treatment of symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorders (OCDs). Students were asked to assume the position of the marketing manager for the therapy, who has been considering social marketing as an important tool. The students had to indicate how they would initiate SM activities for this drug, which has a suitable profile for off-label use in the treatment of Tourette's Syndrome.
Tell us about more about the program and the students.
What challenges to you face teaching scientists about commercialization?
You've recruited "guest" experts to help teach the class. Can you tell us more about that?
Eric S. Langer: Eric Langer has over 20 years experience in biotechnology and life sciences international marketing, management, market assessment, and publishing. He has held senior management and marketing positions at biopharmaceutical supply companies.
He is an experienced biotechnology strategist, marketing practitioner, publisher, and researcher. He has published, edited and authored numerous books, reports, and major studies on topics including: Advances in Biopharmaceutical Technology in China, Advances in Large-scale Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing, Biopharmaceuticals in the US Market, cell culture reports, media, sera, tissue engineering, stem cells, diagnostic products, blood products, genetics, DNA/PCR purification, blood components, and many others. He lectures extensively on pricing and channel management topics, and teaches at Johns Hopkins University and American University: Biotechnology Marketing, Marketing Management, Services Marketing, Advertising Strategy, and Bioscience Communication. He has developed numerous courses, classes and seminar programs, including Marketing in a Regulated Environment, Marketing Technical Products, and TechniManagement.™
In 1989 Mr. Langer co-founded BioPlan Associates, Inc. a biotechnology and life sciences marketing company that provides information, market research, pricing, and market analysis to biotechnology and healthcare organizations. His company works with both large and small clients at commercial biotechs, non-profit organizations, and governments in assessing and evaluating markets, and marketing strategies and tactics.