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The new project was Scientific Product Presentations.
A large body of evidence-based information had accumulated for big brands such as Claforan®, Haemaccel®, Tarivid®, and Daonil®. In diabetes for example, a lot of new research had come in about the development of metabolic syndrome, its complications and control measures. For antibiotics, new information had emerged about patterns of bacterial involvement and development of resistance. There was new research on safety profile and so on. It was becoming increasingly difficult to package this information into small capsule which would fit in a regular call with doctors. Due to too much brevity, the information lost its context and value both.
Tariq Umar came up with the idea of packaging such information into a presentation. Overhead Projector was in vogue because multimedia had not come in. TU assigned the task to Sultan Khan, Product Manager. SK was a pharmacist with a good knowledge and he kept it updated. SK designed the first raw presentation on Tarivid. The presentation was discussed in-house and was refined. Then I was called into the process. I was known to have good communication, hence the invitation. I traveled to head office Karachi and saw the presentation. I was asked to present it to a few doctors who were invited to the office next day for this purpose. SK and I worked on how best to deliver; what to say on each slide and what major points to highlight.
Next day, two doctors came to our office. I made the presentation to them. We requested them to evaluate the relevance of content and quality of delivery critically and advise. Their feedback was more encouraging than our expectation. They appreciated the content and delivery highly and added some more ideas also. We were delighted beyond expression. The concept of ‘Scientific Product Presentation’ was born and was ready to take off.
I was asked to make some presentations to groups of doctors in Lahore as a pilot project. I did that and everywhere we got tremendous appreciation. The doctor found two important values in this activity. One, they got a capsule of most recent information which included medical research, product pharmacology and rationale for use. Two, it gave them an occasion to discuss the same with their colleagues. Due to work pressures, the doctors did not find enough time to interact with peers on professional subjects. The SPP, as we started calling it, was profusely praised for it being a source of updated information, delivered succinctly. I received so much personal appreciation from so many diverse customers across Pakistan that it enriched me forever.
Sultan and I were the first team to develop the Scientific Product Presentation Project; Sultan handled the content and buildup of concept, and I handled the expression, choice of words and delivery. SK also started delivering presentations in Karachi, to begin with.
The SPP had a logical format. It started with the description of a clinical problem, stated its history, and most recent developments. It then touched upon the solution, product, rationale for use, and its pharmacology. About 90% content related to clinical/pharmacological information and 10% to product information. In hospital settings, the SPP audience included the ward consultants. At the end of the presentation, we requested the Senior Most Consultant to comment on the issue. Their contribution made it more informative and more relevant to local conditions. That was why the SPP established itself as an academic service; not a commercial activity.
Hoechst got huge appreciation for this initiative and its momentum increased……