ELITE Sales MVP George Jones of Pernix Therapeutics

George Jones

Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Pernix Therapeutics

The Insight Identifier

George Jones has spent 20 years in the pharma industry, and every one of them has been with a small company. That’s just the way he likes it, because it allows him to be more entrepreneurial. And when George gets an idea, it usually means good things for the company.

George was recently promoted to VP of Sales and Marketing at Pernix Therapeutics from just a marketing role. Why the change? He had an idea. George identified a simple, but important insight that set the ball moving towards a total re-organization of the Field Force.

He completely reorganized the sales force, which included simplifying the management structure, significantly reducing head count and, most importantly, more clearly outlining the sales strategy. As a result, Treximet with 60% less sales force is growing YoY for the first time since 2010. And Zohydro ER with BeadTek is growing to all-time highs in an extremely challenging opioid marketplace.

While that was George’s latest great idea, it is one of many. Spending a large part of his career working in pain management, clinicians would always tell him that the pain scores don’t matter—patient function matters. However, companies still need to find an objective way to measure pain scores during clinical trials so that is what brand teams had to use in their marketing. George created a program that offered the best of both worlds.

The company partnered with Aptus Health, which provided a Feedback Loop program to allow them to capture pain scores and response to Zohydro ER. That isn’t the innovative part. George paired that program with a partnership with Misfit, providing participating patients with a fitness tracker. This allowed the company to also track patient function—to see how well they were moving and sleeping while on treatment.

Results showed that patients were more active than the baseline, and they were sleeping and feeling better as well as wanting to stay on the medicine.

“I know there’s risk with working for a small company,” George admits. “But I would not change a thing—you make such an impact and it’s just so much fun.”

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