Survey Sampling International (SSI) and Opinionology announced that they have received regulatory approval to combine and have finalized their agreement to unite under the SSI brand. SSI’s services include online, offline and mixed access sampling and data collection services; advanced data analytics and real-time reporting; global reach across every consumer, B2B and healthcare audience; and sophisticated technologies for optimal speed, quality and efficiency. “We are excited by the powerful synergies we see between our services—and thrilled the approval gives us the opportunity to unleash the full potential of our combined offerings to drive your research success…By coming together, we will continue to build on our shared legacy of customer focus, product innovation and technical advancement—and provide even greater value by realizing the full power of our synergies,” CEO Kees de Jong and President/COO David Haynes wrote in a joint statement.


Siren Interactive, a relationship marketing agency focused on rare disorder therapies, says it is the nation’s first marketing agency to certify its entire staff in regulatory compliance for Internet Promotion/ Social Media. Siren is also certified in patient relationship marketing (PRM), earning it recognition as the nation’s only company to receive dual certification in regulatory compliance.


GlaxoSmithKline announced that it has implemented the next phase of its new incentive compensation program for professional sales representatives with the introduction of a new performance evaluation methodology and process. In January 2011, GSK eliminated individual sales goals as part of the company’s incentive compensation program for sales professionals who work directly with healthcare professionals. Beginning July 1, GSK is putting in place a new method for evaluating sales professionals’ performance and bonus in alignment with the company’s values of transparency, respect for people, integrity and focus on the patient. Under the new system, GSK’s sales professionals who work directly with healthcare providers will continue to be compensated with a competitive mix of salary and bonus. In place of individual sales targets, three primary factors will be evaluated to assess performance and determine bonuses: selling competency, customer evaluations, and the overall performance of their business unit.


During hearings on reauthorizing the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA V), the director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER) told a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee that “the United States now leads the world in the first introduction of new active drug substances.” In response to sometimes hostile questioning, CDER director Janet Woodcock pointed out that drug approval rates are at a 20- year high. See Dr. Woodcock’s prepared statement at tinyurl.com/ 3hpjvxq, or view the hearing at tinyurl.com/3gnw6cl.


BD Biosciences, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), announced the spring 2011 winners of its Research Grant Program. An independent panel of scientists selected the winners. Each recipient will receive a $10,000 grant of research reagents to help them conduct their studies. The winners of the BD Biosciences Research Grant Program for the spring 2011 cycle are: Richard Robinson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Medical College of Wisconsin; Christopher Grigsby, a Ph.D. candidate at Duke University; Michael Sheard, Ph.D., Director, Flow Cytometry Core Facility, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles; Flavia Pereira, PhD., Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Connecticut Health Center; Doris Lambracht-Washington, Ph.D., Assistant Instructor, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Department of Neurology; Dean Lee, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Professor, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center; Yael Korin, Ph.D., Associated Researcher, UCLA Immunogenetics Center. Additional information about the BD Biosciences Grant Program is available at http://www.bdbiosciences.com/grant.


StrikeForce Communications has signed an agreement with Story Worldwide, a global content publisher, to produce “highly informative and entertaining” campaigns—specifically designed to generate talk value—for the healthcare market. The two firms embarked on their first project, a multi-million dollar DTC women’s health campaign for one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies. Other collaborations are in the works.


Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide has been named a WasteWise partner by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). WasteWise is a voluntary, EPA-sponsored program that promotes and commends innovative and successful approaches to waste reduction. Launched in 1994, the initiative aims to reduce and recycle costly municipal and industrial solid wastes to benefit the environment. The company has already earned recognition for its commitment to the use of biodegradable office supplies and water purifying systems at the Parsippany headquarters campus.


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