on the road again…

Posted on Thursday 30 July 2015

I’ve been preoccupied with another project for a month or so, and looking at my posts, it shows. I’m afraid they’re kind of just newsy as a result. But I’m free of those distractions at last, and looked forward to catching up on the current state of play. So I headed for one of my usual resources, arriving just in time to say goodbye – again…
By Ed Silverman
June 30, 2015

Once again, another working week will soon draw to a close and – along with it – the latest iteration of Pharmalot. Yes, you got that right. After a brief, but rewarding stay here at The Wall Street Journal, we are taking our act to a different theater. As our bubbe used to say – the only constant is change.

Before discussing our destination, we would like to thank the many long-standing Pharmalot readers and, of course, the more recent arrivals, who make Pharmalot an exceptionally interesting and pleasurable experience. Without your feedback – whether posted online or sent privately – this gig would not be nearly as fulfilling. You know who you are.

Over the years, in fact, we have come to regard the Pharmalot community as something of a virtual garden party, where news emerges, views are swapped and insights are gained. And we are better off having absorbed the suggestions, criticisms and, of course, the juicy tips. We would be remiss, however, if we did not thank Dennis Berman and Stefanie Ilgenfritz for their helpful stewardship during our tenure here.

As for our next step, we are shifting our Pharmalot endeavors to Stat, a forthcoming website that will devote itself to tracking the fascinating ins and outs of life sciences. For those who are unaware, Stat will emerge out from under the umbrella of The Boston Globe. Further details will become available shortly. Meanwhile, you can reach us at pharmalot@gmail.com and follow the usual @pharmalot Twitter handle.

And now, the time has come to daydream about weekend plans. Have a wonderful summer and see you online soon.
In January of 2014, Pharmalot went away from being hosted on PharmaLive [gulp…], returning to the Wall Street Journal a year ago [oh how we’ve missed our Pharmalot!…]. Now it appears Ed Silverman is on the road again. This time, he’s moving to a new Boston Globe initiative called STAT:
Talking Biz News
by Chris Roush
July 30, 2015

Ed Silverman, the Wall Street Journal reporter who runs the Pharmalot blog that covers the drug industry, is joining the Boston Globe. With the Globe, Silverman will be joining the Globe’s new health care news called Stat that debuts in the fall. He’ll be taking Pharmalot with him and writing a weekly column, too.

Silverman had been laid off from the Journal last month…
by Gurman Bhatia
July 17, 2015

The Boston Globe’s life sciences initiative led by former Politico executive editor Rick Berke now finally has a name. They want you to read the news urgently, hence – Stat. The name, which evokes urgency, is a reference to the medical term stat. Stat is derived from a Latin word that means “immediately.” The company acquired the domain www.statnews.com on Thursday. Berke later made it official with an announcement in a staff meeting Friday. “We take you inside science labs and hospital wards, biotech boardrooms and political backrooms,” Stat’s mission statement reads. “Stat will examine controversies, introduce power brokers and puncture hype.”

Stat’s leadership ranks include Gideon Gil, managing editor of enterprise and partnerships and Jeff DelViscio, who is senior editor of multimedia and creative. Gil was the former health and science editor of The Globe and DelViscio was a Web producer on the science and environment desk of The New York Times. While Stat is still hush-hush about who it has hired, Berke said the reporters’ names will be recognizable once they’re disclosed.

The company is also looking to hire for at least six senior positions for the Stat multimedia team. DelViscio’s ambition is to incorporate video, photo and interactive content within Stat’s storytelling stream. These jobs include a video editor, an interactives editor and a social media editor. DelViscio aims at integrating a full-stack multimedia team in the newsroom, drawing on its expertise from the very beginning of the storytelling process. “It is also a question of what constitutes a multimedia element,” DelViscio said. “Often something as simple as a GIF can have a little impact on the story, in sort of a teaching mentality. There is a visual quality to the life sciences that is often not utilized.”

The initiative can be expected to feature both short and longform video, be it shareable short clips focused towards social media, or mini-documentary style footage. With the interactives editor, the aim is to explore data visualization and the potential on that side right from the start. “At its core, Stat is supposed to be a watchdog,” DelViscio said. “There is so much money in the system and no people are looking at it consistently. That is the huge part of our mission. Although we are at a nascent stage right now, the possibilities also include searchable databases for public health information that aren’t otherwise readily accessible, something places like ProPublica and Center for Public Integrity do so well.”

Although the website doesn’t have a launch date yet, the team would start publishing Stat-branded content on The Boston Globe in late summer. Staffers would work towards building a national audience with that and promotion on social media. According to Berke, Stat has recruited people in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C. and the West Coast. “This will eventually be of national scope,” he said. What used to be a formal-looking publisher suite on the third floor of the Boston Globe building is now being revamped for Stat. The launch date is still several months away, but as the team works on creating an office space and reporters come in, Berke says it already has the feel of an excellent newsroom.
It actually sounds like a good move for his blog. What’s important is that Ed doesn’t go away. He’s been at it for fifteen years, and obviously has a network of information sources that almost guarantees that if something happens, he’ll be telling us about it pronto. So, in his absence, here’s a predictable offering [GSK’s bribery program is apparently up to speed]:
By Ben Hirschler
Jul 29, 2015

Drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, which was fined a record 3 billion yuan ($483 million) for corruption in China last year and is examining possible staff misconduct elsewhere, faces new allegations of bribery in Romania.

GSK confirmed it was looking into the latest claims of improper payments set out in a whistleblower’s email sent to its top management on Monday. A copy of the email was seen by Reuters.

The company is already probing alleged bribery in Poland, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Iraq
    July 31, 2015 | 9:57 PM

    GSK. I have no words.

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