Amit Paranjape’s Blog

Fascinating story of how Lipitor almost didn’t make it; but eventually became world’s biggest blockbuster drug

Posted in Current Affairs, Healthcare & Medicine by Amit Paranjape on December 28, 2011

Lipitor has been the biggest blockbuster drug till date with sales of over $120 Billion over the past 14 years. It recently came off patent.

I came across this great article by Linda A. Johnson in Associated Press – “Against odds, Lipitor became world’s top seller”, that chronicles the story of how this drug almost didn’t make it. It was not the first statin on the market. However, early trials showed results that were significantly better than the existing peers. The article also discusses the extensive use of marketing (targeted to the consumers and doctors).  To quote a line from the article: “The Lipitor promotion team set new standards for a marketing campaign.”

One wonders if the pharma industry would ever again see such a massive success. Do read the full article, click here.

Germany pays twice, and builds twice as many cars as U.S. – An interesting tale of two systems

Posted in Cars, Current Affairs by Amit Paranjape on December 23, 2011

I have always wondered about the divergence in the direction and fate of the U.S. and German car industry over the past few decades, and especially in the past decade.  The U.S. industry is still in a big crisis, though showing some signs of slowly coming out – while the German industry seems to be doing reasonably well – inspite of the global slowdown. What factors contribute to this difference? It is better labor productivity, better products, innovation, or something else. I came across a great article that tries to explain this quite well:

The ‘Touch’ vs. ‘Tactile’ Debate For Computers & Mobile Handsets

Posted in Information Technology, Science & Technology by Amit Paranjape on December 19, 2011

There is a lot of discussion out there about how the ‘Touch’ display keypads are going to increasingly take over from the conventional ‘Tactile’ ones. The rise of iPhone, iPad and other Tablets, Touch Smart Phones are making touch interfaces more and more prominent.

In fact some people have already started writing the obituaries of the good old fashioned tactile keyboard. But not so fast.

I for one cannot just figure out how a touch keyboard can replicate the tactile feedback of contact keys. Or the contoured feel of a mobile handset’s QWERTY keypad.
Touch is fine when you have to type a little, and when you are largely just reading/interacting – but definitely not ideal for writing documents, emails and blog posts like this one. And let us look at some other areas as well. Can you imagine a pianist playing on a touch pad piano? Maybe a ‘Tabla’ (a popular Indian percussion instrument, that has a reasonably flat surface.
Some of my friends who are big cheerleaders of ‘Touch’ (and think that I may be stuck in the stone age…) talk about how swipe, page turn and other gestures are improving interactivity and productivity. But to me they are just better replacements of the nearly 40 year old ‘Mouse’. I agree – the Mouse needs a replacement and a touch pad is a presents a very good improvement. But just cannot see a touch pad being used for heavy duty typing!
Wonder what you think?
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