September 15, 2018

Dear Regina,

Welcome to BioMarketing Insight’s monthly newsletter.

Last month, I covered “The Pharmaceutical Pricing Supply Chain: Will Trump’s Proposal for Government Negotiation Work?”  If you missed last month’s article, click here to read it.  This month we’ll cover “Food Poisoning: Did People Forget the Seriousness of it and Customer Service?”

Read on to learn more about this topic and other current news.  The next newsletter will be published on October 15th, 2018.
We encourage you to share this newsletter with your colleagues by using the social media icons below, or by simply forwarding this newsletter or use the link below.  Should you or your colleagues want to join my mailing list, click on the link below. 
Please email me, Regina Au, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions.

Regina Au
Principal, New Product Planning/
Strategic Commercial Consultant
BioMarketing Insight
 Table of Contents
Developing a Product?  Commercializing a Product?

Why Speed to IND Can Cause Major Issues and Risks Later in Development:  Podcast
Interview with Radio Entrepreneurs
Why Our Microbiome is Important to Our Physiology and Diseases
Immunooncology: Can the Right Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-Cell Design Be Made to Cure All Types of Cancers and Will It Be Covered?
Food Poisoning: Did People Forget the Seriousness of it and Customer Service?
Closing Thoughts
Previous Newsletters
 Join my mailing list

Developing a Product?  Commercializing a Product?

If you are developing a product and have not conducted the business due diligence to determine commercial viability or success, contact me for an appointment.  For successful commercial adoption of your product or looking to grow your business, contact me for an appointment.

For more information on our services, click on the links below:


Why Speed to IND Can Cause Major Issues and Risks Later in Development

If you were unable to attend my presentation, here is a brief podcast interview with Dan Stanton from BPI on my presentation.  To hear the podcast, click on my picture.



Interview with Radio Entrepreneurs

I was privilege to be interviewed by Jeffery Davis, founder and co-host of Radio Entrepreneur, a radio station that shares the success of entrepreneurs.  Click on this video to see a short clip of my interview.



Why Our Microbiome is Important to Our Physiology and Diseases
I am pleased to announce that my article entitled “Why Our Microbiome is Important to Our Physiology and Diseases” was published in the International Journal of Clinical Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy.  This article reviews the results of the Human Microbiome Project and the factors that affect our microbiome in relation to our healthy state and dysbiosis or disease state.  To read the article, click here.
 Journal of Pharmaceuticals

Immunooncology: Can the Right Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-Cell Design Be Made to Cure All Types of Cancers and Will It Be Covered?
I am pleased to announce that my article on “Immunooncology: Can the Right Chimeric Antigen Receptors T-Cell (CAR-T) Design Be Made to Cure All Types of Cancers and Will It Be Covered?” has been published in Journal of Pharmaceutics.  This article reviews the mechanism, design and administration of CAR-T cells, and whether payers will pay for this new technology.  To read the article, click here.



Food Poisoning:  Did People Forget the Seriousness of it and Customer Service?
For those of you who’ve had food poisoning you understand the serious of this illness.  For those who have been fortune enough not to have food poisoning, it is a horrible experience.  The experience can be different for each individual depending on what bacteria is causing the issue and the person herself or himself.
For me, I first experienced an upset stomach, then nausea and then projectile vomiting that night.  I was vomiting for 2 day and could not eat anything due to the nausea.  The only thing I could tolerate was a couple of sips of hot tea to prevent dehydration.   Every time, I tried to eat the nausea came back and I was only able to eat a few crackers and sip tea again.  It took four days before I was semi- back to normal and starting with chicken noodle soup.
I had purchased a Boston Market Frozen Boneless Spare Rib Paddy (yes, I don’t like to cook) and returned the other uneaten entree to Market Basket.  I was dismayed by the gruff attitude by the Store Director who appeared to be bracing for yet another complaint or issue.  When I told him what happened, he said all the right words saying it was too bad, we’ll refund your money but his demeanor was very nonchalant. 
I proceeded to tell him that the reason, I asked to speak to him was because this is a serious matter and I don’t want you to put this other entree back on the shelf fearing someone else might get sick.  He just said, yah, yah and walked away.  I told the customer service person what had happened and that this entree should not go back on the shelf.  He said it will go into the damaged pile.  I said, you should mark it damaged because if it is not marked, you could get busy, put it aside and someone could pick it up and put it back on the shelf.
Finally, the Store Director asked for the entree and talked to one of his employee to what I assume was to take all of this particular entree out of freezer.  When I walked by the freezer, there was no Boneless Spare Ribs.
I proceeded to contact Bellisio Foods Inc, the manufacturer that licensed and distributes the Boston Market Frozen foods through their online feedback form since this happened over the weekend and they can only be reached M-F from 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.  I received a “form email” saying they will check with Quality and we will send you some coupons to make up for it.  I emailed them back saying how disappointed I was that they weren’t even concerned that I had food poisoning and would never purchase their product again.  Then I got a “form letter” from them saying the same thing with some coupons.  I was very perturbed and wanted to sent the coupons back.
So I decided to contact Boston Market directly.  I called Frances Allan, the CEO of Boston Market and got her secretary.  Explained the situation, she told me I had to contact Shannon in Catering because she handles complaints.  I told her, I got food poisoning, this is not a little complaint where the food was too salty or the food was dry, I want to speak to the CEO so she is aware of the matter and investigate.  The secretary said she would try but can’t guarantee anything.
A few hours later I get a call from Christa, Head of Consumer Affairs from Bellisio Foods.  She said she was calling because I wasn’t satisfied with the outcome leading me to believe she had no idea of the situation.  When I told her what happened, the first thing she said was did you see a doctor?  But her demeanor was “business as usual.”  Needless to say I was getting upset and told her that she is not taking this matter seriously and I would never purchase your product again.  She replied,  I see in your email that you would never purchase this product again.  She also stated that they did not get any other complaints of food poisoning and basically dismissed my complaint.
After that unsettling conversation, I decided to report this incident to a State or Federal Agency.  However, in my situation, since I am not reporting on a local restaurant which would be directed to the State Dept of Public Health, the frozen entree was manufactured in Minnesota and therefore, wasn’t sure whose jurisdiction this matter belong to in this particular situation?
Navigating your way to the right agency is a bit of a challenge and yet it is encouraged to report an incidence of food poisoning.  It is considered a “foodborne outbreak” when there is two (2) or more people with food poisoning for the same item eaten.
If you or someone you know gets food poisoning, here are the agencies to contact:
For local restaurants, contact the state Department of Public Health.  You can find your state agencies at the following links.
Additional information:
For foods that are manufactured located outside of your state, you have to call the State’s health department where the food is manufactured according to the people at Massachusetts health department since it is out of their jurisdiction.  However, read my closing thoughts for more information.


Closing Thoughts
This newsletter may appears more of a ranting of my horrible experience rather than informative and useful information.  However, I feel it was important to emphasize that getting food poisoning shouldn’t be taken lightly.
It is important to report any case of food poisoning because this is the only method that the state and federal agencies can investigate the issue and alert the public to any recalls of products if there is an issue.  This also prompts the state and federal agencies to ensure that all standard operating procedures at the manufacturer meets state and federal guidelines and standards in ensuring that the product is safe for human consumption.  The agency will also investigate the store  where you purchased the item to ensure the people in the distribution chain is handling the food properly before it is purchased by the customer.
When I inquired about Bellisio Foods Inc., MA Dept of Health said it was out of their jurisdiction and that I would have to call the Minnesota Department of Public Health. So I posed the question to her; if you want consumers to report food poisoning, the State has to make it easy for the consumer to report the incident in order for the agencies to investigate the entire distribution chain.  Right now, the State is putting the responsibility back onto the consumer to call the other state.  Isn’t there an interstate agency relationship where you would pass it on to the appropriate people since everyone has the same goal?  She then agreed to forward my complaint to the Minnesota Dept. of Public Health but actually called the FDA and they directed her to the USDA office.
I am appalled by the lack of or no customer service these days.  The attitude is nonchalant depicting the demeanor of I’m just doing my job or I really don’t care.  In addition, no one wants to go beyond their job description in helping the customer solve their problem.   I even had a customer service representative in another situation argue with me stating she didn’t have the document that I sent in because she didn’t look in the system thoroughly.  This attitude applies to majority of the companies that I’ve experienced or heard from other people in all industries.
What is the definition of excellent customer service?  I was surprised to find that the definition varied, so here is what I consider excellent customer service and the link to the full article:
Besides being an effective communicator, having patience, compassion and the ability to exercise self control were at the top of the list for characteristics, the most important characteristic is “being willing and able to go the extra mile for one’s customers.” This is what makes the difference between an average customer service representative and an excellent one.  The customer experience is extremely positive and customers are so grateful that their issues are solved quickly without any difficulty.  In my experience, there is only a handful of customer service representative who I would consider “excellent.”   In this digital world, everyone talks about customer engagement on the buy side, what about the customer service after the customer buys the merchandise.
Excellent customer service is what a company needs to stand out, their competitive advantage in gaining and retaining loyal customer.  I am willing to pay more money for a company’s product if they have excellent customer service.  Very few company actually realize this and invest in this department.  Most of the time, the representatives are paid low wages, so what is the incentive for these representative to deliver excellent customer service in going the extra mile?  I find that the customer service department also reflects the culture of the company.  
This is the reason Southwest and Jet Blue airlines did so well when they first started.  These companies were employee owned where the steward, stewardess and pilot all had a stake in the game and wanted the company to do well.


Should you have any questions or need assistance with your business due diligence, determining your product’s value proposition and economic value of your product, feel free to contact me at 781-935-1462 or


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