We're happy to report that reception to our blog has been largely positive, with an expected spot of skepticism here and there. Thanks to several of our fellow health care bloggers for covering our introduction, and one for posting a comment.
A number of you have raised some fair issues worth addressing:
Why do we have content going back to January?
We just publicly unveiled the blog this week. We've been piloting the blog since January with a small advisory group of folks inside and outside GSK. Since we're new at this, the goal was to work through internal process issues and also ensure we had a product that was easy to use and worth reading. In the interest of transparency, we decided to make the archives available to everyone.
Who is this mysterious Michael M/Michael F?
Mike Huckman of CNBC and Ed Silverman of Health Journalist Blog both questioned our use of last-name initials (ie, "Michael M." and "Michael F." etc), suggesting it might contradict our stated goal of openness. This is a tricky issue.
Due to legitimate privacy and security concerns, our corporate policies generally recommend limiting the amount of personal information we provide externally. One of us has already been quoted in the press about this blog so we're certainly not hiding anything; but the larger point is that this blog is not about any of us individually; it is about the company as a whole. Adhering to this policy actually allows us to bring wider perspectives from within the company. We've also included posts from Ken, Sarah, Janie, and Gaile, and we intend to include more in the future--maybe even from outside of GSK.
(And just to clarify, there are indeed two Michaels involved in this blog.)
Why should we believe you?
It didn't take long to receive our first nastygram. Unfortunately, the bulk of the message was both inflammatory and off-topic, and therefore didn't meet the standards outlined in our Comments Policy, so we won't post it. But its general thesis was to point out the difference between the industry's reputation and our stated goal of doing the right thing. The comment alleged that the company's motive is "greed, pure and simple."
Do we make mistakes? Yes. But whether you choose to believe it or not, GSK employees are in the main idealistic and staunchly ethical and motivated by our special mission. This is a great and unique industry--having a chance to improve peoples' health, and therefore their lives, is energizing and rewarding. And we're fortunate to now have another way of sharing that perspective.