Friday, October 31, 2008

Web 2.0 Marketing for Senior Care Suppliers

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I found this white paper earlier today discussing Web 2.0 marketing and PR efforts for Senior Care Suppliers. Some of the topic areas covered in the paper, as remarked on here, are:

- What marketing and PR activities were most important to senior care suppliers last year, and their budgeting plans for the next 12 months;

- Who and what suppliers rely on to stay knowledgeable about the marketplace;

- How optimistic suppliers are about the overall health of the senior care marketplace.

Check it out here, and make sure to let us know your thoughts on web 2.0 marketing trends for this niche market.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Could We See a Boost in Social Media Spend in Pharma?

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Marianne Kolbasuk McGee recently posted at Information Week that the probability that Health Care IT might get a boost next year is very high. The reason behind her thinking is that no matter the outcome of the presidential election, both Obama and McCain have a strong emphasis on using techonology to digitize patients’ records and eliminate any paper-based processes that are inefficient, costly, and redundant.

This also brings up another question, will online pharma marketing budgets be raised as well? Pharma companies like WebMD, Everyday Health, and The HealthCentral Network have high budgets for social media spend and because of that these companies are the leading online health related websites according to comScore. As more and more companies jump into the web 2.0 bandwagon, we will begin to see an increase in online social networking spend, especially if they decide to build one from the ground up.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Web 2.0: We’re Still Not There Yet with Pharma

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I came across this post earlier today on Just Search in which they mention that although many marketers have adopted social media efforts into their strategy, an industry that has generally stayed away from these efforts are pharmaceutical companies. Very rarely do we see pharma companies incorporating web 2.0 features like blogs, social networks, chat rooms, and forums into their websites. The post includes an excerpt from Brandweek in which they explain the reasoning behind this:

“Marketers fear that user-generated content will include complaints about injuries caused by their drugs’ side effects. The law requires these ‘adverse events’ to be reported to the FDA. The FDA’s adverse-event databases are regularly combed by lawyers looking for potential class-action suits.”

It’s only a matter of time before all pharma companies will jump on the web 2.0 bandwagon.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Social Media: Missing Opportunities for HealthCare Companies

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John Sharp brings up an interesting concept on this post at eHealth. I am sure you are all aware of how companies like Zappos and Comcast have used Twitter to respond to customer complaints, companies like Scripps creating Facebook identities, and other companies who have utilized YouTube. What’s particularly interesting about the companies that have pursued these social media opportunities is that none of them are pharma/healthcare companies. When will health care organizations join the growing trend of using these web 2.0 communication tools?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Top 10 Pharma sites according to comScore

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Over at Pharma 2.0, they recently listed the top 10 pharma sites according to comScore. What do you think of the list? Do any of the sites stand out to you for having an outstanding use of Web 2.0 tools?

They are:

Top 10 Pharmaceutical Brand Web Sites by Unique Visitors
Q2 2008 vs. Q2 2007
Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations

  1. Nexium - 1,021,000 (up 55% from 2Q 2007)
  2. Actos - 855,000 (+2399%)
  3. Ambien CR - 756,000 (-61%)
  4. Gardasil - 722,000 (-21%)
  5. Lexapro - 549,000 (+3%)
  6. Veramyst - 538,000 (launched in 08)
  7. Januvia - 507,000 (+329%)
  8. Lyrica - 501,000 (+36%)
  9. Topamax - 498,000 (+38%)
  10. Seroquel - 447,000 (+24%)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pharma's fear of the web

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Pharma is not cashing in on the current social networking gold rush. Many sites don't have bulletin boards, chat rooms, or blogs that could be a gold mine for the marketers of those drugs. As this article at Brand Week reports, the marketers fear the backlash that might happen should those surfing the web report adverse effects of the drugs on the very webpage. In this event, they'll have to report the incident to the FDA, then lawyers will find them in order to cash in. As a result, the web pages remain one dimensional and stuck at Web 1.0.

Another valid point of this article is that there are two arguments coming at the marketers who have these web pages. There are digital agencies, who fight that customers pose fewer problems than marketers expect, an teh brand managers who have in-house lawyers who aren't acquainted with the internet. This has become a reoccurring problem throughout many agencies. The CEO of Heartbeat Digital, Bill Drummy, said this, “We’ve talked about this with our clients for literally five years and in every case that has been shot down by regulatory and legal folks."

What's the major setback for your company? Are you seeing that the legal department is holding up your entrance in to web 2.0? Or is it the lack of internet knowledge throughout your company?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Personal Genome Project on the Web

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Yesterday, Harvard Medical Professor of Genetics George Church, along with eight others, announced that he would be placing 1/5 of his DNA sequence on the internet. In effort to make the Personal Genome Project a success for both science and medical advance it. According to the Associated Press, the project was designed to serve as a resource for researchers investigating the genetic basis of diseases and other traits.

According to the Wall Street Journal, one participant, Steven Pinker had this to say about the project:

“There’s a hope that by making these data public, you can harness crowd-sourcing power in the same way that Wikipedia and YouTube and Google and Linux all emerged from cooperative, distributed efforts."

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pharma goes to the iPhone

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Pharma 2.0 recently highlighted a new app for the iPhone. This one, specifically programmed for ophthalmologists has seven practical eye tests including: near visual acuity, Ishihara color test, Amsler grid, a powerful flash light tool, pupil gauge, target for fixation and Distance E.

What other practical apps have you seen for the iPhone for the medical related world?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Media Companies Beware, Pharma May Cut Ad Spending

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USA Today reports that the estimated $5 billion to be spent by Pharmaceutical companies on ads this year, could be wishful thinking on the part of media companies. In the aftermath of the Harvard Medical School Study that stated ads directed toward consumers were not seen as that effective, two more recent reports suggested that ad spending could be slashed. As the article states:

"TNS Media Intelligence puts the drop at 3.9% to $2.4 billion. Rival ad tracker Nielsen Monitor-Plus calculates the decline at 4.8% to $2.7 billion."

While the article specifically mentions magazines, TV, Radio, and newspapers, they failed to mention the online space. It will be interesting to see whether online advertising will be able to whether the storm.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Google Health Eases Accessibility

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John Sharp mentions in his latest post on eHealth that Google Health has added some new functionality to the site that will help patients even more. Google Health has made usability even more accessible to those who have poor vision by enabling text readers. This will work wonders for those currently looking to pull PHRs from other sources that do not offer this unique feature.

With the elections taking place soon, I’m sure that online PHRs and accessibility will play a major role in voter’s decisions.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Free Webinar Tomorrow: ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond

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Just a quick reminder to signup for the free webinar ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond presented by John Mangano of comScore. This webinar is being presented tomorrow Thursday October 16 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

The web seminar will take a comprehensive look at the latest internet trends and an in-depth look at how Pharma marketing has seen success using the internet to market. Internet trends discussed include: usage, growth, advertising and how the public uses it for health research. Pharma marketing topics will include the effects of online advertising and websites, as well as, its effects on prescriptions.

Register here:

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Online Pharma Advertising is a Success

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Online advertising works according to comScore. They reported that the most visited pharmaceutical websites for the second quarter of 2008, were brand websites that had focused on online marketing advertisemnts. AstraZeneca's is a prime example as reported here. According to the article and John Mangano, senior director of comScore's Pharmaceutical Marketing Solutions practice,

"AstraZeneca's, the Web site for heart treatment Nexium, had the most traffic for the quarter with more than one million unique visitors--an increase of 55% from the previous year. According to Mangano, AstraZeneca ran twice as much online display advertising in the second quarter as its competitors. "

It will be interesting to see how other companies adapt their strategies based on these findings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Search Engine Marketing in Pharma

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Earlier today I came across this great presentation on Search Engine Marketing insights and trends in Pharma. Take a couple of minutes to flip through the slides as I’m sure you’ll find the content valuable. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

New ePharma Summit Website

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The newly redesigned ePharma Summit website has officially launched today! Make sure to browse through the site and take a look at this year’s speakers and track sessions. We’ve also uploaded several valuable presentations from last year’s event. The 8th Annual ePharma Summit will be held at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing on February 9-11, 2009.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Physician Assistants can Network Too!

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Physician assistants and nurse assistants have become increasingly important as face-to-face times with doctors are decreasing by the day. PA’s and NA’s are many times responsible for prescribing drugs to patients, and so they must have readily available information about drugs and different treatments.

Browsing through the internet I came across this post on Pharmaceutical Executive that discusses the launch of Clinician 1, which is a social networking site targeted specifically to the 200,000 plus physician and nurse assistants across the fifty states. The site features information pages, areas for discussion, and medical education.

It will be interesting to see how this networking tool will be accepted in medical practices across the U.S., and if there is any potential for the platform to grow globally.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond

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Just a quick reminder to signup for the free webinar ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond presented by John Mangano of comScore. This webinar is being presented next Thursday October 16 from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM.

The web seminar will take a comprehensive look at the latest internet trends and an in-depth look at how Pharma marketing has seen success using the internet to market. Internet trends discussed include: usage, growth, advertising and how the public uses it for health research. Pharma marketing topics will include the effects of online advertising and websites, as well as, its effects on prescriptions.

Register here:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Google Health Podcast

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Browsing through the blogosphere I came across this post on ModernHealthCare in which reporter Rebecca Vesely speaks to Missy Krasner, who is the product marketing manager for Google Health. In this podcast, Kramer discusses the importance of provider partnerships, privacy concerns and where the personal health record sector is headed.

Take the time to listen to the podcast by clicking here.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Social networks work better in geographical regions?

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Dr. Uri Ginzberg at the Medical 2.0 blog recently wrote a posts about the increasing number of social networks for doctors. He believes the best ways for doctors to get running with the current social networks is to organize them by geographical region. He gave these two sites as examples for Canadian doctors: Sklepois and Canadian Medical Association. What do you think about organizing social networks for doctors geographically?

Top sources for medical information

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Melissa Davies recently wrote an article at Neilsen Online detailing the findings of a study that shows how users are using the web for medical information.

While people still consider doctors and other medical professionals their number one source for information, online resources number two. Participants said they usually turned to sources had content written professionally. They also go to the informational sites directly. It was also found that participants are more likely to use the web for medical information if participated in social networking.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Evernote: A new tool for doctors

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Recently at Healthline, Dr. Joshua Schwimmer wrote about a new online tool for doctors. Evernote is an online database tool especially for doctors. This new system allows for physicians to make their information, research or forms for patient care, searchable, taggable, and available in the electronic forms they need (on a computer, the web, or a smartphone).

Dr. Schwimmer points out that while it is completely electronic, it fails to meet the regulations of Hippa, and is therefore not certified. However, it can still be used for the productivity of doctors. Dr. Cris Cuthbertson published a list of 20 ways surgeions should be using Evernote. What do you think? Will this catch on in the United States?