Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays from ePharma Summit!

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We're going to be taking a much needed break from the world of online health to celebrate the holidays with our family and friends. A huge "Thank You" to you, our loyal readers for your insight, news and communication about our online health experience. We look forward to 2009 and all of its glorious opportunity!

Thanks again and have a very joyous holiday season.

Monday, December 22, 2008

ePharma Summit in 2008

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As a year draws to a close, let's check out the top posts of the year!

Here are our top 5 posts of the year:

Bristol-Myers Squibb and Novartis Increase Social Media Budgets

Lack of Online Pharma Advertising

Physicians use of Internet Expected to Increase

Pharmaceutical Industry Legal Liability with Social Media

Acuminder brings Pharma to Facebook

Friday, December 19, 2008

Merck & Co in Stinky Situation with California Residents

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Alleged contamination by the California location of Merck & Company is under pressure by local residents who claim that the contaminated water has made them sick.

shockingly...Merck attorneys said there's no evidence the pollution caused illness among the plaintiffs.

You be the judge.

If they should be found guilty of contamination, then should there be heavier regulations set in place for pharmaceutical companies to avoid further contamination of the environment?

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wyeth Pharma Acquires Thiakis for $30M

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In a relatively small acquisition, Wyeth Pharmaceuticals has acquired UK based Thiakis for $30M--mostly for their TKS1225, which is being studied for the treatment of medical obesity and other co-morbidities. TKS1225 and related compounds are synthetic versions of the natural gastrointestinal peptide oxyntomodulin.

With a growing obesity epidemic sweeping across the United States, Wyeth has made a powerful move to stay ahead of the other pharm companies when it comes to innovative therapies for this disease.

What do you think of this merger, will it have a lasting effect on the pharm industry?

We'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Salix Pharmaceuticals announces new online resource

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Salix Pharmaceuticals has a new online resource to help health care providers who are looking for alternatives to over the counter bowel preparations. The website can be visited here.

For more information read the article at Market Watch.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Universal digital health records in the future

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The Wall Street Journal recently spoke with aetnahealth CEO Jonathon Bush about the future of digital health records. One of Barack Obama's platforms was that the nation would have digital health records within five years. This is not the first attempt at digitizing the nation's health records, both former President Clinton and President Bush did not get this accomplished while they were in office.

Bush further explained what he thought about the future of this attempt:
“The damaging side would be if help from the government ended up in the form of subsidies for broken approaches that have not worked…then broken purveyors of the broken approaches would be able to live longer and not die" Software “isn’t the dominant approach in financial services or retail banking or anywhere else, and it shouldn’t be in health care.”

Monday, December 15, 2008


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Hope Leman recently wrote an article that focuses on Mednar, a health search engine, and part of the Deep Web technologies.

Mednar is here and it is good. Check it out medical librarians, public library staff, academic librarians who do life science searches, busy front-line clinicians, clinical researchers, medical school faculty, power searchers generally in the health sciences and anybody, indeed, who wants quick, authoritative results in health searching. Yet another impressive achievement of the firm Deep Web Technologies, which already has a stellar record of achievement providing the underlying technology of,, and the brand new Biznar, a free, publicly available business research site.

To read the complete article, click here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Inspire brings patients together

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In a recent article at Xconomy, they look at how the social network Inspire not only brings patients together, but also provides a base for clinical trials. Amir Lewkowicz sat down with Wade Roush to talk about how the social network which began by bringing nonprofits together so parents and caregivers could communicate. To bring in revenue, they allow companies running clincial trials access to their community to find patients. Read the full article here.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

ePrescribing can save money

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In a recent study by the Archives of Internal Medicine, they show that doctors who prescribe medicines online are more likely to choose lower cost drugs, which leads to money saving by patients and insurers. However, only 6% of US doctors save prescribe drugs online.

In this study, 17.4 million prescriptions were filled for 1.5 million patients by 1200 physicians online, and there was an increased prescription rate of Tier I drugs by 3.3%. Tier II prescriptions dropped by 1.9% and Tier III decreased by 1.5%. This lead to a savings of $0.70 per month by the patients.

For more information, read here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008 joins Web 2.0

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At DTC Marketing, they share their insights on new Pharma 2.0 site,

Well Be, a new website with health content, fully embraces Web 2.0 and is a great site with a ton of resources for patients. Included on the site are a range of experts from everything from sexuality to allergies. There are communities where people can exchange information and ask question of the expert staff and videos that people can view at their leisure.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Business Week looks at Patients Like Me

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In a recent extensive article, Business Week takes a look at the power that PatientsLikeMe can provide to patients around the world who have the same disease. So far, 23,000 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's diesase, HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, or mood disorders. The power behind the patients is the fact that their involvement will bring insight, solace and power to the patients which can produce results that are not common, but this concentrated group provides a base of patients that can participate in clinical trials. For more information, read the article here.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Hospitals joining Twitter

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With the growing use of Twitter in the medical world, we see patients connecting to doctors and their health care systems. There are a growing number of hospitals connecting to their patients through Twitter. Check the Clinical Cases blog for an extensive list, but here are a few:

Johns Hopkins
Mayo Clinic
Cleveland Clinic

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

Friday, December 5, 2008

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee to provide online service

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Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee will begin providing online service for 19,000 seniors to manage their health information online. This service will be provided to those who are enrolled in their Advantage plans and will provide aid to manage their medications and chronic conditions. They will also be receiving articles, personal reminders, and outreach from their care providers as well. For more information, click here.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Health 2.0 driving up consumer expectations

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Michael Carbine, the editor at ASI Health, recently wrote a piece exploring how health 2.0 is changing the expectations of those involved in healthcare. Since social networks are driving new collaborations and providing another source of information for the consumer, patients are begining to look at themselves as both the patients and the consumers. Read the article here.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A physician's view on social media

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Dr. Jason Bahn recently wrote a post on The Healthcare IT Guy looking at Health 2.0 from a physician's perspective. Since there are currently an estimated 60 million Americans online who look for health information, he believes it's a doctors responsability to be able to educate their patients about online information should the situation arrive. He sees four main areas in which patients are turning to information online: social networks, social searches, knowledge sources and physician online communities.

How involved do you believe doctors should be when it comes to guiding their patients online?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

United Health joins those who provide records online

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According to the Wall Street Journal, United Health has now launched a website for people to store their personal health records on. is available to anyone who would like to store records, not just customers of United Health. They follow in the steps of Google and Microsoft and insurers Aetna and Wellpoint, who have the option available to those who have health plans with the two companies.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Online ratings and hospitals

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Even though fewer that 15% of Americans go online to find ratings for doctors, hospitals and insurances, hospitals view them as a very important part of the web. At the Press Enterprise, they say that hospitals look to these ratings, and need them to be positive so that they can obtain better insurance contracts, better doctors, both of which lead to more patients and more money. Find out more here.