Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Health 2.0 Spreading across the web

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We've seen the importance recently of health care adapting to the web. RN Central has a list of the top fifty Health 2.0 blogs. You can see the list here. What blogs stand out to you? A few that popped out at me while I was looking over the list were:

New Media Medicine -- A social media networking site where from New Zealand where doctors and med students share their opinions.

The Doctor Weighs In - Five physicians share post about medical topics.

MedGadget -- This blog talks about new technologies for the medical world, both online and in the hospital.

Monday, September 29, 2008

No rules of online advertising

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AdWeek took a look recently on the stipulations and rules the FDA has on drug advertising online. The article started by looking at an online game posted by Pfizer that promoted Viagra. They were forced to pull the game for the prescription drug after they received a warning letter from the FDA.

The majority of drug companies has hit a road block when it comes to advertising on the web, because there aren't specific regulations on what they can and can't do, however, there are consequences if they cross the invisible line. Which results in the majority of drug web pages having text-heavy descriptions on their websites, and they are unable to properly reach the people they're selling their drugs to.

AdWeek points out that there was a meeting in 1996 to establish rules for online advertising, but all efforts fizzled out. Is it time for the FDA to step up and issue rules? What do you think?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Media Solutions to Gain Physicians Ear

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This study by SK&A services found that "a quarter of all office-based physicians now require pharmaceutical or medical device sales representatives to make an appointment in order to see a physician" as reported by this press release. Also found is that sales calls last approximately only 1.5 minutes. Viscira, an interactive new media organization, may have a way for representatives to gain more of a physicians time by offering a new solution. As Dave Gulezian, CEO of Viscira, stated:

"Viscira develops interactive and engaging solutions that arm representatives with content that can help maximize the limited time they get with physicians, and result in greater delivery impact and message rententation."

As he also mentioned, "We are confident technology is a key ingredient in helping break through the boundaries placed by physician's access restrictions."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pharma’s Advertising Decline

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In a report from Neilsen as reported here, total advertising spending in the U.S. experienced a decline of 1.4%. One of the categories that experienced this downward turn was internet advertising which decreased by 6% while Cable TV, however, experienced a growth of 8.1%. It is important to note that these numbers are across all industries. Furthermore, as indicated by the chart at the bottom, from marketingcharts.com, of the top 10 product categories, the pharmaceutical industry had the second largest decrease in ad spending behind automotive. For the first half of 2007 the pharma industry spent approximately $2.73 billion, where as in 2008 that number was down to roughly $2.6 billion. It is interesting to note though, that these numbers exclude internet advertising. While traditionally, as we reported here, pharma companies are notorious for their low budgets in online advertisement, with the growth of web health sites such as The HealthCentral Network, it would be interesting to see if the industry has moved away from their traditional roots.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Top Online Health Websites

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As this article from MarketWatch reports, the leading online health related websites include WebMD, Everyday Health, and The HealthCentral Network, as determined by comScore. This data is based on each sites monthly unique visitors. Pharmaceutical companies should take note since these websites could prove to be great resources for online marketing campaigns especially in the case of The HealthCentral Network. As Christopher M. Schroeder, CEO of The HealthCentral Network observed:

“While having a large audience is important, The HealthCentral Network’s unique ability to attract the highest quality, most engaged health consumers is even more valuable for advertisers.”

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pharma and E-markets can be a bright future

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In a recent article at Future Pharmaceuticals, they discuss the current and future stages of the eMarket and what it can do for Pharma with Amy Chafin of Eli Lilly.

A few points that I found relevant were:
- We're seeing a huge increase in the budgets spent on these tools. It is very important that all money spend is directed towards filling the needs of the customer in the online market.
-It's also important to include larger third parties when embarking on a Web 2.0 stent. With the help of Medscape or Web MD, the value that's added to your venture is tremendous.
-It's hard to measure the value of these tools, however, you've got to measure your return on what your intentions are in the first place. You can look a the amount of interaction within your website, as well as the amount of engagement and how well people retain the message.

Read the rest of the article here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

ePharma Facebook group

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In our efforts to broaden community insights on everything related to pharma marketing in a web 2.0 world, we’ve created an ePharma Facebook Group. This group will be a place where individuals in the pharma industry can connect and create conversations with each other. Don’t forget to join us on LinkedIn as well.

Join the ePharma Facebook group: http://www.new.facebook.com/group.php?gid=26459318949

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond

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The second webinar in our series of ePharma Summit webinars “ePharma: Internet Trends and Usage in 2008 and Beyond” will be presented by John Mangano, Senior Director of comScore, Inc. on October 16th at 2:00 to 3:00 PM EDT. Save your webinar seat by registering now. If you missed the last ePharma Summit webinar “Utilization of a Multi-Channeled Messaging Platform to Improve Patient Adherence” you can view the archive here. Here’s a recap of John’s webinar:

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.

Don’t miss your chance to see this free webinar. Register by clicking on the following link:


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Google Health on the iPhone?

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John Sharp brings up the interesting notion that there should be a personal cloud for managing health in this latest post on eHealth. Clouds have long been integrated into the iPhone, but not a health cloud. As health consumers become more tech savvy, there will be a need for Google Health to become available on the iPhone so that patients could access their health records at any given time. One thing is for sure, Google will have to establish a secure enough connection for consumers to feel comfortable accessing personal health information over the web.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Utilization of a Multi-Channeled Messaging Platform to Improve Patient Adherence”

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If you missed Thursday’s webinar “Utilization of a Multi-Channeled Messaging Platform to Improve Patient Adherence” presented by Robert Nauman of BioPharma Advisors here’s your chance to view it at your own leisure. This presentation generated a lot of good feedback so take the time out to view it, I’m sure you’ll find the content valuable.

View the Archive: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/425501142

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pharma could shed negative image if they get involved in Web 2.0

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In recent article published by Ad Week, they take a look at the current image of big Pharma companies. Big Pharma has a notoriously bad image in today’s society. Part of the article encourages Pharma companies to embrace the new digital age. Since the public often sees the companies as hiding and covering up actions, if they became involved in the Web 2.0 tools, people would get to know Pharma companies.

Loreen Babcock, the CEO an Chairman of the Unit 7, a New York based company who specializes in relationship marketing particularly dealing with these types of companies had this to say about what the involvement would do for their image.

“The content is existing videos in which J&J already had an investment. So that's interesting-creative reuse of an existing and costly resource This effort leverages the fact that consumers trust other consumers more than company spokespersons, and it also tips a hat to the 'wisdom of crowds' ethos.”

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Most Powerful People in Healthcare

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The latest edition of 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare, seems to be indicative of the trend that is sweeping the pharmaceutical industry: entry into the online marketing space. As we have reported in the past online pharmaceutical marketing has been scant, however, if the people who voted for the 2008 edition of top 100 have anything to say about it, this will be changing. This years top 3 include: Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and CEO of Revolution Health Group, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, and Bill Gates, Chairman for Microsoft. As this article reports:

"most people in healthcare no longer see IT as just a product of wishful thinking but a real and viable solution that will help ensure the long-term success of the healthcare industry."

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hello Health open for business

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As Health 2.0 pointed out, Hello Health recently opened for business. The basic $35 monthly fee opens up the world of online health care to any patient who signs up. Jay Parkinson, the director, makes sure you can attend medical appointments online or off, only at your convenience. This online health system allows you to communicate with your doctor in three ways: online, phone calls or visit them in the office. The flexible online system allows you to email, IM, text, and video chat, all at varying fees for each communication.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Heartbeat Digital: A Google AdWords Qualified Company

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Heartbeat Digital has a new accolade to add to the company’s accomplishments, they are officially a Google AdWords Qualified Company, as reported here in MarketWatch. To qualify for this title, they had to pass Google’s Advertising Professionals exam, as well as show “mastery of Google’s advertising capabilities.” To qualify to take the exam, media planners for Heartbeat, Krystina Galtieri, and Justin Fontany, first became Qualified Individuals for the Google Advertising Professionals program.

This is nice to know for pharmaceutical organizations since Heartbeat works specifically in the pharmaceutical, consumer products, and travel industries. In addiction, their specialty is in finding sales and marketing solutions. Media Director for Hearbeat, Lee Slovitt, released this statement regarding their latest accolade:

"I've always been confident in Heartbeat's media capabilities, but it's very satisfying to receive this confirmation from Google. It means that brand managers can be confident that their brands' online media campaigns are in capable, qualified hands."

Friday, September 5, 2008

Prevent Your Online Community from Failing

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Fard Johnmar discusses in this post on Healthcare Vox that most online communities launched are failing. He cites Ben Worthen, the author of this post “Why Most Online Communities Fail”on the Wall Street Journal blog when he mentions:

“Businesses launching online communities repeat a series of blunders. First, they have a tendency to get seduced by bells and whistles and blow their online-community budget on technology. Moran suggests that businesses spend resources identifying and reaching out to potential community members instead of investing in software that makes predictions, or even social-networking technology.”

What are some other ways that the pharma industry can avoid their social communities from turning into virtual ghost towns?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Acuminder brings Pharma to Facebook

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Johnson and Johnson is getting Web 2.0 in the Pharma world. Not only do they have a YouTube station and a blog, but now they’re reaching out even farther. In a recent news release, we find out that they’ve released an application for Facebook to encourage consumers into keeping their contacts fresh and that they change them on time. Participants with the application can now receive Facebook reminders to change their contacts either via the News Feed or email. To expand even farther, the application, called Acuminder™ can be set up to provide other reminders as well, such as doctor’s appointments or anything else that may be placed on a calendar.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Direct-to-Consumer Marketing May Lack Value

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This new study released states that the Value Of Direct-to-consumer Drug Advertising Oversold. This means that it maybe even more imperative for drug companies to take advantage of marketing to physicians using tools such as ones listed in this previous post from us. As the study reveals, direct-to-consumer marketing may not be effective or produce enough ROI to be worthwhile. This article quotes Stephen Soumerai, a Harvard Medical professor who was the principle investigator for this study, as saying

"People tend to think that if direct-to-consumer advertising wasn't effective, pharma wouldn't be doing it. But as it turns out, decisions to market directly to consumers is based on scant data."

As we have also remarked before, pharmaceutical companies spend about 63% of their budget on TV advertising while only spending approximately 3.1% of their budget on Internet advertising. With these new results, it will be interesting to see if there will be a shift in budget allocation for pharmaceutical organizations.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Google Knol for the Pharma Industry

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Are the authorative articles listed on Google Knol more than just spam? Cyndy Aleo-Carreira seems to think that Knol has a lot of work to do in order to become a credible source of information in this latest post on The Industry Standard.

The problem is that a lot of articles on Knol, can be found all throughout the web. Cyndy gives an example of how a simple search for gastroesophageal reflux disease came up with an article listed on Knol with a rating of five stars. It also came up with text that is virtually identical from two other sites as well. If Knol wants to be taken seriously in the pharma industry it must stop showing duplicate texts in its search results.