Friday, December 25, 2009

Happy Holidays from the ePharma Summit!

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We're taking some much needed time off from our coverage of online Pharma marketing to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation.

Here are our top posts from 2009:
How Can Pharma More Effectively Reach MDs Online?
Health 2.0 should start expanding in 2009
Driving Policy/Guidelines Around the Use of Social Media in Pharma

We'll be back in January with more coverage.

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

ePharma Summit Podcast: Monique Levy

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The ePharma Summit team recently sat down with speaker Monique Levy, the senior director of research at Manhattan Research. She commented on a few of the research projects that had just taken place.

Listen to the podcast here:

The ePharma Summit brings together leaders in digital marketing and the industry’s most cutting edge brand managers to share best practices and discuss innovative marketing strategies for improving physician access and affecting consumer behavior. For more information in the ePharma Summit, visit our homepage.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Senate rejects Dorgan's plan to import low-cost drugs

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Sen. Byron Dorgan's plan to import low-cost drugs to the United States has been rejected by the Senate. The Associated Press reports that the vote on the amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., was 51-48 in favor, but 60 votes were needed to prevail under a special rule. Obama had supported the measure as a senator, but his administration echoed safety concerns raised by the pharmaceutical industry — which is supporting the Democrats' health care bill.

Furthermore, both the pharmaceutical industry and the Obama administration were lobbying against the proposal, saying it would not protect people from potentially dangerous or ineffective drugs. Dorgan's plan would have cost drug makers billions of dollars and had bipartisan support.

What do you think about the rejection of Sen. Dorgan's plan? Will we see the plan revisited?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Would you like to guest blog from the ePharma Summit?

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That’s right, we’re offering a few exclusive all-access complimentary passes to the ePharma Summit – February 8-10, 2010 in Philadelphia, and you could attend the conference – on us ($3,000+ value). We’re looking for experienced bloggers who are well-versed in viral Pharma marketing to begin blogging now and also at this year’s event. In return for your posts, you’ll be able to attend educational sessions and training seminars delivered by industry thought-leaders and Pharma professionals through in-depth case studies featuring the industry experts from leading pharmaceutical companies sanofi-aventis, Pfizer, Eli Lilly & Company as well as digital experts such as Google/YouTube and Wired Magazine.

To apply to be a guest blogger, simply send your name, title, company and a few writing samples (a link to your blog is recommended) to Jennifer Pereira at no later than Wednesday, January 27, 2010. We will review the submissions and contact all winners directly with more details. This opportunity doesn’t come often and we encourage you to apply and join us in Philadelphia.

For more on the ePharma Summit event, visit the website:

Download the Brochure:

To see last year's coverage of the ePharma Summit, click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hear from the experts about the FDA's recent meeting on online Pharma communication

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Insights and Perspectives from the FDA Public Hearing on the Use of Social Media and Internet for Health-Related Communications

About the webinar:
The FDA Social Media and Internet Public Hearing November 12-13, 2009 posed many questions for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Hear impressions of the event in a live interview with Jonathan Richman, Director of Business Development, Bridge Worldwide (Hearing Speaker) and Mel Halkyard, Global eCapabilities Director, Eli Lilly (Hearing Attendee)

What You Will Learn:
- Potential policy and regulatory actions from the FDA as a result of the hearing
- Major obstacles and challenges presented by the industry due to lack of guidance
- Solutions suggested by the industry to address current issues with internet and social media

The Speakers:
Jonathan Richman, Director of Business Development
Bridge Worldwide

Mel Halkyard, Global e-Capabilities Director
Eli Lilly & Company

Watch the web seminar here:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Social Networking and PHRs are Changing Healthcare

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John Sharp notes in this post on eHealth that social networks and personal health records are changing healthcare as we see it today. The traditional role of health manager, which we know as mom, has been transformed through PHRs. Although, mom might always search the internet for newly diagnosed conditions and perhaps even ask a question to the online health communities. Either way we see it, it's indefinite that healthcare is changing. When was the last time you've searched the net for symptoms of a condition?

Monday, December 7, 2009

Complimentary Webinar: Assessing the Impact of Health Reform on Your Business Operations

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Tuesday, December 8

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Mention Priority Code: P1526W1TWITTERBLOG

About the web seminar:
Health Reform is unfolding in Washington, DC. While the current focus is on policy, legislation, and the politics of Congressional approval, our sights soon turn to implementation and transforming policy into products - an opportunity unprecedented in recent history. Existing and proposed health care companies and organizations must rapidly develop their strategy, assess their readiness to participate in these programs, and develop implementation and investment plans.

This webinar will provide an overview or "how to" assess the impact of Health Reform on your company or organization's business operations.

This web seminar will focus on how to:
- Develop your participation strategy for Health Reform
- Identify areas of opportunity and risk
- Create a "readiness to participate" checklist
- Build and execute an implementation plan

About the speaker:
Nancy L. Grden is President of Avenir, LLC, a consulting firm specializing in innovative health care policy and programs. She has significant experience in guiding growth and development across several business sectors and government, as well as a public policy and marketing background.

Privacy Notice: IIR is dedicated to bringing you valuable information services such as this free Webinar. By registering for this event, you acknowledge that IIR may contact you electronically or by any other means regarding IIR’s events and services. You may opt out of subsequent communications if you prefer to no longer receive them.

Title: Assessing the Impact of Health Reform on Your Business Operations

Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

British Docs Warned About Facebook

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The Medical Defense Union, a British legal body for doctors, has warned the country's doctors about the dangers of Facebook. The BBC reports that doctors communicating via sites such as Facebook may be a breach of ethical responsibilities.

It issued the warning after a number of cases in which patients propositioned doctors after searching for their details on the internet.

Regulators agreed that medics should be careful.

This is one of the first reports that we've seen from Europe regarding social networking membership and medical professionals. Do you think that more professional medical organizations will follow?

Doctors warned about risk of 'Facebook flirts'

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Free Web Seminar - Leveraging Health: Driving Dividends through Value-Based Reimbursement Designs in More Costly Drug Delivery Products

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Date/Time: Thu, Dec 3, 2009 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

Mention priority code P1578W2BlogTwitter

No matter how the reform legislation comes to pass, the ultimate outcomes must focus on health, productivity and economic improvement for the communities we serve. The Center for Health Value Innovation, through a grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals, has prepared an overview of the levers of value-based design and a coordinated decision matrix for companies to consider as they revise their health plans for 2010 and beyond.

Through a suite of levers focused on prevention and wellness, chronic care management and care delivery, plan sponsors of all sizes, self-insured and fully-insured, can identify plan designs, incentives and disincentives that will shift populations to better health behaviors. How the plan sponsor chooses, and what questions are asked, is detailed in a forthcoming report. This webinar will frame the decisions and timelines for dividends in their companies and their communities.

What you will learn:
a. What levers will drive better engagement of the consumer, the plan sponsor and the delivery system and result in improved outcomes?
b. Where do we start? What if we are fully insured and cannot get integrated data—what do we do? What if we are a public entity, or working with unions, or operating under legislative barriers—is value based design still possible?
c. What are reasonable expectations? What are the timelines for achievement and key messages for the C-Suite?
d. How do we work with our vendors and health plans to promote, engage, and measure the outcomes?

Cyndy Nayer, Co-Founder and CEO, Center for Health Value Innovation
Ray Zastrow, MD, Vice President, Center for Health Value Innovation

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Web Seminar: Insights and Perspectives from the FDA Public Hearing on the Use of Social Media and Internet for Health-Related Communications

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Title: Insights and Perspectives from the FDA Public Hearing on the Use of Social Media and Internet for Health-Related Communications

Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST

Register here:

Mention priority Code: P1506W12Blog

About the web seminar:

The FDA Social Media and Internet Public Hearing November 12-13, 2009 posed many questions for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. Hear impressions of the event in a live interview with Jonathan Richman, Director of Business Development, Bridge Worldwide (Hearing Speaker) and Mel Halkyard, Global eCapabilities Director, Eli Lilly (Hearing Attendee)

What You Will Learn:
- Potential policy and regulatory actions from the FDA as a result of the hearing
- Major obstacles and challenges presented by the industry due to lack of guidance
- Solutions suggested by the industry to address current issues with internet and social media

Presented By:
Jonathan Richman, Director of Business Development
Bridge Worldwide

Mel Halkyard, Global e-Capabilities Director
Eli Lilly & Company

Monday, November 16, 2009

What Does the Future Hold for ePharma?

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John Sharp from the eHealth blog recently covered an article from Read Write Web in which Google CEO Eric Schmidt talked about a future dominated by Chinese Language and social media content. Here are some key points that will have a direct effect on the pharma.

  • Five years from now the internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content.
  • Today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years - they jump from app to app to app seamlessly.
  • Five years is a factor of ten in Moore's Law, meaning that computers will be capable of far more by that time than they are today.
Perhaps five years from now everyone will be running on mobile watch-sized computing devices. It will be interesting to see over the course of the next 5 years where technology will lead the pharma industry to.

Friday, November 13, 2009

FDA Hearings Underway in DC

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Yesterday, the FDA began their two day hearing discussing how Pharma companies can interact and market their products on the internet. The hearing is to determine whether or not the FDA needs to incorporate themselves more into regulating how marketing is done on the internet. Many drug companies are saying there are many websites that currently have information about about drugs on their websites, but are failing to incorporate the entire picture. For the meeting, which could hold a maximum of 350, there were over 800 applicants who joined the meeting. Read more here.

Were you able to attend the meeting? Is the mass numbers of people wanting to attend the meeting surprising to you? Or is the fact that the FDA has waited this long to conduct the hearings even more surprising?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Drug industry presses FDA to allow more online ads

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The Associated Press writes that the Food and Drug Administration will convene a two-day meeting beginning Thursday to hear the drug industry's position on Internet marketing. The agency has agreed to consider developing rules for online advertising after companies complained that the current guidelines for traditional media — which require a detailed list of possible side effects — have left them hamstrung on the Web.
An estimated 83 percent of Internet users search for health information online, according to a recent survey from the Pew Research Center.

A few drugmakers have begun trying to reach patients via social networking sites like Facebook and YouTube. But overall the industry's online presence trails other sectors, including retail, financial services and computer makers.

What do you think the outcome will be for pharma? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Intel Releases its Own "Text" Reader for the Health Care Market

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This post in the NY Times highlights a new handheld device unveiled by Intel called the IntelReader that helps people who struggle to read standard texts because of certain medical conditions. The reader is able to scan books and other printed texts into a digital form, and then read it aloud to its users.

The device, which is priced at 1$,500, is far less than any other text-to-speech devices covered by Medicare that range from $5,000 - $10,000. Intel is also looking into making other devices in the health care market as it is trying to find more uses for its chips other than regular PCs. It will be interesting to see the line-up of health care products Intel will manufacture of the course of the next couple of years.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

AstraZeneca is joining the conversation

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In a recent article at Delaware Online, the reveal how and why AstraZeneca is jumping into the social media conversation. Earl Whipple, the Senior Director of AstraZeneca's Corporate Communications Group, is the senior editor of the AZ Health Connections blog, has used the blog to communicate about a variety of topics, including healthcare reform, innovation, and the current state of Pharma and using online technologies.

Many have criticized the new AstraZeneca blog. How do you feel about it? As the article pointed out, people are online and talking about AstraZeneca whether or not their online. This gives them a chance to join the conversation and show their views. What do you think of their blog?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Novo Nordisk re-launches hemophilia campaign

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Evelyn Lee of reports that New Jersey-based pharmaceutical company, Novo Nordisk has relaunched it's hemophilia campaign. Its “changing possibilities in hemophilia” campaign with a re-branded Web site and a new community on the social networking site Facebook. The new online resources are intended to reach the hemophilia inhibitor community, which represents just 800 to 900 Americans, according to the health care company, whose U.S. headquarters are based in Princeton.

Do you think that Novo Nordisk's relaunch will be a success?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Agencies partner to launch social media service for pharma companies

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Cara Wood of writes, Extrovertic and Virilion announced a joint venture on October 28, called EV Healthcare, to help healthcare companies implement digital and social media marketing campaigns. The service, based in New York, has just begun marketing to prospective clients, saidPfizer veteran Dorothy Wetzel, co-founder and executive marketer at Extrovertic.

“When there's a lot of change there's a lot of opportunity,” Wetzel said. ”Consumers are more often getting healthcare information from digital and social channels. Traditional direct-to-consumer campaigns are under fire, the most innocuous campaigns are attacked because consumers are more skeptical of pharma advertising. Healthcare companies need compelling creative strategy and true consumer dialogue.”

What do you think of the joint venture into the pharma and social media sphere? We'd like to hear how you think this evolves -- will we see more partnerships to come?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Archived Webinar: Shifting Media, Shifting Minds – Optimize Online Engagement

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If you missed your chance to view yesterday's live web seminar presented by Bill Drummy, the CEO of Heartbeat Digital, here's your chance to view it at your own leisure! Take some time to view the hour long webinar below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Complimentary Webinar: Shifting Media, Shifting Minds – Optimize Online Engagement

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Join us for a Webinar on Wednesday, October 28

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
Mention Priority Code: P1506LinkedInBLOG

About the web seminar:
The days of one-way brand communication (i.e. advertising) are over. Engagement, utility and brand evangelism are the secrets to success in the user-controlled world of Facebook and Twitter. See how some major brands have exploited the new digital realities. Heartbeat Digital CEO Bill Drummy presents real-world examples showing how Bayer, J&J, Novo Nordisk, and UCB are racing ahead into the digital future.

What you will learn:
• The dramatic change in consumer media consumption patterns
• Who’s really using social networking and what are they doing
• The real data behind Facebook & Twitter
• The “reason for being” of various social networking environments and how to harness their unique capabilities
• Real-world examples of effective social networking campaigns

About the speaker:
Bill Drummy is CEO of Heartbeat Digital, an independent interactive marketing and software company he founded in 1998. Heartbeat is headquartered in New York, with offices in Brussels, Geneva, Paris and London. Named one of pharma’s “100 Most Inspiring People,” by PharmaVoice, Bill has provided strategic guidance at the highest levels for Amgen, GSK, sanofi-aventis, UCB and many other leading pharma and biotech companies. Bill’s reputation as a strategic thinker is well-known; he’s regularly published on industry issues and has been a featured speaker at major industry conferences, including DTC National ePharma Summit, and the Conference on Marketing.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired magazine will be at ePharma 2010!

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Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief of Wired magazine, will be a keynote presenter
at the ePharma Summit in February 2010

Are you interested in How Emerging Technologies Will Impact Consumer Behavior & Preferences? If the answer is yes, be sure to join us on the morning of Wednesday, February 10th at 8:15 at the ePharma Summit 2010, where Chris Anderson will discuss the long tail of the pharmaceutical industry and the inevitable shift towards the “mini buster” and personalized medicine. Understand how the economics of abundance and the evolving digital landscape will forever influence the way you sell and market pharmaceutical products.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Widget Wonderland at FDA-Who Knew?

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Angie Drakulich of PharmTech News writes today that the FDA will hold its public meeting to discuss the use of social media tools in marketing pharmaceutical drug products. The last time the agency held a meeting to discuss these types of items was in 1996 when the Internet’s popularity was growing by leaps and bounds.

While the agency is doing its best to figure out how to regulate online marketing—which comes with a whole new set of timing variables—it’s also working to keep up with technology on its own website. For example, last week, FDA posted a new widget that highlights fraudulent H1N1 swine-flu prevention and treatment products.

Drakulich also writes, FDA actually has a few widgets available. A peanut product recall widget lists all products pulled from the market for peanut contamination. A MedWatch widget highlights industry news including adverse events and product safety information. A food safety widget links to food safety programs at the agency as well as information on foodborne illnesses, allergies, and more. Some more simple FDA widgets are noted on the agency website here.

Widget Wonderland at FDA-Who Knew?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dr. David Blumenthal's view on medical records

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The New York Times recently had a piece where Dr. David Blumenthal, an adviser for President Obama on digitizing health records, spoke about what the current situation is for transition to digitized medical records and what the benefits will be when US doctors fully move over to the system. This includes patients being able to better manage their care and doctors and hospitals performing at higher levels. Read the full interview here.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Free Webinar Tomorrow: Overcoming the Challenges of Government Pricing, Compliance Reporting and Medicaid Rebate Processing

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October 15, 2009

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:

Priority code: P1458W1BLOG/TWITTER

About the web seminar:
All pharmaceutical product manufacturers who sell to various agencies of the federal government and/or who participate in Medicaid, 340B, Medicare or other public sector reimbursement programs face significant requirements and challenges with respect to their government-mandated pricing calculations and compliance reporting processes. Huge penalties and fines can be levied for miscalculating or incorrectly applying the various government price types to government-contracted sales and/or for compliance reporting mistakes.

The Seminar will address the complexities and challenges associated with automating Government Pricing and Medicaid Rebate system(s) as well as the pros and cons of using a packaged-software approach versus a custom-development approach. An overview of a leading-edge enterprise solution, developed as a fully-integrated component of the SAP® Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, will be presented, accompanied by a live software demonstration and followed by a Question & Answer discussion of the issues.

What you will learn:
• An appreciation of the historical and legal background and context for the government-mandated price calculations and compliance reporting requirements;
• An understanding of the various price types that must be calculated, used in sales transaction processing and reported under each corresponding government program;
• Why automating and managing these processes using a packaged solution, based upon a fully-integrated enterprise architecture, is the lowest risk and lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) approach

After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees
Required: Windows® 2000, XP Home, XP Pro, 2003 Server, Vista
Macintosh®-based attendees
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4 (Tiger®) or newer

Friday, October 9, 2009

Complimentary Web Seminar: Shifting Media, Shifting Minds

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Title: Shifting Media, Shifting Minds
Date: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EDT

Register here:
Mention Priority code: P1506LinkedInBlog

About the web seminar:
The days of one-way brand communication (i.e. advertising) are over. Engagement, utility and brand evangelism are the secrets to success in the user-controlled world of Facebook and Twitter. See how some major brands have exploited the new digital realities. Heartbeat Digital CEO Bill Drummy presents real-world examples showing how Bayer, J&J, Novo Nordisk, and UCB are racing ahead into the digital future.

What you will learn:
• The dramatic change in consumer media consumption patterns
• Who’s really using social networking and what are they doing
• The real data behind Facebook & Twitter
• The “reason for being” of various social networking environments and how to harness their unique capabilities
• Real-world examples of effective social networking campaigns

About the speaker:
Bill Drummy is CEO of Heartbeat Digital, an independent interactive marketing and software company he founded in 1998. Heartbeat is headquartered in New York, with offices in Brussels, Geneva, Paris and London. Named one of pharma’s “100 Most Inspiring People,” by PharmaVoice, Bill has provided strategic guidance at the highest levels for Amgen, GSK, sanofi-aventis, UCB and many other leading pharma and biotech companies. Bill’s reputation as a strategic thinker is well-known; he’s regularly published on industry issues and has been a featured speaker at major industry conferences, including DTC National ePharma Summit, and the Conference on Marketing.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pharma Drops Search Advertising After FDA Warning

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Fearing any further warnings or issues from the FDA, Pharma companies have dropped search advertising on search engines. AdAge reports that according to a study from web metrics measurement firm ComScore, paid search ads by pharmaceutical companies dropped a whopping 84% between March 26 of this year and the end of June. Pharma companies that believed they were in compliance with the unwritten "one-click rule" -- taking the consumer from the ad to a site that offered fair balance and the risk information by clicking on the ad -- immediately began pulling paid search ads, according to the study.

For more information about the changes in search engines from Pharma companies, please click here.

Pharma Drops Search Advertising After FDA Warning

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Multi-Marketing Channel Strategies for Pharma

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The future of Pharma marketing lies in using new marketing channels such as social media intertwined with traditional marketing practices to create a multi-channel marketing mix. However, online brand promotion through social media is more effective for targeting patients than physicians, indicating direct marketing tactics to physicians through social media should be limited. Datamonitor’s report, New Multi-Marketing Channel Strategies provides an overview of the reasons behind the need for new marketing channels and explores the different channel mixes used to reach the pharma industry’s diverse customer base (focusing on patients and doctors). The report also examines the use of online technology, especially social media and uses in-depth case study analysis to examine the pros and cons of each method, while providing actionable recommendations on the appropriateness of the respective targeted audiences.

Friday, October 2, 2009

FDA To Hold Hearings On Social-Media Use By Drug Makers

Pin It Now! reports that pharmaceutical companies in a quandary about what they can and cannot do on Web 2.0 are welcoming news that the Food and Drug Administration will hold a two-day public hearing on the issue Nov. 12-13 in Washington, Rich Thomaselli reports. Ad agencies that specialize in health-care marketing say the hearings, and any resulting guidelines, will be helpful for the industry which, by and large, has avoided participating in social media for fear of an FDA warning letter.

With the new guidelines set by the FDA, will we see participation in social media increase by pharmaceutical companies? We'd like to hear your thoughts.

FDA To Hold Hearings On Social-Media Use By Drug Makers

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Microsoft releases My Heatlh Info

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According to Channel Web, Microsoft has released it's version of online medical records, My Health Info, to the public. It's beta version is now online for individuals to begin managing their healthcare information, from high blood pressure to coordinating the medication they're using. It also has an area for vaccines records as well as lab results. Read about the new release here.

What audience do you think is most likely to take advantage of online health care records? And is the younger generation going to jump on the personal health records bandwagon? They've propelled many online services such as MySpace and Facebook, but will they be likely to share their private medical data with Microsoft?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Registration open for ePharma Summit the most innovative digital marketing event for Pharma

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The 9th Annual ePharma Summit is the most innovative digital marketing event for pharma. Year after year, hundreds of marketing professionals from leading pharmaceutical companies attend ePharma for incomparable access to insider information for optimizing their brand strategy and perfecting consumer relationships.

Based on feedback from hundreds of pharmaceutical digital marketers and brand managers, we’ve created a cutting-edge event packed with fresh case studies, hands-on workshops, hot topic debates, facilitated roundtable discussions, and live audience polling sessions. There might be other events out there, but ePharma Summit is the one event you need to be at in 2010!

Don’t Miss Out On
• Chris Anderson, the Editor in Chief of Wired Magazine what “free” means for Pharma and “The Long Tail” digital marketing
• Social-Media Boot Camp lead by the industry’s most notable experts Shwen Gwee at Vertex Pharmaceuticals and Mel Halkyard at Eli Lilly & Company
• Susan Dentzer, Editor in Chief Health Affairs and Health Policy Analyst on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer gets to the bottom of healthcare reform. The annual eMarketing University lead by industry gurus from Shire Pharmaceuticals, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, Google, St. Joseph’s University, and Daiichi Sankyo
• UCB first time presentation on their innovative patient-centric epilepsy community
• Kevin Nalty, former pharma marketer and prolific online video creator interactive session allows you to weigh in on pharma on YouTube
• Two Physician interviews where they tell you how they prefer to learn and what is preferred in non-personal promotion

To preview the newly completed program agenda and the all-star speaker line-up, check out the website:

This is your chance to rub elbows with the foremost leaders in digital marketing in an unobtrusive environment conducive to 1 on 1 networking and idea exchange. Don’t wait…The ePharma Summit this past February was standing room only. Reserve your seat today and prepare to pursue true e-marketing innovation in 2010 and beyond.

Registration Open!
Register now for the e-marketing event of the year—February 8-10, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, PA. Use registration code P1506 blog when registering for th event.

We look forward to seeing you in Philadelphia,

The ePharma Summit Team
Lesly Atlas
Kristin Paulick
Paul Ivans
Joe Shields

Monday, September 28, 2009

Electronic records adopted by New York Hosptial

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North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, a New York regional health care group, has announced the adoption of electronic records throughout it's system ranging from large hospitals to its doctors. It will cost a total of $400 million to digitize the health records, but will more tightly link the doctors and hospitals together, along with labs to coordinate patient care, reduce medical mistakes and reduce necessary tests. Find out more about this implementation of electronic health records here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Future doctors and their current online lives

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With new social lives taking place online, many professionals have found conflict between their personal profiles and how it affects their personal lives. This is no different for future doctors, meaning that many medical students are also guilty of putting inappropriate content online. Some situations are even violating doctor/patient confidentially.

Of the Student Affairs offices interviewed, Web MD found that 60% of the schools know of inappropriate behavior taking place online, with another 13% of instances where the medical students breaching doctor/patient confidentially rules. Half of the schools interviewed also had no policies in place to guide their students when it came to online behavior. Read the full article here.

I personally think we're entering a new age where professionals are going to have to mentally draw lines between personal/online lives and professional lives. However, the current Facebook Generation is going to have to learn what is appropriate online and make better judgements about what pictures and actions they place online. However, there should be no tolerance, and doctors should know, for breaking any confidentially laws and posting about patients online. So while the acceptance gap should grow about what is posted online, in no way should it relate to the patient, whose privacy and well being should be the main concern at all times.

What do you think?

Friday, September 18, 2009

Online perscriptions present growing problem

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As the nation moves to online health care, a separate issue is arising in terms of healthcare on the internet. According to Reuters, there's a growing number of online websites that will provide prescription drugs with no questions asked. The main concern to this practice is, in many cases, patients are taking the wrong drugs after self-prescribing the medication themselves. This is contributing to the growing trend of antibiotic resistance. Many of the those ordering from these sides bypass any trip to the doctor, and take the wrong prescriptions, which may be dangerous for many reasons, including how the drugs will interact in one's body with other medications.

What do you think about situations like this? Online sites do give out prescriptions after an order takes an online survey, however there is no one monitoring what drugs are interacting with which. Not to mention the growing resistance of many of the antibiotic drugs. How can this problem be solved?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

CDC uses social media to distribute health incformation

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According to the Independent Florida Alligator, the CDC will now be using Facebook and Twitter to help distribute information about the Swine Flu.

Jay M. Bernhardt, director of the National Center for Health Marketing at the CDC stated"We have great information, [but] we have a terrible time distributing it. It's about providing health information and interventions when, where, and how people want and need them."

You can follow the CDC on Twitter at CDC_ehealth and become a fan of them on Facebook to have the latest information on the swine flu here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New widget helps NY doctors treat AIDS

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According to NY1, a new widget introduced by the New York State Health Department will help doctors know the latest medical information for treating patients with HIV and AIDS. This widget will provide doctors with podcasts, a hotline and email that will be constantly updated with the latest news on how to treat patients with the disease. Click here to watch the news report.

This is a great way to keep doctors current with treatment information on a disease which is very difficult to treat. This information will be available to New York doctors, do you think that other states will follow and begin offering widgets that will provide up-to-date instant information on how to treat other diseases?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Wisconsin Harnesses Social Media to Interact with Members

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In an effort to connect with customers, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Sheild of Wisconsin has begun to utilize social media. According to Reuters, the healthcare insurance giant is piloting a program in which it uses Twitter to identify members who may have questions or concerns about their health benefits. Twitter allows Anthem to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, real time conversation, and respond to each tweet about Anthem.

Members can follow Anthem on Twitter at

In addition to Twitter, Anthem is utilizing Facebook to create a community where people
can interact with Anthem and with each other, and learn about how our health
is connected and how one person's healthy behaviors can positively affect
someone else's health behaviors. Anthem is also launching a brand channel on
YouTube to create a vital and viral community around health and wellness.

Will we begin to see more insurance companies flocking to social media, especially smaller companies?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A Glimpse at a World Without Rules in Pharma Marketing

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Jonathan Richman recently posted on the imedia connection blog what would happen if there was no FDA, FTC, or DDMAC to set guidelines and rules for marketers in pharma. At first it seems like a great idea but then he went on to explain that instead of the FDA critiquing and reviewing your products it would instead be the patients, doctors, caregivers, researchers, payors, random pharma critics, and commentators doing it.

Those companies that claim bogus benefits would be shunned from society whereas those that are honest in their marketing would remain on top. Is this a good thing for pharma?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Friending Doctors on Social Networks..Is it a good thing?

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This post on CNN shows how ex-Cleveland Cavalier basketball player Walter Jordan messaged his doctor on Facebook only after becomingly increasingly frustrated with closed offices, unreturned phone messages, and other said outputs of doctor-patient communication. His response through the social network was incredible, he got a returned message within 24 hours.

A study conducted by Manhattan Research shows that traditional means of communication including phone calls and face to face meetings with doctors just isn't as effective as it once was. Out of 9,000 US patients surveyed, 5 percent of respondents had received or sent an email to their doctor and of those 49 percent were interested in doing it again. More and more numbers are showing that consumers want to be able to communicate with their physicians electronically, so it would only make sense to friend your doctor on Facebook.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Minnesota helps citizens online

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Minnesota recently launched a nonprofit website that will help the citizens of its state compare the prices of different medical procedures and treatments. Minnesota Health Scores is aiming to educate the Minnesotan public by providing them with information the costs and quality of of procedures at clinics around the state.

Source: WKBT

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pharma Companies are Launching YouTube Channels

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Steve Woodruff mentions in his latest blog post that pharma companies are beginning to realize the importance of online video sharing and alternative methods of communication. Novartis, for example, has joined the elite group of pharma companies that have launched their own YouTube channel. Now why is this important? This proves as a great way for pharma to turn people's negative perception away by allowing patient stories to be seen as videos. The Novartis Channel does exactly that, covering 1-minute patient stories ranging from cancer, dengue fever, meningitis, and other diseases.

There is no reason why other pharmaceutical companies should not join in the bandwagon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Some online health appoints proven to be effective

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At Health care Republic, they look at how may services, such as the online psychiatric counseling, are effective for treating health conditions. The author wonders if this could change our health care in the future, meaning that much of our basic consulting could turn online.

Do you think this is a good thing? We have been hearing about the drought we're going to experience in family health doctors. Will this help or medical system in the future?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Is Web 2.0 Past its Hype Cycle in Pharma?

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John Sharp detailed in this post on eHealth that according to Gartner Research Web 2.0 technologies has moved past the initial hype phase and now has matured into something of real value. Gartner specifically mentioned,

"We see a number of potentially transformational technologies that will hit the mainstream in less than five years, including Web 2.0, cloud computing, Internet TV, virtual worlds and service-oriented architecture (SOA)."

John seems surprised that microblogging applications like Twitter has not made it to that list of components that Gartner expects to become mainstream. Do you think pharma is heading in the same direction and speed in terms of Web 2.0 technologies compared to other industries?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Many turning to online health insurance websites

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According to the Chicago Sun Times, of the people who buy health insurance this year, 28% will do so online. This article focuses on eHealthInsurance, which is an affordable Expedia-type search engine that finds affordable health insurance for individuals. It's partnered with Celtic Insurance Company of Chicago. However, new legislation from the Obama administration could put businesses such as these out of business. The government is considering a single market place that would detail all health insurance, which would not allow eHealthInsurance to operate.

What do you think? What do you see for the future of online health care insurance?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Online Psychiatric Counseling Appears Effective

Pin It Now! reports today that there could be virtual relief for patients suffering from depression through an innovative internet-based program.

Online cognitive behavioral therapy for depression -- with patients and therapists communicating in real time via instant messaging, or IM -- was not only effective, but could broaden access to treatment, researchers reported in the Aug. 22 issue of The Lancet.

After four months, 38 percent of patients who had participated in the Internet-based therapy program had recovered from depression, compared with 24 percent of those in a control group, according to Dr. David Kessler of the University of Bristol.

After eight months' follow-up, 42 percent of the treatment group -- but only 26 percent of controls -- had recovered.

Online Psychiatric Counseling Appears Effective

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Utah offers online health insurance marketplace

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Yesterday, an online health network that provides insurance to small businesses and the uninsured debuted. This is a unique programs where all health insurances are taking on the risks of those who sign up for the program. With this program, which is currently available to 120 small businesses, individuals can choose the health care plan that suits them best. Read more about this unique program here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pfizer And Private Access to Develop Online Community for Clinical Research

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Pfizer and Private Access have begun a collaborative partnership into the world of online communities. The community is the first of its kind and will serve to increase clinical trial awareness and participation by allowing users to connect with patients, physicians and researchers. The goal is to create an online community that will lead to more informed decisions about patient care and clinical trial participation.

According to the press release, Private Access allows patients to control to whom, and for what purposes, they grant access to see all or selected portions of their personal health information. By granting “private access” only to researchers focused on the conditions that interest them, patients can be more quickly and precisely matched to appropriate clinical trials while simultaneously protecting their confidential personal health information.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cloud Computing in Healthcare

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John Sharp mentions in his latest post that healthcare has been considering cloud computing, but there is some hesitancy when it comes to its availability and its security. HIPAA keeps a strong hold on security and regulations on data breaches, and the security of EMRs is vital in order to keep public trust in online medical records. So what are the next steps in getting cloud computing accepted by healthcare professionals?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Online site launched to help new parents

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In Morpeth, UK, a new website has been launched for new parents. This website will offer parents advice and hopefully provide answers to the question "Am I doing this right?". NHS Baby Life Check offers advice on many topics, including development, feeding, healthy teeth, safety, sleep routine, immunisations and the challenges of being a parent are all covered. Visit the website here. Read the article on NHS Baby Life in the Morpeth Herald.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

297 + More? Hospitals on Social Media

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Roberta Rochman of reports that 297 hospitals use some form of Social Media in the healthcare market sector.

In the United States alone, the statistics are as follows:

• 231 have Twitter accounts
• 142 have YouTube-channels
• 80 have Facebook-pages

Are you connected with any or many of these hospitals and healthcare organizations? We will see an increase in social media use by hospitals, especially with the new healthcare initiatives set up by the Obama Administration. As hospitals look to enhance their customer service and outreach, social media may be an easier way to spread the good news about the hospital's good work.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Social Media and Pharma: Spurring Engagement and Collaboration

Pin It Now! has an interesting overview of how social media and pharma can connect for more opportunity to revolutionize and elevate physician-industry interactions to an equal, collaborative footing. Writer Emma D'Arcy focuses on the four main areas listed below in her discussion of pharma and social media.
  • Can social media improve relations with physicians?
  • Overcoming inhibitions
  • Social media calls for experimental participation
  • Pharma needs third parties to inspire confident engagement

We encourage you to check out her findings and offer up a few thoughts of your own via our Twitter and LinkedIn group.

Sticky or stuck? How the industry can overcome its reservations of social networking and forge new more open online relations with doctors.

Monday, August 10, 2009

SEO Plays a Big Factor in Online Health

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According to this post on more then two thirds of Americans turn to search engines when they are seeking health and medical information online. Manhattan Research, the company that focused on this study strongly suggests that pharmaceutical companies have an effective search engine campaign in order to take advantage of these findings. Increasing search engine visibility can increase sales since consumers believe that search engines can effectively screen out bogus results. Is your company focusing enough on search engine optimization?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Learning from other online health communities

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In the recent post at the FP Executive blog, they point out that it is advisable to step back and take a look at other online health communities before you launch your own. By looking at other online communities and what has failed and what has succeeded, you can learn a lot as to what can be successful for your online community. Creating an online community does take time. The website must have good usability, and there must also be a strong monetary backing in order for a good site to ultimately succeed. Read the full article here.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

The C-Tweet: Where are all the Healthcare CEO's on Twitter?

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This article was co-written by Bunny Ellerin, Managing Director of InterbrandHealth, and Eileen O’Brien, digital pharma diva. It was originally published on Pharma 2.0.

twitterTweeting is fast becoming a must-do vs. a what-are-you-doing for business generally and CEO’s in particular. Last month, BusinessWeek ran an article about business leaders who use Twitter and profiled 50 CEO’s from a range of industries. There was definitely an over-representation of tech CEO’s, but BW also talked to those from advertising/pr, construction, research, media, retail. But none in healthcare.

Where are all the healthcare CEO’s on Twitter? We found a few like @paulflevy (Paul Levy of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center), @jbselz (CEO, Ozmosis) and @livestrongCEO (Doug Ullman of Lance Armstrong Foundation) but not many others.

If you’re a CEO or high-level executive, why use Twitter at all? Well, at the core, you are the company’s chief evangelist and represent the brand best. As Michael Hyatt, the CEO of a publishing company, pointed out in the BW article, “Twitter enables me to humanize Thomas Nelson and thus better connect me with our key constituents—our employees, authors, and customers.” Others cited reasons like:

  • Building relationships with customers/clients/vendors
  • Generating real-time feedback from those people
  • Disseminating information quickly to internal and external constituents
  • Meeting potential employees and getting a sense of what current employees really think
  • Acquiring new product/service ideas

We are eager to hear from more in the healthcare C-suite. As followers of many business leaders on Twitter, we have compiled a list of Dos and Don’ts to help future C-Tweeters get started using this amazing technology.

1. Content. To engage people, you must post a combination of business-related information and personal anecdotes. On the business side, this is really why people are following you, so let followers know about company news, important events, interesting company tidbits/facts. You can also post links to interesting articles or retweet good posts. It’s ok to highlight press releases, but don’t make them your main contribution. Followers will unfollow you quickly if that’s the only thing you post. Twitter is about interacting and sharing, not just reprocessing canned messages. Plus, you should pepper your posts with a bit of the personal from time to time. It will draw people in.

Good content examples:

Richard Rosenblatt, CEO of Demand Media, has a great Twitter style. Here are a few of his @demandrichard posts: from sharing info on the business, tonviting people to connect, letting people get to know more about the person.

  • “Demand Media Daily Fact: Demand Studios has paid out more than US$14MM to its creator community as of June 2009.”
  • “Looking forward to the Fortune conference in LA. May attend thursday. Please reply if you are attending.”
  • “Made it to mtns after the conference; worth it…3 glasses of wine down and kids all over you tube and watching our videos on wakeboarding.”

2. Interaction. Twitter is not just a vehicle to push information out about your company. It’s about engaging in the dialogue. The most successful CEOs on Twitter make an effort to interact with followers. Search topics on Twitter and answer questions or provide advice. If you are overwhelmed by questions or comments from followers, be sure to say so and let them know that you aren’t ignoring them.

3. Tone. Authoritative but not smug. And definitely throw in some humble now and again. The regular folks will relate and admire you all the more.

4. Authenticity. It’s got to be genuine and in your voice. The ideal is for you to write your own posts from wherever you happen to be. But not everyone who should be tweeting has the desire or even has the manual dexterity to do so. If you need a little help getting started, then pick someone who knows you well or can get up to speed quickly. Be sure to listen first (follow others) and get a sense of the community before you jump in.

5. Don’t Tweet to Tweet. Personal details are good (see Content) but we're not that interested in what you ate for breakfast (unless it was with Obama) or that you’ll be on the phone all day.

6. Commitment. Be prepared to be in this for the long haul. The only thing worse than an out of date CEO blog is an abandoned CEO Twitter account. We suggest no fewer than 3 tweets a day to establish a real presence. Once you have been tweeting for a few weeks and feel comfortable, add your Twitter name to your email signature and business card.

7. Follower etiquette. Follow others who interest you. It is imbalanced if you have 2200 followers and follow only 100. You can’t engage in a dialogue if it’s all one-sided. Plus, part of the value of Twitter is hearing what others have to say. Also encourage people to follow those you like to follow.

8. Have an opinion. There aren’t too many public company CEO’s on Twitter because their CFO’s and compliance people worry it might affect the stock price. But if you’re a private company CEO, then have an opinion. Don’t like parts of the health care bill, say something. This is your opportunity.

9. Twitter is a Permanent Record. It goes without saying that once someone has Tweeted it’s public record.

10. Twitter vs. Facebook. No contest. Twitter is a business tool. Facebook, while it is trying hard to position itself as a business tool, is a personal update tool. Haven’t used either? Don’t waste time on Facebook, go straight to Twitter.

Are you ready to go? Set up an account at and follow us at @BunnyEllerin and @EileenOBrien.

If you have no clue how to get started, but know you should be on Twitter, contact us for help.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Online hospital ratings

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9 News of Colorado looks at the new surveys that have become available that rate the hospitals in the nation. The new surveys from Consumer Reports, let locals rate hospitals based on communication, communication about medicines, discharge planning, cleanliness, quiet and other factors. Find the reviews here. Read more about the 9 News report here.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reactions to Receiving Results From Online Genetic Testing

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John Sharp recently posted on his blog this video below, which includes the reaction of Jen McCabe Gorman as she ordered an online genetic test and then received and opened the results for the first time. Definitely a worthwhile watch to see it from the consumer's POV watching.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pfizer joins Twitter

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The PharmaExec blog reports that Pfizer has joined the growing list of Pharma companies that has a Twitter account. This is an effort to build their media relations and communications plan. They're currently testing the waters to find out what the benefits of social media will be, and join the converstions that are already going on about them through the platform. Read the full artilce here.

Follow Pfizer at:

Don't forget to follow the ePharma Summit on Twitter at:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Medscape Releases Mobile Platform Health Service

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According to this article in Fierce Mobile Healthcare Medscape has launched a mobile service for the iPhone and is planning to release a similar application for the Blackberry and other mobile devices. The service will include a free drug database, a drug interaction checker, medical & professional news, as well as a professional directory of physicians, pharmacies, and hospitals.

Steve Zatz, MD, executive vice president of WebMD mentions, "Medscape Mobile extends the reach of Medscape's information and applications from the desktop to the mobile devices that physicians are already using in a variety of clinical settings. Our online physician audience will now have access to Medscape's comprehensive medical information in their specialty, wherever and whenever they need it."

It will be interesting to see more health providers release similar technology over the course of the year.

Monday, July 27, 2009

A look at online health diagnosis

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In a recent article by Susan Flockhart at the Sunday Herald, she looks at Great Britain's citizens reactions to be able to self diagnose themselves. England has launched an online symptom checker for the swine flu, and was met with so many 2,600 page hits per second, forcing the Department of Health to quadruple its capacity. Read her whole observation on online diagnosis for the H1N1 flu here.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Department of Defense testing out online health records

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According to Daily Tech, the US Military has a pilot plan running that is testing out personal health records online. Those whose records online are the active military personnel, families and veterans of Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington. The test program is called MiCare. It will soon expand to Hampton Roads, Virginia. All users can access their online health records via Microsoft Health Vault or Google Health. Read more about the Department of Defense's pilot program here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Why physicians may never have their own Facebook

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Chris Seper of asks, "What is compelling enough to convince a significant number of time-crunched and inward-looking physicians to seriously embrace an online network?"

The case that Seper has today involves the recent split between the AMA and Sermo. Seper says, "A recent dust up between the American Medical Association and the physician network Sermo has provided online medical networks with something they haven’t found themselves: purpose."

Sermo, based in Cambridge, Mass., has the lead and the industry’s attention — particularly after making a public break earlier this month from the AMA. The AMA has said their members weren’t getting value in the partnership. Sermo has said the AMA no longer represents most doctors.

Since the split Sermo has published the results of a series of unscientific polls of Sermo members showing they clash with the AMA on issues including health-care reform.

Depicted below is Sermo's business model:
With LinkedIn, Ning, Facebook, MySpace and Twitter--are social networks ever going to appeal to physicians? Though, as Seper notes, physicians learn from one another when it comes to medicine so it would seem that a natural progression would be do to that meeting with one another on an online platform--with the ability to reach other doctors around the world.

We encourage you to check out Seper's original article as he discusses other social networks available for physicians.

Why physicians may never have their own Facebook

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pediatrics in Practice launch education system

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Pediatrics in Practice has launched an online health course to help educate professionals on how to encourage smoking prevention for girls ages 8-11 and their families.

Dr. Henry (Hank) Bernstein, professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School, who led the team that developed the new program stated:
"Despite a national decline in smoking rates, young girls are exposed to intense social and media pressures to smoke. Our online courses support the health professional in applying concrete strategies to open and maintain the conversation with young girls and their families around smoking prevention and cessation."

Read more about this new online program here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Google Health adds "End of Life" wishes.

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According to the AFP, Google Health has added "End-of-Life" wishes to its so patients can convey their wishes if they are unable to communicate nearing the end of their life, whether it be to ill or injured.

Google's official blog stated:
"An advance directive allows you to determine your end-of-life wishes so that your family and doctor can honor them if you get sick and are unable to communicate. The decision to sign an advance directive is an important and personal one, and Google Health now makes it a little bit easier."

Read the full story here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Will it Ever be Acceptable for Pharma Marketers to Use Behavioral Targeting?

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I came across this post in the Pharma Marketing Blog in which John Mack asks this question. Will it ever be for marketers to follow around consumers using cookies and begin recommending products and medication just because someone visited a webpage that was cancer related. Take a few moments to answer a survey that relates to the appropriate use of behavioral targeting techniques used by pharma marketers.

Take the survey

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Diabetes Copany Utilizes Twitter

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In a recent article at AdAdge, they look at how NovoNordisk is using both a famous race car driver and Twitter to provide information about their drugs Levemir and NovoLog. Charlie Kimball, a racecar driver, is doing the Twittering for them. While the FDA has not specifically said what is and is not allowed when it comes to online advertising, the company strives to adhere to the FDA's policiy on fair and balanced information. Follow Charlie Kimball's Twitter here: @racewithinsulin.

What do you think about this kind of advertising?

Monday, July 13, 2009

ePharma Summit 2010 Call for Presenters

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Industry Alert: Official Call For Presenters:
9th Annual ePharma Summit

From: Kristin Paulick, Conference Director
Re: 9th Annual ePharma Summit
Deadline: Friday, July 24, 2009
Event Date: February 8-10, 2010
Event Venue: The Hyatt at Penn's Landing, Philadelphia, PA


Production has begun for The 9th Annual ePharma Summit. The event will be February 8-10, 2010 in Philadelphia, PA, and will include 3 days of networking, interactive sessions, workshops, panels, and collaborative activities.

Submission Guidelines & Details

We are actively recruiting corporate practitioners who can share direct to consumer or direct to physician e-marketing case studies. We invite you to submit a speaking proposal to Kristin Paulick, Conference Director, on or before Friday, July 24, 2009. Send to or call 646-895-7331. Please note: abstracts are reviewed and selected on a rolling basis, so please submit early.

Who will attend this premier digital marketing event?

Directors of Marketing/e-Marketing
Interactive Marketing Directors
Marketing Managers
E-Marketing Managers
Consumer Marketing
Professional Marketing
Brand Managers
Product Managers
Directors of Medical Marketing
Relationship Marketing
Internet Communications
Global Marketing
Business Development Directors
Directors Product Marketing
DTC Account Managers
Compliance/Regulatory Affairs Officers

Topic Areas for 2009 include:

• Who owns your online communities and social media sites? (PR? IT? Marketing? Sales?) How can you communicate cross-functionally to ensure that brand strategy goals are met and an effective online dialogue occurs with your target audiences?
• With the recent DDMAC warning letters for search, what does the new search landscape look like?
• The pros and cons of branded vs. unbranded (disease communities/support) sites
• Getting the most out of your agency—what are the differences between integrated and interactive firms and how to capitalize on your partnership
• Determining the business value of your online interactions and the latest tools for measuring ROI and determining channel impact
• How to leverage mobile marketing—What is the future of mobile applications for consumers and for healthcare professionals
• Best practices for monitoring/following your brand on the web and if/how to respond to your community
• Regulatory update—what are the current regulations governing digital marketing and how can your organization overcome restrictions/limitations to find a voice online?
• How can pharma companies more effectively reach physicians online and deliver valuable medical information
• Getting support, approval and buy in from compliance/regulatory affairs at your organization for your online outlets
• New and innovative ways to integrate video into your campaigns and initiatives
• Budget—Why are so few marketing dollars directed toward e-marketing initiatives? Is the model shifting? What is the current thinking behind budget allocation?

**This list is not comprehensive. Please feel free to submit additional topics of your choice.

For consideration, please e-mail with the following information by Friday, July 24, 2009.
• Proposed speaker name(s), job title(s), and company name(s)
• Contact information including address, telephone and fax numbers and e-mail

Please indicate which of the topics you plan to address.
• Talk title
• Summary of the presentation (3-5 sentences)
• What the audience will gain from your presentation (please list 3-5 key “take-aways”)

Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities:
Whether you are looking to build awareness, generate new business, or strengthen existing relationships, a presence at the 9th Annual ePharma Summit will help you achieve your goals. Be at the right place at the right time. A limited number of sessions on the program are reserved for our event sponsors. Please note that case studies are best received when facilitated by co-presenters representing the voices of the client and partner relationships. Solution providers who wish to become part of the program should contact Susan Feigenbaum, Business Development Manager, at 646-895-7478 or

Added Bonus: Each speaker will receive free admission to the conference (a $2000+ value) including admission to all conference sessions, workshops, networking breaks, lunches, exhibit halls, etc.

Due to the high volume of responses, we are unable to respond to each submission. All those selected to participate as speakers will be notified shortly after the deadline.

Thank you for your interest in The 9th Annual ePharma Summit. Check for updates and discussion related to the event at

I look forward to receiving your proposal!

All the best,

Kristin Paulick,
Conference Director
ePharma Summit

Friday, July 10, 2009

Want to Reach Physicans on Social Networks? Use Facebook.

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Medimix International recently conducted a new survey on the use of social networking websites among healthcare professionals. Among the general social networking websites, more than two-thirds (66%) of the interviewed physicians declared that they either don’t know or don’t use them. Surprisingly, in Germany this number goes as high as 86%.

But for the 34% of those interviewed who do use them, Facebook dominates: Overall 30% of all physicians are members, with up to 42% in Italy and 40% in the US. Interestingly, the lowest Facebook usage was observed in Germany, with only 12% of the physicians as members.

Myspace and Twitter came second, well behind Facebook.

But is it really that easy to get physicians on social networks? What roadblocks to do you see in contacting physicians via social networks?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

CDC creates tool to track chronic diseases

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According to MedPage Today, the CDC has created a web based tool that can track environmental exposure to diseases including asthma, cancer and heart disease. Currently, seventeen state and local health departments are submitting information to this resource, with more to come on board soon.

Howard Frumkin, MD, MPH, DrPh, director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health, said this of the new program:
"The ability to examine many data sets together for the first time has already resulted in faster responses to environmental health issues. We believe the Tracking Network holds the potential to shed new light on some of our biggest environmental health questions."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gastric-Band Maker Reaches Out With YouTube Channel

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AdAge reports that Ethicon Endo-Surgery's Realize adjustable gastric band -- a device placed around the stomach that restricts food intake is now featured on the Realize Band's branded YouTube channel.

"As both online and medical technology have improved, device DTC advertising has grown, said Peter Pitts, partner and director of global health-care at PR firm Porter Novelli, and a former associate commissioner for external relations at the Food and Drug Administration. So much so that AdvaMed, the trade association for medical-device manufacturers, issued "guiding principals" for marketing to consumers in March. "Overall, the importance is to be sure that you have truthful, non-misleading balanced risk information, regardless of media," said Khatereh Calleja, associate VP-technology and regulatory affairs at AdvaMed. Ethicon's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, is a member of the trade association."

What do you think of the rise in DTC videos on the web? Are they helpful or hurtful to pharma?

Gastric-Band Maker Reaches Out With YouTube Channel

Monday, July 6, 2009

China sets rules for online health sites

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The Wall Street Journal looks at the new rules China has imposed on all the online health sites that provide information to the public. All health related websites have to be licensed by proveniencal level authorities and host only scientific and accurate information. These authorities have to be established health institutions or social organizations and have to have at least two staff members who know China's health laws and regulations. Read the full article here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pharma & Social Media: Understanding the Medium

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Peter J. Pitts of PRWeek wrote this week on the recluctance of pharma to embrance social media. Pitts claims that,"when it comes to social media, the more the FDA says about what is and what is not “in compliance” vis-à-vis social media, the less we seem to understand – and more conservative we become." He writes, further, that the "answer is to understand the medium and use it to advance both the public health and specific marketing objectives. The two are not mutually exclusive." Those who attended ePharma Summit 2009 will surely recoginze his arguement.

Pitts offers a great reminder of the value of social media for pharma, especially regarding blogs. We encourage you to check out his arguement and perhaps share with us more ways that pharma can successful use social media.

No social media please, we're pharma

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Company looks to Health 2.0

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Atlas Venture, looking to improve healthcare by empowering the customers to take preventative actions. The company is combining IT and health care to help consumers manage or avoid their illnesses. It's recent investment is Keas Inc, who develops custom action plans for individuals according to their health.

The company has made other healthcare investments:

Atlas’s other health-IT companies include NaviNet Inc., whose communications network links health care providers, patients, health plans and industry partners, and Phase Forward Inc., a provider of data-management solutions for clinical trials and drug safety, which went public in 2004. The firm may make four or five of these types of investments with its current fund, its eighth, which closed at $283 million last year, Fagnan said.

Read the full article here.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hoffman La Roche is severing its ties to Big Pharma.

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Susan Todd of The Star-Ledger reports that Hoffman La Roche will no longer have ties to traditional American pharmaceutical companies (or Big Pharma). Todd reports, "The venerable drug maker this week plans to drop its membership in the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association... After taking over a biotech giant and relocating to its windswept corporate campus in South San Francisco, Roche is shedding its century-old identity as a traditional U.S. pharmaceutical company.

As part of its evolution, Roche is aligning itself with a new lobbying force and plans to pull out of another pharma-related affiliation, its sponsorship of a special pharmaceutical management program at Rutgers Business School."

What will this mean for other members of Big Pharma?

Hoffman La Roche planning to leave Pharma

Friday, June 26, 2009

What do pharma companies use Twitter for?

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This post on USA Today discusses how many companies are taking advantage of real-time capabilities of Twitter to foster customer service. Comcast, PepsiCo, JetBlue Airways, and Whole Foods Market are some of the companies which have begun to take advantage of twitter and opening up direct communication with customers.

Elissa Fink, vice president of marketing at Tableau Software mentions, "The more ways you provide customers to contact you, you're more likely to satisfy them."

Pharma companies have not been one to dive in directly into social media strategy, but with more and more people using these mediums, it might be worthwhile for them to take advantage.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Turning online for health information

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At the Arizona Republic, they recently listed some of the most reliable places for health information on the Internet.

They listed:
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
• MedlinePlus,
• My Arizona Health & Wellness, myazhealth
• National Institutes of Health,
• WebMD,

What other medical websites do you find to be the most useful and factual?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HealthDataRights looks to help patients

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According to E-Health Europe, a new coalition has been launched to help patients have access to their electronic health records. Patient advocates, US Doctors, Software vendors and bloggers have released the Declaration of Rights at the Health Data Rights website. Visitors to the site are asked to endorse these rights upon entrance to the site.

The Health Data Rights believe that people should:
  1. Have the right to our own health data
  2. Have the right to know the source of each health data element
  3. Have the right to take possession of a complete copy of our individual health data, without delay, at minimal or no cost; if data exist in computable form, they must be made available in that form
  4. Have the right to share our health data with others as we see fit
Read more at E-Health Europe.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Online users look to UGC content

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At Empowher, they look at the reliance that the public has formed to the internet when it comes to finding information. They note 74% of Americans go online and 61% of them are looking for health information. The public likes to rely on UGC content, so searching online for health experiences has become a social experience.

Although UGC is a staple point for finding health information online, they note that very few people are prodcuing health information online:
* 6% of e-patients have tagged or categorized online content about health or medical issues.
* 6% of e-patients report that they have posted comments, queries or information about health or medical matters in an online discussion, listserv or other online group forum.
* 5% of e-patients say they have posted comments about health on a blog.
* 5% of e-patients have posted a review online of a doctor.
* 4% of e-patients have posted a review online of a hospital.
* 4% have shared photos, videos or audio files online about health or medical issues.

Read the full article here.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Obama to Propose Health Cost Cuts

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Laura Meckler of the Wall Street Journal reports that President Barack Obama outlined a further $313 billion in cuts to government health-care spending over 10 years, largely impacting hospitals, as he hunts additional dollars to pay for expanded coverage for the uninsured...The new proposals would decrease payments to hospitals and others that provide Medicare services in a variety of ways. The effort to put additional cuts on the table could give some political cover to members of Congress looking for ways to pay for the giant health-care legislation.

How will President Obama's cuts affect the pharmaceutical industry? Will we see a rise in generic drug programs to help the uninsured?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Companies that have jumped into online media

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Yesterday, the Washignton Post published an article that provided a very comprehensive list of companies that have jumped into social media. Although the industry is behind in the game when it comes to reaching their customers, some companies have stepped up and begun to reach out to their customers. Merck reached out to women by using the internet to spread the word on Gardasil, GlaxoSmithKline went to YouTube to let the public know about restless leg syndrome, and Bayer Aspirin created a Facebook page to reach out to women to provide a rounded assortment of heart information. Read the complete list here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Meetings Drive Business

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This is why companies need to continue to invest in business meetings. Not only will those who attend gain new and fresh perspectives from other attendees, but they'll hear from top companies who have lived by the same philosophy. Investment in yourself and innovation are the key to your business. What have you done recently to invest in your business?

Did you attend ePharma Summit this year? What did you gain from the experience?

Meetings Drive Business

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lots of promise in healthcare IT

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In a new article at Forbes, they look at the positive future for Healthcare IT. The author believes that there needs to be a bubble created around it to create investments, attention and create jobs, much like the .com and telecom industries. Key areas that could benefit from IT investment are healthcare administration, supply management, diagnosis and doctor communications. Read about the companies who are focusing in these areas here.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Meetings Drive Business

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This is why companies need to continue to invest in business meetings. Not only will those who attend gain new and fresh perspectives from other attendees, but they'll hear from top companies who have lived by the same philosophy. Investment in yourself and innovation are the key to your business. What have you done recently to invest in your business?

Are you thinking of attending a conference this year?

What would you expect to gain from the experience?

Meetings Drive Business

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The value of a simple page

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We concentrate frequently on this blog about the importance of interactivity with health and web 2.0. However, at the World Congress webpage, Jennifer Gorman looks a the value of a simple, informational webpage. Sometimes, a user might find benefit from a simple, well-designed and written webpage. Do you agree with this? Should online health find a way to provide both interactivity of patients with well presented information? What do you think?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

NYC Health Department buys Google Ads

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the New York City Health Department has bought Google Ads in order to reach the citizens in their city. In ads that began running Monday, the NYC Health department bought search words that had to do with the H1N1 virus in order to reach the citizens of the city who are looking for the right information. The search terms have worked, as each day around 1,000 people have clicked on the search terms. Read the full story here.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Need to Check Your Cholesterol? There Will Be an App for That

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AdAge reports that the iPhone is, set to become an important, and potentially huge, marketing battleground for Big Pharma.

The article reports that:

The ubiquity of the iPhone -- 30 million sold since 2007 -- and the popularity of its apps -- more than 1 billion have been downloaded -- is leading companies such as Johnson & Johnson, as well as third-party developers, to make and market medical applications for the phones, such a feature that will allow patients to verify what procedures their insurance covers.

Diabetes Apps:

LifeScan, a Johnson & Johnson company that makes diabetes products, introduced a prototype for an application that would allow diabetics to interface their glucometers (which track blood-sugar levels) with the iPhone. The glucometer would measure a consumer's sugar, and the iPhone app would interpret and chart the results, calculate sugar intake during meals, and allow the user to better adjust his or her diabetes medications and diet accordingly.

Medical Learning:

Sebastopol, Calif.-based research firm O'Reilly Media said medical apps are the third-fastest-growing category for Apple, with a 133% jump in April compared with the previous three months collectively. Only games and travel apps were downloaded more.

Need to Check Your Cholesterol? There Will Be an App for That

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Web 3.0 in Pharma

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I came across this post on ReadWriteWeb in which Richard MacManus gives us a couple of highlights of where Web 3.0 is heading in 2009. Here are some trends Richard mentions that we are seeing on the web in 2009:

* Open data
* Structured data -> smarter
* Filtering content
* Real-time
* Personalization
* Mobile (location-based, so you could say that's smarter use of data too)
* Internet of Things (the Web in real-world objects)

Take a moment to see the presentation on the post, now what does this mean for pharma?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Live broadcasting from your surgery

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The New York Times published an article on Sunday, May 24, that looks at how hospitals are turning to online sources to both educate and inform the public about the procedures that they are performing in their hospital.

Methodist University Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee recently hosted a video webcast of a live craniotomy. They advertised to potential viewers via infomercials and newspaper ads. After the webcast, they saw that 2,212 people watched the webcast, 21,555 have watched the YouTube preview and they've had 3 appointements scheduled.

Other hospitals are turning to Twitter. Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, Michigan, frequently tweets from the operating room. They see it as an opportunity to connect with the curious consumer, many who are now interested in finding out a lot more about the medical procedures they receive.

Read the full article here. This provides excellent references about the quality and manner of the procedures you'll be receiving while you're at the hospital, but is there a privacy line that is crossed?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Washington and Oregon looking to online health records

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According to OPB News, Washington and Oregon are taking steps to create health banks for their citizens. In this case, the individuals are creating their own online health profiles and maintaining the databases. However, different from many states, the individuals pharmacists and doctors can also access the individuals records and update them with their latest information. For a personal account of one user, read the article here.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Trusera will close May 27

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According to the Washington Post, Trusera, an online community for patients, founded by Amazon executive Keith Schorsch, will officially close May 27. Its goal was to bring together patients with similar health conditions and pair them with others who had similar hobbies, ages and location. However, this small community ran out of funding.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

CNBC: GSK & Pharma's Foray Into The Blogosphere

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Yesterday, Mike Huckman of CNBC's blog, Pharma's Market reported on GlaxoSmithKline's new blog, "American Health: More Than Medicine." <>Huckman reports that GSK's blog explicitly states, "More Than Medicine is expressly uninterested in promoting GSK brands. As stated in our credo, our intent is to express a point of view and create a dialogue on health and healthcare issues you can't find anywhere else - not to serve as another product marketing vehicle." Huckman expresses that there's no link on the blog homepage to a coupon for the diet drug Alli.

We've seen other "big" Pharma companies move into social media, creating networking around specific diseases; however, this may be the first blog that is expressly committed to writing on news and information regarding healthcare. One can't help but wonder what GSK is pushing if they aren't pushing their products.

As always, we'd like to hear your thoughts.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Texting to provide answers

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According to ABC News, The Birds and Bees Text Line, which was opened in North Carolina by The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Campaign is a new way for teens in North Carolina to get more information the sexual questions they have. The response line was started to allow kids to be able to reach out and ask these questions via a medium they're comfortable with and a medium that will provide the correct information.

Sally Swanson, the campaign's community programs manager, stated this about the line:
"A lot of what we do is validation that what they're going through is normal and a lot of it is correcting myths."

What do you think about providing teens information via this medium?