Friday, January 30, 2009

Are you attending the ePharma Summit?

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If you're planning on attending, speaking or sponsoring in Philadelphia February 9-11 for the ePharma Summit, we invite you to add the ePharma Summit to your Events on LinkedIn. Join us here:

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Privacy and Google's medical health records

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With health records going electronic, there are many concerns over the new privacy of the records of people throughout the US. The Wall Street Journal Health Blog recently wrote about the new situation that arises with electronic health records. Some groups are stating that Google will be selling their electronic health records to the advertisers.

Google has retorted this saying:
Google does not sell health data. In fact, one of our most steadfast privacy principles is that we don’t sell our users’ personal data, whether it’s stored in Google Health, Gmail, or in any of our products. And from a policy perspective, we oppose the sale of medical information in the health care industry.

Are you concerned over the privacy threats Google poses to medical records? Will they be allowed to sell these documents to advertisers? Where do you stand on this issue?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Mergers and Acquisitions Likely to Continue in Pharm

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According to Barrons, most major pharmaceutical CEOs agree that merger and acquisition activity is going to continue, and with significant pressure on the drug industry from generic competition, insufficient innovation, a tough Food and Drug Administration, and reimbursement limitations imposed by government and private payers, they believe that 12 major drug companies is unsustainable. What M&A's do you see coming in 2009. Do you agree with Barron's theories? Share with us.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why Pharma Marketers Aren’t Jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon

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This post on the Pharma Marketing Blog discusses how the examples of social media in the pharma industry around the web are either run by non-pharma third parties and are not product-related, and so there are no real lessons here for marketers of branded RX products. John Mack also mentions that he is not impressed with social media because of the lack of control of user-generated content. Do you think the pharma industry will ever truly embrace social media?

Read the full article here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Patients looking online first

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According to the new study by iCrossing, 59% of patients look online for illness and health issues as opposed to the 55% who visit the doctor for their concerns. The website is a great example of why patients are turning online. This site is a collection of articles published by doctors on various topics. foresees a full launch within the next few months which will expand the number of health and fitness articles at their domain which already go all the way through the alphabet, from Acne to Yoga. Members simply sign up and choose to publish articles under any of 53 different categories in an easy to use blogging format.

Source: Stuffdaily

Friday, January 23, 2009

Heartbeat CEO to Discuss Agency-Client Models ePharma Summit

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Join us for the 8th Annual ePharma Summit in Philadelphia next month to see a presentation by Bill Drummy, CEO of Heartbeat Digital. He'll be speaking on "Working with Agencies: Is There a ‘Right’ Model to Service your Interactive Needs?” Mr. Drummy will debate the merits of interactive vs. integrated agencies with marketers from Saatchi & Saatchi and Extrovertic. Mr. Drummy is one of many speakers who'll be presenting at this year's event and we hope that you can join us!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Microblogging in Healthcare

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John Sharp makes a comparison in is latest post of twittering and hospitals paging their doctors and nurses. Can twitter ever replace the text pager that many hospitals until this day use? With the number of people who own smart phones increasing dramatically, it wouldn’t shock me to see healthcare adopt twitter as a communication tool. Do you think we will see this anytime soon?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Americans look online for health information

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In a recent article at Health Populi, they note that 83% of health care consumers use online sources as their #1 place to look for health care information. As for print, 11% of people use it as a primary source and 5% of people use broadcast for their health information sources.

Other interesting stats provided by the website:
- 1 in 2 American adults use general health-focused Web sites
- 43% research specific conditions on ailment-focused sites
- 5% go to online communities
3% go to pharmaceutical companies' branded drug sites.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

New Study "Physician Online Communities: Physician Social Networking and the New Online Opinion Leaders"

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This new research was released by Manhattan Research and looks at those who are currently interested in or using online communities.

Some interesting findings from the research:

- Physicians currently participating in online physician communities should be of particular interest to pharma – as they write a mean of twenty-four more prescriptions per week than physicians with no interest in online physician communities.

- The majority of physicians report that they expect pharma to monitor professional community sites and view this monitoring as a positive undertaking.

For an excerpt of the findings, click here.

For an excerpt of the findings, read it here.

Source: Pharma Web

Monday, January 19, 2009

FDA Regulations Still a Concern for Digital Communications

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Even though many pharma companies are catching up with online pharmaceutical marketing, FDA regulations that include rules against promoting a product’s possible off-label uses and requirements for drug companies to clearly disclose potential side effects and risks still stand for web marketing. This article on CQPolitics discusses how many drug companies have been slower than usual in adopting social media practices in their marketing efforts.

Most pharma companies only have experience with online ads and creating static web pages, but that might soon change with the new administration focusing on the development of web portals and communities.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Health 2.0 and Primary Care

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In a recent post at The Health Care Blog, Peter Schmidt looked at the health care stimulus that Obama will propose when he enters the presidential office. As we've seen recently, primary care doctors are on the decline, as stated in the article, demand for them will increase 29%, with only a 2% increase in actual doctors filling the positions. Schmidt believes that Web 2.0 could fill some of this gap.

Patient participation is most effective in assessment and monitoring, reducing that load on primary care. Even without financial incentives it should not be too challenging to enlist primary care doctors in support of Health 2.0, transitioning their role from detective to analyst as Health 2.0 tools help them to arrive at appointments with data in hand. User-generated healthcare fits nicely between the extremes of suffering at home and interventional medicine, facilitating the primary care physician’s role as strategic consultant and advisor and advocate for medical intervention.

What do you think? Could Health 2.0 begin to fill some of the gap that will be created by fewer primary care doctors?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pharma Given Freedom to Disclose Unapproved Uses of Drugs

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Today in, an article outlines the new FDA guidelines that permit pharmaceutical companies to tell docs about unapproved uses of drugs. Within the guidelines, the pharma companies can hawk their products and claim that they can do whatever the doctor needs. It sounds a bit like the cure-alls from the olden days. Read more about the guidelines at the link listed above and share your thoughts with us!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Playing Catch Up with Healthcare Social Networking

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I recently came across this presentation from Len Starnes on Slideshare in which he makes an assessment of the impact of social networking on pharma marketing & sales. One point that sticks out to me was a slide used from John Sharp in which he titles, “Web 2.0 is a culturally disruptive technology”. Web 2.0 steps away from traditional pharma values on privacy and long lead times. When will the rest of the healthcare industry join? Take a look at the presentation below.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Doctors definitions of Twitter

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Recently, Dean Giustini, a medical librarian, asked doctors, in 150 characters or less, to describe their use of Twitter. The definitions were posted at the Clinical Cases and Images blog.

Here are some of the definitions that came up. What would your definition of Twitter be?

@giustini Answer: Use Twitter to gather feedback for new ideas and projects. Enjoy your network -- Twitter is more personal than blogging.
AllergyNotes @giustini Answer: Twitter works well for creating a searchable, "no login required" archive of notes. Use it later for blogging ideas.
davewiner Twitter is my shared notepad. If I want to remember something and I don't mind if everyone else knows it, I just post it here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Big Pharm News: BioMarin to Purchase Riquent

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Talk about a gamble, BioMarin Pharmaceutical in in talks to purchase the non-effective lupus drug, Riquent from La Jolla. Even though that Riquent has failed in two large studies, BioMarin seems to think that the drug has legs and that it can perform well within a final stage. It seems that BioMarin is actively searching for a drug to fit its portfolio--but at what cost? We'd like to hear your thoughts here or on our LinkedIn group.


Friday, January 9, 2009

New York City pushes doctors to adopt electronic medical health records

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New York City is trying to help it's doctors equip themselves with electronic medical health records. For a standard doctors office, it costs about $45,000 to adopt the electronic system. But New York City is subsidizing doctors with smaller practices, giving those with at least 10% Medicare or Medicaid patients that decrease the price to $24,000.

Doctors across the city have seen the benefits already. They've been able to track the flu when it spreads across the city, and is more effective than the Google Flu Tracker. It also allows doctors in poorer neighborhoods a large range of patient information. Currently, 1 in 10 of primary care doctors are on the electronic health system. For more information, please check out the Wall Street Journal Health blog and the New York Times.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

NY State Health Department uses YouTube

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Richard Daines, the doctor in charge of the New York State Health Department, recently turned to YouTube to demonstrate why he feels the new 18% on sugary beverages in New York State would be beneficial to the state's health. The video has over 49, 250 views. What do you think of state officials turning to the Internet to capture a new audience?

Source: Wall Street Journal Health Blog

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pharm Freebies End for Docs and Hospitals

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Effective this year, drug companies have stopped all freebies (pens, paper, thingamagigs, etc) for doctors and hospitals. This long relationship between "Big Pharma" and medical professionals has ended perhaps causing a headache with office managers who must now purchase these once free materials for the office staff. Regardless, its the final step as this relationship ends, first beginning with the elimination of free vacations, dinners, sports games, etc. Its for the better as doctors should base their decisions on pharmaceuticals solely on their merit as medication, not as a way to get freebies.

What do you think about this new policy? How will it affect your relationship with doctors and hospitals? Let us know your thoughts here or on LinkedIn.

Read more on this subject over at

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

What Physicians will do in 2009 with Health 2.0

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Dr. Jason Bahn recently took a look at what we can expect physicians to start doing in 2009 to embrace health 2.0.

The Evolution of Physician Collaboration.

Professional networks will begin to filter the abundant information for the doctors.

Recognition of rapid communication tools as a resource, not a distraction.
Providers will begin to see the benefits of instant communication via micro-blogging and leading to more collaboration.

Early steps in improving Provider/Industry interaction.
A new open and balanced communication system will allow the providers and the industry to be open and share information.

Mobile, Mobile, Mobile.
More apps on smart phones, such as the iPhone, will allow doctors to access instant information that can help them reference instant information, for example, dosage options of medicine for patients

Do you see any other trends coming about in 2009 with doctors and providers? Do you disageree with anything Dr. Bhan

Monday, January 5, 2009

Health 2.0 should start expanding in 2009

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Forbes recently examined part of the medical stimulus package which Obama plans to grant when his new presidential term begins. It is believed that $10 billion of that will be given to implement electronic health records across the nation. This could be the beginning action that starts spending in the health care IT field. While it will cost a great amount of money to implement the electronic health records, $7.6 billion over 15 years, it is believed that hospitals and physicians could save over $7 billion within five years.

The article also focuses on the potential for algorithms to contribute to the medical field. With more technology, medical professionals could use algorithms to better predict treatments that will be successful for patients. This stimulus package could be the beginning an increased focus on spending IT in the health care field. What do you think? Will this be the beginning of a revolution in health care?