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