Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Progressive Rx Faces challenges with Google

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King 5 of Seattle recently looked at the new rule enforced by Google about listing online pharmacies within search results. The full report can be read here. This report focuses specifically on ProgressiveRx. They are a legal online pharmacy that has been in operation for six years. They're an accredited pharmacy according to PharmacyChecker, the current tool Google uses to validate pharmacies. However, as of March 1, Google will switch to the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, which states that a pharmacy must be in each state it distributes its drugs. As ProgressiveRx's only location is in Oregon, they'll be dropped from Google's search terms. They receive 70% of their traffic from Google Search terms.

Do you agree with Google's choice to change their Pharmacy rating policy? As the video states, only national chains have pharmacies in every state.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The iPad for Healthcare

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Healthcare Technology Online recently looked at how the iPad could become a valuable tool for physicians.

The pros they found for physicians using the device were:
-Size allows for better viewing of records than SmartPhones
-Long battery life for shifts
-Wifi enabled
-Internal keyboard for easy data entry

The cons when using the device in the medical field are:
-Battery is not replaceable, must be recharged, which could cause problems on long shifts
-Portable but not pocket sized
-Not a rugged device, can be broken if it's dropped too many times
-No digital camera in the device

Do you see the iPad becoming an integrated part in the day-to-day lives of physicians? Will this be a tool that will enhance their abilities to provide better care for their patients?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Epharma Summit 2010 Christiane Truelove on Waiting on the FDA

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Christiane Truelove on Waiting on the FDA from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)

Christiane Truelove of Med Ad News gives her take on how companies are dealing with social media while they’re waiting for the FDA guidelines.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies Conference - Join Us!

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In the new business environment- where every initiative must have measurable return- you need real-life case studies from corporate executives who've "cashed in on the conversations" happening every second about their brand, product and company. The 2010 Social Media & Community 2.0 Strategies program is designed to help leverage social media as a powerful driver of real business results:

Speakers from companies leading the social media revolution, including: Consumer Goods (P&G, The Coca-Cola Company, Mars Chocolate, Kodak, Lego), Retail (Best Buy, B&N, Sears), Online Services (eBay, LinkedIn, Yahoo), Travel (Intercontinental Hotels, Starwood Hotels), Electronic Goods (Microsoft, Turbotax, National Instruments) AND MORE! (view full list)

Big Picture Conversations: Forget one-sided lectures. You need two-way conversations. Featured conversationalists include: Duncan Wardle, VP, Walt Disney World, Vida Killian, Communities and Conversations, Dell and the author who started the social media "Groundswell", Charlene Li

Case studies tailored to your business objectives: Only attend sessions that are right for YOU. Choose between concurrent tracks on: Market Research, Innovation, Marketing and Brand/Customer Management. View the brochure for more details!

Facilitated Networking Activities: Built-in time to connect with both speakers and other attendees- Another way to make the most of your experience and build authentic connections with your peer community

Exceed your company's social media ROI expectations. Join us this May in Boston.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

ePharma Summit: Day 2 in pictures

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We thank everyone who joined us for the ePharma Summit, and all of those who enjoyed the sessions during the record snowfall in Philadelphia. We look forward to seeing everyone next year!

If you joined us this year, don't forget to fill out your evaluation at visiontree.com.

ePharma Summit 2010: Case Study: Speed to Impact: Creating a BIG Market On a Budget

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Breichen Madej, Senior Product Manager, CNS Marketing, Cephalon Inc.

Challenge: How to grow the brand by expanding the market of a little-known prevalent disorder (on a budget)
-Little awareness of disease and product (both consumers and physicians)
-Product doesn’t treat disorder directly
-Limited physician reach with target sales force
-Reaching correct target audience at key moments
-Engaging with consumer community appropriately

-Total and new prescriptions
-TRxs/NRxs/Disease Area vs. historical baselines
-Ability to show consumer spend is what’s driving growth

-identify cross-functional team to assess ROI
-gain agreement through discussion
-provide regular updates

Built plan around DTC:
-Consumer segmentation – did extensive research behind brand to understand what the consumers were looking at. They reached out to consumers with the right content. They looked at the American Consumer Time Survey to target their audience at the exact right times.

Take aways from case study:
-Gain a ROI buy-in before launching
-Socializing – more than a buzzworthy word
-Prioritizing your first dollars

ePharma Summit 2010: Creating Value in Non-Personal Promotion

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Sanjay Pingle, President, Physicians Interactive
Jason Bhan, MD, Family Physician, Co-Founder, Ozmosis, Inc.

What are doctors facing from the health care reform?
- Changes in reimbursements
- Time loss is also a concern with health care
- Technology
- Concept of knowledge –physicians are having issues keeping up with all of the new knowledge coming out at the current speed
- Competition

Relationship between Physicians and Pharma
- Symbiotic relationship, practice medicine, prescribe drugs.
Pharma: They need doctor to write prescription.
Doctors: No symbiotic relationship, feel pushed to prescribe. They feel an imbalance. Pharma is reaching out to both patients and physicians, leaving a gap. Many physicians are shutting out the drug reps.

What will make physicians begin to prescribe the drugs:
-Is it safe?
-Will it work for the patient so that they will continue taking it?
-What’s the cost to the patient?

Pharma needs to deliver the information and relevant data to support what’s being claimed.

What is the ideal interaction for Pharma to interact with a Doctor?
-Integrate into work flow, be contextually relevant, don’t be interrupted.
- Ideal work flow: Patient with sickness, on nine different medications, they have pneumonia. In order to address problem, they must add an antibiotic to already large amount of medication. Now they search through webs and journal articles to see what the new information . They look at the drug database for interactions between the drugs. Now the have their smart phone and use their e-prescribing tool

Key theme: contextual integration.
-Find ways to get to where physicians are.
-Use technologies to share solve simple problems first
-Great things that came from Pharma in 2008:
- contextual relevance
- ubiquity
- distribution vs destination
- value for physician and patient

ePharma Summit 2010: Optimize Your Integrated Promotional Channel Mix

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Michael Konowicz, EVP, Integrated Strategy, Communications Media, Inc. (CMI)

Mark Davis, Integrated Consumer Marketing, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Monique Levy, Senior Director Research, Manhattan Research
Elaine Boxer, SVP, Marketing Strategy, Quality Health

Manhattan Research: The doctors are still strongly influencing patients health decision, followed by nurses. Health care professionals are still at the center of influence for patients. Also, family and friends have more influence than social networks. Editorial content is also more influential than social media.

As for physicians, they continue to use multiple sources for content, such as portals, email, corporate and product sites.

Novartis Company:
Digger, infamous for the commercial he appeared in, for Lamisil campaign used social media integrated with other marketing efforts: general awareness, print, direct to patient, e-marketing, in-store programming, NCS Consumer Health, in office programs.

There is payoff, and ROI is higher when you successfully use an integrated marketing campaign.

The key to success: making sure everything works successfully together.

Quality Health:

Looking at 3-D perspective.

Integration in 3-D: Who? Where? When?
You know who your audience is and where they consume media, when do they do it in the product or patient life cycle? With the third layer, you have a powerful marketing tool.

When? It’s not a linear process for a patient’s life cycle. It’s key to understand what the process is that the patient takes to get to the prescription and gain knowledge on their illness. The 4th dimension then turns to HOW. Find out where they’re getting their information. It could be their website, but it may be friends, family, YouTube, or external sites.

-Layer ROI of online and offline media vehicle as well as that sales force.
-Sales force re-allocated
-Budgets shifted from online to offline tactics
-DTC impacts on HCCP audience to be better analyzed and optimized

Integrating campaigns: Challenging on integrating into agencies. Tips?
-Meetings to align goals
-Time frames for media channels pose challenges
-Digital in front must be planning, it will help
-Agencies are expert more so then clients. Have someone look at brand consistency
-Place claim on your agencies to get along, and pay attention to the process they take. Get them together so they’re all on the same page when they look to market.

ePharma Summit 2010: Use Online Video & Social Media to Drive Measurable Return

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Kevin Nalty, Founder, Nalts Consulting

The search bar is one of the highest looked at items. So when you properly engage your audience through this unit. So what can videos be used for other than commercials?

Metrix of Online Video and Social Media
-The notion that a Pharma ad will be viral is highly unlikely.
-It’s very difficult to track the ROI, but you can see: the business impact, satiating a VP’s desire, and an internal win.
-Be sure to keep social media spending low until you find out if it works for your company
-Avoid calling it “social media” and look at it as advertising, and look to turn off comments and direct messages. Then it’s the same as a product advertisement

How markers sees social media: a tropical beach where there’s a great place to join a party.
How regulatory and legal see social media: a shark attack about to happen.

What does social media matter for?
-Getting their attention
-Engaging them
-Earning their trust
-Answering their questions
-Acknowledging needs and concern
-Exciting them about their solution
-Inspiring trail (Patients won’t ask for medicines by name)
-Setting their expectation

Myth: If Pharma keeps themselves out of new media, they are safe. But people are out there talking about you on the internet. We need to set our own guidelines on how Pharma can use social media.

Three ways for social media:
-Be Hands off – have a 3rd party create robust tools for your products or use rich media ads
-Patients are within reach – some patients are online stars, and have greater reach than network tv
-Unbranded video/content can be leveraged, as you reel them in and they gain awareness of your products.
-Be sure to keep your cost down
-Make your things interesting to bring in views

With social media, the marketer becomes publisher. The viral concept of video is dead. It’s been years since great commercials have been viral. The things that are viral now are other things. People don’t mind it’s a sponsored video, they care whether or not it’s entertaining.

ePharma Summit 2010: Pharma on YouTube

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Clare O’Brien, Sales and Business Development, YouTube/Google

Options for Pharma Companies YouTube:
-Homepage Take Over:
- You can buy the homepage specifically
- There are 45-50 million homepage impressions in US.
-Trick of this is you have many impressions, but the engagement is very low.
-Only approved content appears on the home page

-Promoted Video
-A company can pay to have your videos appear higher in the search results
-Promoted video can allow you to run many types of creative. They can be run in the paid search results

ePharma Summit 2010: The Long Tail of the Pharmaceutical Industry: How Emerging Technologies Will Impact Consumer Behavior and Preferences

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Chris Anderson, Editor in Chief, Wired Magazine,
Author, “The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More” and “Free: The Past & Future of a Radical Price”

Chris is joining us via Skype. Chris begins the presentation by demonstrating the end of the blockbuster. He issues this in with the N Sync No Strings Attached CD, which is the best selling CD of all time. It was the last real blockbuster in music. It hasn’t been updated in the last few years, but blockbuster albums have essentially fallen off a clip in the 2000s. The demand for music is not down, the record labels are having trouble. Music playing devices, concerts, and licensing is very high. It’s now a fragmented market. There are 10 million tracks on iTunes. We’re seeing a different music landscape, and music does not fit all, techno, pops, blues, and we all choose our distinctive taste.

If you can get smaller products to the market, there are still blockbusters, but niche markets grow. Supply was confused with demand, this was one example. We accept what we’re given, until the 20th century market choices have expanded from 10 to 100 choices. Demand is shaped like a bell curve, try to find a middle ground to appeal to the most customers. The Long Tail curve actually fits it better. More choices, provided by things such as Amazon and other stores on the Internet, are driving the downward tail.

Long tail graph as opposed to the long tail curve: Doesn’t have an average, it goes on forever
We find that a few things are really popular, and many things are not as popular, but still appeal to a specific crowd.

The culture we grew up in was dominated by blockbuster products. This is what the retail channels want. Example: at Walmart, if two don’t sell a week, it falls off the shelves. The Internet has changed business, it has infinite shelf space. The long tail has been extremely lengthened, and consumer can really find and choose what they want. With the Blockbuster industry of music, about 40% of the market was not seen.

Long tail rules:
1) If you lower the cost of creation and distribution, you can offer more products and variety.
2) “More Variety” means products are available to satisfy more minority tastes
3) There Is lots of room at the bottom for many different individualized tastes to be filled.

What does this mean for Pharma?
-Blockbusters are now Niche Busters. One size doesn’t fit all, and while niches haven’t been economic to date, they can better fulfill the market. The Pharma market is going to have to follow suit.
-Diagnostic boom of individualized patents. Companies are finding out the uniqueness of individuals.
-Electronic Medical Records. These allow for better targeting and treatment
-Informed/empowered patients – Informed can demand more specialized care. Patients can see more information, which empowers them, and can better characterize their individual needs.

Audience question: What advice would Chris give on influencing change?
As we become more granular in your offering, you'll find more engaged customers. If you don't give products to your customer, someone will. If a patient is looking to find something, they will not be constrained,whether the drug is available in the US or in Peru or China. The demand is coming from the growing global market. Consumers will find the person that provides the technology they desire.

DIY Connections in Pharma? Chris is seeing them in medical devices. Medical devices don't have to be approved for FDA. For children, there is a device that children can push to distribute their medicine. Either your company can do it, or someone else will provide the device. This is what will happen, consumers will find cheaper medical devices that will suit their needs, providing the "Do It Yourself" model applicable to Pharma.

2010 Trends to Watch: Pharmaceutical Technology

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In collaboration with analysts from Datamonitor's Healthcare business unit, in this brief Ovum's Pharmaceutical Technology team outlines the key changes in the pharma industry, explains which trends will have the biggest impact, and analyses the implications and opportunities of these developments for both pharmaceutical companies and providers of technologies and services.

Understand the key operational trends to watch during 2010 and gain insight into the technologies that pharmaceutical companies must either invest in or extract more value from in 2010 with this report.

Find out more about Datamonitor’s opinion.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Epharma Summit 2010 Russ Ward of Pixels & Pills on Next Steps for the FDA

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Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)

We kick off our coverage of the E-Pharma Summit with an interview with one of our own. Russ Ward talks about the challenges facing the FDA and their upcoming guidelines of social media. Check out what Russ has to say about the urgent need for quality health care information online.

Russ Ward of Pixels & Pills on the Next Steps for the FDA from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

Epharma Summit 2010 John Mangano of ComScore on the Importance of Metrics

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John Mangano of ComScore on the Importance of Metrics from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)
John Mangano of ComScore explains why metrics are becoming more and more important to Pharma companies and how they’re impacting the FDA’s thinking about social media.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

ePharma Summit 2010: Day 1 In Pictures

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Epharma Summit 2010 Steve Woodruff of Impactiviti on eHarmony and the FDA

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Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)
Steve Woodruff of Impactiviti talks about what it’s like to be the “eHarmony of the Pharmaceutical industry” and why the FDA should stay away from specifics when it comes to social media guidelines.

Steve Woodruff of Impactiviti on eHarmony and the FDA from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

ePharma Summit 2010 Guy Mastrion on How Design Can Help Pharma Companies Communicate Better

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Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)

Guy Mastrion, co-founder of Pixels & Pills, explains how design can solve some of the communications challenges that social media poses for the FDA and the Pharmaceutical industry

Guy Mastrion on How Design Can Help Pharma Companies Communicate Better from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

ePharma Summit 2010: Maximizing Your Returns Online

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John Mangano, Vice President, comScore Marketing Solutions

Epharma Summit 2010 Damon Calazza of GSW Doesn’t Want to Talk About Social Media

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Live from the E-Pharma Summit (#epharma)
Damon Calazza of GSW explains why he thinks Pharma companies shouldn’t be talking too much about social media. Watch as Damon calls for an increased focus on underserved HCP communities and tells Pharma execs “Don’t forget the sales force!”

Damon Calazza of GSW Doesn't Want to Talk About Social Media from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Courtesy: Pixels and Pills

Epharma Summit 2010 Robert Lucente Thinks Mobile is the Future of Pharma

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Robert Lucente of Augme Mobile Health talks about how the emergence of the mobile platform is impacting the Pharmaceutical industry.

Robert Lucente Thinks Mobile is the Future of Pharma from Zemoga on Vimeo.

Courtesy of : Pixels and Pills

Is social media meeting the needs of patients?

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As a health educator, I often interview patients and care partners to learn about their educational and emotional needs: what will help them manage, what do they want, where do they find it, and what’s missing? Talking with patient about their use of social media has been eye-opening.

Recently I spoke with a woman whose husband was being treated for metastatic cancer. She is the kind of care partner who jumps headfirst into learning about a condition. In her online research, she discovered a number of communities for people with metastatic cancer and quickly got connected. Eventually she came to rely on one or two communities in particular and the individuals within them (especially one moderator). She found that her social network essentially became her second opinion. The importance of the community’s advice became paramount. She surveyed the group about every treatment choice she and her husband faced—what were members’ experiences with the treatment option, and what did they suggest?

Is it human nature to value the opinions and the experiences of others?
Research shows us that it may be. About 35% of US adults use social media for health and medical purposes, according to Manhattan Research. And Pew Internet reported that 41% of patients have read someone else’s commentary on health or medical issues on a newsgroup, Web site, or blog.

Health education and public health theory suggests that the perceived value of the “experiences of others” is considerable. Watching others’ actions, for example, can teach a person the consequences of those behaviors—like a test-drive before buying a car. Social cognitive theory (a behavior change model) calls this phenomenon “observational learning.”

As a health educator, I have observed that patients want to learn from the experiences of people like them in communities online. Patients are seeking:
  • Information about the day-to-day experience with a treatment
  • Validation of their own experiences
  • Connections with others with the same condition
  • Realistic ways to manage a condition or a side effect
  • Substantiation of the information received from the doctor

How does pharma play a role?
Pharma is beginning to use social media as a tool—we all want to educate patients and meet their needs with authenticity and transparency. As the online environment evolves, we need to continue to explore the value of social media and ultimately understand the experience through the eyes of real people making heath decisions every day for themselves and others. We’re excited to explore these themes further with our clients and colleagues at ePharma 2010.

Anne Jani, MPH, CHES
Manager, Health Education

ePharma Summit 2010: Interactive Polling Round I - Pharma on YouTube: Who’s Doing it Best?

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· Kevin “Nalts” Nalty, Prolific YouTube Video Creator
· Clare O'Brien, Sale & Business Development, You Tube/Google

What have Pharma advertisers already done on YouTube?
-YouTube is #2 Search Engine
-Homepage can be bought by sponsors
-One billion videos have been watched
-Twenty hours of video is being uploaded each minute

Brand Channel: Late December launch for ADHD.
Brand channels – great place for brand to live.

Destination you own, control, and a place to drive people. Concerta provides a place for consumers to empower themselves. A Branded channel – you are paying for exposure to your media. With twenty hours of video being uploaded each minute, you’re paying for exposure.
Concerta: http://www.youtube.com/adhd

Johnson & Johnson

They’re looking to creating a site where all their essence can live. The video always plays immediately when you get there. On the side, you can then choose your content.

Go Insulin

Their unbranded goinsulin.com website links to YouTube, then sanofi aventis is recognized on the page.

Brought to you by Symbacore, but then is is recognized throughout the page. It’s embedded in every webpage, there is also a coupon opportunity.

It’s very difficult to drive people off of YouTube, so give them the opportunities on that YouTube page, and don’t drive them back to a company’s webpage.

Research shows that people come to YouTube for one video, and they end up spending quite a bit of time surfing the videos.

The majority of attendees on (59%) only visit YouTube when someone sends me a link. However, 8% of attendees visit YouTube daily. It’s important to keep your costs low for YouTube videos, as you never really know how many consumers are going to watch them. Only ½ or less of video on the attendees’ web sites are making it to YouTube type video sites.

ePharma Summit 2010: Thought Leader Panel: The Evolving HCP and Consumer Media Mix

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* Paul Ivans, President, Evolution Road
* Dennis Urbaniak, VP, Customer Channels & Innovation, sanofi-aventis
* Bob Brooks, Vice President, WEGO Health
* Louis Sanquini, Director, Allergy Franchise, Meda Pharmaceuticals
* Nan-Kirsten Forte, Executive Vice President, Consumer Services, WebMD
* Joe Shields, Product Director, Pfizer, Inc.

Many of the things we used to go to the doctor for have been outsourced to places like Web MD, diagnostic tools online. By the time patients get to the office, they’ll just have to pick up the prescription at the office.

Typical Pharma marketing organizations were built to support sales teams. Customer behaviors don’t follow internal calendars. Must move from internal behavior to following trends, and teams need to be focused on external trends instead of internal trends. One must beware of external channel experts.

Measure nonpersonal communication with physicians:
Webinars with the right people can have the right impact. What is integration? How can we bring to life the waiting rooms to realize the experience? We’re disconnected from the target audience. We need to organize the fundamentals.

Five “Ls” of the next decade:

Prediction: Many amazing things will emerge from WebMD, many mobile applications will come together to create something great for consumes.

Once we understand how we want to communicate, you can tailor that to the audience. Speaker used examples of blocks for toddlers and coffee for busy mothers.

-It’s time for marketing to go beyond direct mail. We have to look at the measurement on the consumer engagement and measurement. Social Media can provide you the critical mass you need. Only 16% of those engaged in social media are measuring them.

If ePeople join the brand teams we’ll see a significant shift in the budget.

If we believe programs marketing is sharp and we’ve got the insights and unique selling propositions, belief in work will lead to a growth in the sales of prescriptions. If our only goal is to drive prescriptions.

-We have to be better upfront to understand what we’re going to accomplish.

Panel: What are the best tools out there for online data for customer insights?
You must look for the deeper understanding. The more relevant tools are those that are being used outside the industry. The model for market research is changing, and the evolution will be seen online. There are many great research organizations can help, depending upon what you’re looking to measure.

Epharma Summit 2010 Anatomy of a Great Online Creative

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3 award winning campaigns were featured at ePharma Summit 2010

• Moderator: James Chase, Editor in Chief, Medical Marketing & Media
• Wendy Blackburn, Executive Vice President, Intouch Solutions
• Lance Longwell, Director, Public Relations, Healthcare Communications, Siemens Healthcare
• Enslow Kable, VP, Director, User Experience Insights, Draftfcb

1) GOLD winner - YSIO Launch Campaign (Siemens HealthCare) Digital wireless x-ray equipment

Siemens has won top honors at the MM&M Awards—for this year's “Ysio Online Auction” and last year's “Win an MRI.” For the MRI campaign, an online video contest gave rural hospitals an opportunity to win a machine. The launch of Ysio, a digital radiography system, involved an online auction of a machine with proceeds going to the Children's Health Fund (CHF).

Main goal to become viral
- Donated system to Children Healthfund, which in turn would generate a lot of buzz among hospital Admins.
- Reached 5800 US hospitals.
- 14 month campaign from concept to completion.
- Micro site.
- Overall generated a lot of traffic/buzz with 6 million impressions across all media.
- 70 users registered and 50 were actually sold to.
- 2 winners of the auction.
- Raised 285k in charity for Children’s HealthFund.

Indeed, the Ysio campaign certainly generated significant buzz. But it also scored a trifecta of positive business results —$285,000 was raised for CHF, the winning hospital saved about $165,000 on the Ysio, and Siemens landed more than $1.6 million in sales to date. Handled entirely in-house, the effort drew on expertise and talent from multiple departments.

2) Gold Winner - Best Total Integration Program for Small Companies
Draftfcb and Duramed—Plan B

- Plan b emergency contraception
- Overall demographic women 18-30
- Very controversial when it launched. Taboo subject!
- Demographic was very shy and tough to get discussions about it.

Marketing messages
- 72 hour window to prevent pregnancy!
- Key insight: Oops moment – the moment stuff happens. Everyone needs a plan B – everyone needs options.
- Because the unexpected happens you need a backup plan.

– Be there in the moment
– Be there when the demographic needs help.
- Around *her* calendar and holiday events caused a higher boost in sales.
- Mobile site with a pharmacy request card in case you are shy or scared.
- Easily tracked spike in traffic to sales conversion and vice versa.
- Branded radio – hugely successful and provided tons of traffic.
- MySpace is basic, but offers a continuation of branding.
- On MySpace their video assets are the highest performing assets on MySpace.

3) Gold Winner - Best Website
Intouch Solutions and Sanofi-Aventis—Goinsulin Website

- Help people make informed decisions about insulin use.
- Where are patients going for info?
- How are they seeking and how can this website give them the info they are looking for?
- Many patents wanted to learn about insulin and how it works with the body.

- Many visitors come back and engage often.
- 83% of users state they would come back to the site based off of a poll they offered on the website.
- 72 % completion rate on the poll/game – great user interaction. Myths and Realities game.

- Videos and patent stories are very popular to gain insight in real life insulin use.
- Stories can be submitted directly.
- Sharing content is a huge factor, which allows bookmarking and sharing info socially.
- Also page rating allows interaction and keeps visitors on the site for longer periods of time

Leaving the website
- Invites visitors to look at more videos at YOUTUBE.com (unbranded on youtube.com).
- App – they offer mobile application and micro site link an app called GoMeals which has a very popular following and usage.

Capturing Data
- CRM – they do allow registrations and offer a guide in return. This way they capture data.

For more info visit: MM and M Awards by http://www.mmm-online.com/

Epharma Summit 2010 Interview: Straight from the Doctor’s Mouth

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How Today’s HCP’s Prefer to Learn
Peter Frishauf, Chairman, Crossix, Founder, Medscape
Peter Shaw, MD, President, MDMindset

Peter Shaw has spent a lifetime studying the interaction between doctors and Pharma companies and well as doctors and patients. His insights into how HCP’s learn are simple and easy to follow:

Doctors are looking for the following learning methods:

• Doctors need solutions to problems; All a doctor does is solve problems.. How does Pharma address solutions to make a doctor’s life and daily issues easier?

• Doctors want peer to peer conversations; however many times the Pharma sales rep is NOT a peer but only a sales person. On the other-hand, online websites like medscape.com offers a real peer to peer community to participate and share/engage each other.

Peter Shaw prefers to deal with female patents; They seem to be open to pre medical searches and open to information. So it seems they are easier to work with and more understanding about the procedures and action plans. On the other hand men come to a doctor much less frequently and are not open to medicine and medical solutions. Women just seem to be more open to diagnosis and preventing illness as compared to men.

Peter Shaw sees 60-70 patients per day. He only has 6-7 minutes to make a diagnosis and come up with a solution or course of treatment.

Doctors want peer to peer conversations – not a sales pitch. However many times the sales rep is NOT a peer but only a sales person. On the other hand, online websites like medscape.com offers a real peer to peer community to participate and share/engage each other.

So Pharma; You heard it here and what will you do about it?

Epharma Summit 2010 Physician Portals: Just Say No

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Bill Drummy, CEO, Heartbeat Digital

Bill challenges the audience right off the bat – What is the right way to engage doctors and get them involved?

Traditional sales model is broken! Sales reps are being laid off, due to them not getting into seeing the doctor. 80% of the time there is no contact with the doctor by the sales person. How else do you engage the doctor? Most large brands spend huge sums of money on building portals.

How are current HCP portals getting interaction with doctors?
Every large pharma co has an HCP portal. The amount of time/money/effort required to build it is very high; but the successfulness of an HCP is not that great at all. Some examples are: The Merck website gets 4.6 visits (per doctor) per year on average. Pfizer & Shire both come in less with around 3 visits (per doctor) per year according to http://www.manhattanresearch.com/

Portal usage declined from 47% to 39% in 2008.
Why? Doctors say it’s confusing and not easy to get the info they want.

Some important figures which support that the HCP current portals/business models do not work:
• Hcp’s visit portals 2-5x per year on average
• Hcp’s visit Medscape/Up-to-Date 100x

Medscape: Medical News, Full-text Journal Articles & More http://www.medscape.com/ Medscape is a free resource for Physicians, medical journal articles, MEDLINE, medical news, major conference coverage, and comprehensive drug information.

UpToDate Inc. http://www.uptodate.com/ UpToDate is an evidence based, peer reviewed information resource, available via the Web, desktop, and PDA. Our community includes more than 4,000 leading physicians, peer…

The question again becomes which sites are getting the visitors? Branded portals or portals like Medscape/UpToDate? Obviously from the numbers the Medscape/UpToDate portals are the clear winners. But why?

Top portals get 1/2 of their traffic from only 2 outside sources (Medscape/UptoDate).

On the other hand there are sites like Penfieldmed.com (doctors get rewarded Amazon for interaction)

Question: Do you want the doctor which is going to be rewarded with Amazon rewards? Generally No; the type of doctor who provides content for Amazon rewards is not really a good source for content.

No doctor visits an HCP portal just because he/she wants to; they are looking for answers to questions and want this information quickly and effortlessly. Is your portal providing this service? Probably not!

What is it people really want from the internet and how to apply this to doctors? This is the real question which is not just industry specific – people want information and want it quickly. Just look at the recent Google ad viewed during the 2010 super bowl. It’s a great example of what real people are searching for and getting quick answers – quickly.
Instant gratification. It’s what we all want from doctors to mechanics.

What are some *good* role models or websites which give their browsers/visitors what they want – answers quickly.

People want instant interaction such as instant chat, A good example of this is Lands End. You have a question about your order or a product, you click on instant chat and get a response which then allows you to purchase something and feel comfortable doing it.

The United States Postal Service has the ability to upload a photo of your package and they tell you the box size you will require to send the package. This is a phenomenal interaction and allows the visitors to the USPS website to do what they want – send packages easily.

What do HCP’s/Doctors really want? Quick and easy answers online.

So what is pharma doing to address their needs?

• Success:
To be successful, pharma will have to re-engineer the processes and provide quality on-demand service: that earns meaning fill brand interactions

89% HCP’s think the internet is essential to their practice.
82% HCP’s expect online service fro pharma

Fast and simple – reliable info on their own terms
Answers – at their fingertips
Control – in the HCPs hands
On-demand – when they want it
Pay 2 Play - They can pay to play, dollars are only used when they have an impact

In the end; service on demand is the proper concept & doing it will gain trust and earned value opposed to forced value. Right now the model is let’s recruit doctors and it’s not a good model. Just ask any doctor what they think.

Service on demand —whenever they want something – you are there. The engagement model that works, just look at the numbers.

There are many ways to interact with the doctor.. on his/her own time; live chat, interactive FAQ, etc

Some simple ways to engage:
Right in Google results: you can engage doctors and give them a proper call to action. Which is answering their request of on demand results.

Live help - has to be easy/low barrier of use. Must be simple and easy – chat is the solution. You already have them evangelists avail in call centers already; they can be seamless and transparent.

Doctors say – “MAKE IT EASY FOR ME”. I have questions and I want to engage, but it has to e easy to do.. This is what will create the personal relationship between pharma and PCHs.

In the real world: Search boxes in the banner ad offers a simple yet easy call to action (without leaving the page or being redirected elsewhere). You are NOT forcing the doctor into the pharma world but answering them in their comfort level. You can then push them into video, interactive faq, push docs and data to the doctor or have them speak to a liaison at that point. It’s all started on the page in a banner ad/ ad block. Simple yet perfectly effective.

Branded websites need to be re-thought with these new engagement ideas, this will in fact make the relationship and engagement between pharma and HCPs positive and functional.

Model: typical Pharma portal is company centric – Pfizer for example is getting only 3 visits per year/per person and this model does NOT work

• Experience
: more of an offline sales approach, does not do service on demand. On demand offers return visitors

Barriers: high in current portal, on demand has LOW barriers. If the barriers are low; they will find it useful/simple and will return

Engagement: in traditional Pharma portals you are recruiting them. In the on demand model they are engaged and want to help

Methods of engagement: opaque and hard to determine in the current portal models. You cannot learn what’s working or not working. There is limited info sharing. On the other hand on demand has complete transparency—so you can really test and try all of the methods to gain insight into the what’s working or NOT working and then change direction or scope.

ePharma Summit 2010: The Healthcare Overhaul—Evaluating What It All Means for the Industry

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Susan Dentzer,
Editor in Chief,
Health Affairs and Health Policy Analyst, PBS

Prospects for healthcare reform and what they mean for industry. Difficult to predict what is going to happen (Yogi Berra – prediction is very hard particularly about the future.). Three weeks ago we thought we knew what the future of healthcare reform was. Then there was this little election in Mass. We are not “recalculating” what this means. Signs of recalculation:

Basics – why reform is necessary: (over 5,000 pages of legislation)
• President's 8 principles for health reform: premiums have more than doubled since 2000
• Health spending about 2% faster than overall GDP. If we manage to reduce to 1%….if at 2 percent, every additional dollar economy generates will go into healthcare.
• Reduce high administration costs, unnecessary tests and procedures.
• Got to take health insurance work for people who are insured; get rid of preexisting condition restrictions.
• 30 million people can’t afford to buy insurance (8 out of 10 are working)
• Individual mandate – everyone has to participate in pool. System only works if everybody is paying in. Penalty if you don’t pay in but can appeal, example Christian Scientists. 96 percent of legal residents covered by 2019; about 6 million Americans would not be covered.

What do we need to do?
• Need to beef up healthcare workforce. Lots of pieces in legislation that will do that.
• Transparency: Anything more than $5 will have to be reported electronically.
• Comparative effectiveness research: need to do better job in figuring out how interventions compare, e.g., drug-based versus surgery
• Prevention and wellness. Senate bill. First time ever to have national strategy to improve nation’s health.
• Medicare payment changes. Senate bill will have changes in Medicare program.
• Costs of the different bills proposed by Congress: Bills will pay for themselves.
• Some of the unresolved issues: elective abortions, undocumented immigrants, Medicare physician fee cuts

ePharma Summit: Chairman’s Address

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Paul Ivans, President, Evolution Road

Current state of pharmaceutical digital marketing: we need to prove value, ROI to senior management. But eventually we are going to change the marketing and sales model in Pharma. As an industry we need digital. To get there we need to ponder these things to help us fundamentally change:

1. Leverage celebrities to drive sales
2. Budgets
3. Online video
4. Social has changed the world

Pharma needs to go beyond the pill: mobile unlocks opportunity to focus on outcomes. Future+ Apps + Devices. Devices will integrate with cell phone. Bottom line is that we need to prove it; need to aggressively engage in video, social and especially in mobile for the future. To improve patient outcomes. Check out “Sixth Sense Technology” pranav mistry – use this to think about emerging opportunities for mobile

ePharma Summit 2010: Implementing New and Innovative Communication Channels to Deliver Relevant Customer Messaging

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* Dennis Urbaniak, VP Customer Channels & Innovation, sanofi-aventis

What’s your goal for digital marketing? Where are you as an organization? What are you trying to be? New, Innovative, relevant?

To get to the relevant audience: What are you doing to appeal to them?

Rules to live by:
-Optimize your mix at the customer level, not the brand level
-Respect channel preference and channel response, equally
*Look at what customers prefer and respond to. You then have a place to build a sustainable platform.
-Apply predictive analytics as the foundation to your approach
-Content remains king. Content should be used to maximize user experience. Look at the amount of time you use to develop the content, and then look at how you can leverage it to reach your audience. Then you can distribute your content to everything, and your customers will find it through they channels they’d like to see it.

In Conclusion:
Let your customer drive your content. Be clear on what your intent is. And Predict, project and validate it.

ePharma Summit 2010: Value-Add Beyond the Pill - The Digital Opportunity to Generate Patient Advocacy and Build Meaningful Differentiation with HCPs

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* Brian O'Donnell, Executive Vice President, Interactive Services, Klick Pharma
* Guest Speaker: Dave deBronkart, "ePatient Dave", Spokesperson and Advocate for Patient Empowerment

Where has patient support been? In reality, there hasn’t been much.

Patient support concept: HCP Differentiation: it’s difficult to stand out. It’s hard to reach the compelling story. Evolve beyond product itself. Patient to patient dialogue is evolving.

Smarter monitoring will lead to better care for patients
-The starting point: Patients and what they want. They work from there.

Engaged patients are talking.

e-Patient Dave stepped in to share his own story :
-A patient is not a third-person word.
-Patients of the future are connecting
-No way to control how your prospects will buy

Physicians suggest patients ignore. New relationships might change patient adherence: participatory medicine.
1) E-patients are here –today!
2) Patient to patient communication is here
3) Influencing treatment decisions
4) Looking for support
5) Willing to advocate

- Evolve from products to focusing on solutions
- Communications versus experiences – look to support experience
- How do you tailor the support experience for your users?

New Report: The Internet Has More Influence Over Consumer Health Actions than Traditional DTC Channels

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Manhattan Research’s Health Influence Mapping Research Module Helps Marketers Understand the Relative Influence of Various Communication Channels on Consumer Health Behavior

February 9, 2010, New York, NY – The Internet has considerably more influence over consumer health decisions and actions than traditional channels like print, TV and radio, according to pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research’s latest report, “Health Influence Mapping: Benchmarking the Influence of Various Sources on Consumer Health Actions.” The report also points out that though the Internet’s role in healthcare has soared over the past decade, healthcare professionals still have the strongest effect on consumer health behavior.

“With all the changes in media and healthcare, we think it’s critical for marketers to take a step back and check their assumptions around the relative influence of various health sources on consumer behavior,” said Monique Levy, Senior Director of Research at Manhattan Research and lead author of the report. “We found many interesting results that can help marketers better align their marketing strategies in 2010. For example, despite the buzz around social media, editorial health content still has significantly more influence over consumer health actions than various forms of social media.”

The Health Influence Mapping Research Module is part of Manhattan Research’s Cybercitizen Health® v9.0 market research and strategic advisory service. It evaluates and benchmarks the relative influence of various online and offline health sources on consumer health decisions and actions with the goal of helping marketers better align and implement their marketing strategies.

For more information and an excerpt from the report, please visit: http://www.manhattanresearch.com/products/Research_Modules/Consumer/influence-consumer-health-dtc-marketing.aspx.

Topics Covered in Report

Title: Health Influence Mapping: Benchmarking the Influence of Various Sources on Consumer Health Actions

I. The Relative Influence of the Internet on Consumer Health Decisions and Actions
• Percentage of Consumers Whose Health Decisions and Actions are Strongly Influenced by Various Health Sources
• Percentage of Consumers Whose Health Decisions and Actions Are Strongly Influenced by Various Online Sources
• Reach and Relative Influence of Various Health Sources

II. Profile of Consumers Highly Influenced by Internet, TV, and Doctors
• Rx and Influencer Characteristics of Consumers Highly Influenced by Internet, TV, and Doctors
• Age and Gender Profile of Consumers Highly Influenced by the Internet, TV, and Doctors
• Employment, Income, and Education Profile of Consumers Highly Influenced by the Internet, TV, and Doctors
• Internet Access and Device Ownership Profile of Consumers Highly Influenced by the Internet, TV, and Doctors

III. Outlook: The Evolving Role of the Internet on Consumer Health
• Percentage of Consumers Whose Health Actions are Influenced Moderately, Little or Not at all by Various Online Source
• Outlook for the Empowered Online Health User and Online Health

IV. Leveraging the Health Influence Landscape for Healthcare Marketing
• Share of Patient Base Physicians Report Bring Online Information into Consultation
• Viagra.com Showing Examples of Tools to Promote Discussions between Patients and Physicians
• iPatientEd and CobbMeter – Examples of Digital Products that Support Patient-Physician Consultations
• Phreesia Patient Check-In Solution
• Kyp’s iKyp Webkey and Other Products
• Kyp Teams with Agency and Major Pharma to Boost Patient Education and Adherence for Psoriasis
• Nurses' Belief on How They Influence Patient Treatment Choices
• Examples of Nurse Access on myhumira.com
• Viral Health Marketing on Bannermoments.com
• Inspire.com Powering Health Community on Association Websites
• Healthcare Monitor by Jellyvision Lab

About Cybercitizen Health® v9.0

Access to the Health Influence Mapping Research Module is immediately available to subscribers of Manhattan Research’s Cybercitizen Health® v9.0 market research and strategic advisory service.

Cybercitizen Health® v9.0 was fielded in Q3 2009 among 8,600 U.S. adults (ages 18+). The consumer market research and strategic advisory service focuses on how consumers use newer media and technology for health and its impact on treatment and product decisions. In addition to the data, clients receive strategic deliverables including research reports, client briefings, and access to the Manhattan Research analyst team to answer specific questions. Broad consumer research can also be segmented to derive insight into a wide range of eHealth preferences and behaviors for over 100 therapeutic groups.

For more information about subscribing to this service and gaining access to the in-depth physician market data and analysis, contact sales@manhattanresearch.com, call 1.888.680.0800, ext. 2 or visit http://www.manhattanresearch.com/cch.

Manhattan Research at ePharma Summit

Manhattan Research Senior Director of Research Monique Levy will be speaking at ePharma Summit as part of the “Optimize Your Integrated Promotional Channel Mix” panel with Novartis, CMI, and QualityHealth. The conference is taking place February 8-10, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Philadelphia. For conference information, please visit http://www.iirusa.com/epharmasummit. If you’d like to connect with Ms. Levy during the conference, please email media@manhattanresearch.com or call 212-255-7799.

About Manhattan Research

Manhattan Research, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is a leading market research and advisory services firm for global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. For more information, visit http://www.manhattanresearch.com/, email sales@manhattanresearch.com or call 1.888.680.0800.

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at http://www.decisionresourcesinc.com/.

ePharma Summit 2010: Where would you like to attend in 2011?

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2010 Trends to Watch: Healthcare Technology

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Technology markets are changing fast. In this piece, Ovum analysts specializing in healthcare technology will outline the changes in your market, explain which trends will have the biggest impact and highlight who will benefit from the fast-paced developments in healthcare technology. This report provides an overview of challenges facing healthcare organizations in 2010.

Gain insight into the technology areas healthcare organizations are investing in and also identify strategies for expanding business opportunities in healthcare.

Find out more about Datamonitor’s opinion.

Monday, February 8, 2010

ePharma Summit 2010: Conference Producer Welcome

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Kristin Paulick took a moment to welcome us to the 2010 ePharma Summit.

ePharma Summit: Opening Reception

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Welcome to the first day of the ePharma Summit. We're excited to kick off our two day conference with a reception from Within3. We're looking forward to the next two days at the ePharma Summit!

Stay tuned to this blog for live coverage of the 9th Annual ePharma Summit!

Pixels and Pills will also be on hand to live blog the ePharma Summit! Find their coverage here.

Pharma's New Home Lies at the Corner of Facebook and Twitter

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The future of the life sciences industry relies on creating a multi-channel marketing strategy, which includes combining traditional practices with new marketing channels, such as the internet and social media sites. However, with a lack of guidance from the Food and Drug Administration on what type of communication is allowed, executives are cautious about venturing onto the web.

Use this best selling Datamonitor report to identify strategies that will increase adoption of social media by life sciences companies. Also understand the trends that are shaping the future of pharma marketing.

Find out more about this report here

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lights, Camera, Health! New Study Shows Online Health Videos Drive Consumers to Take Action

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Manhattan Research’s ePharma Consumer® Study Sheds Light on Important Digital DTC Channels for 2010

February 4, 2010, New York, NY – Nearly half of consumers who research pharmaceutical information on the Internet include online health videos in their search sessions, according to pharmaceutical and healthcare market research company Manhattan Research. The study also found that online health video drives action among this segment - nearly three quarters of consumers performed additional research after watching health videos online. The findings come from the ePharma Consumer® v9.0 study, which provides data and insights about consumers researching prescription drug information online.

“The growing health video audience represents a strong opportunity for DTC marketers, particularly because this media format leads to considerable post-visit action” said Monique Levy, Senior Director of Research at Manhattan Research. “Understanding what kind of health videos to develop, and which websites or online channels to put them on, however, is critical to success.”

Complimentary Pharma Digital Marketing White Paper

Manhattan Research’s latest white paper, “ePharma Consumer® v9.0: The Online Pharmaceutical Information-Seeking Landscape,” discusses some of the trends among consumers using the Internet to research prescription drug and treatment information. The white paper is just a small preview of in-depth data and analysis available to subscribing clients of the ePharma Consumer® study. To access the report, please visit www.manhattanresearch.com/research/white-papers/consumer-digital-pharma-landscape.aspx.

Manhattan Research at ePharma Summit
Manhattan Research Senior Director of Research Monique Levy will be speaking at the upcoming ePharma Summit as part of the “Optimize Your Integrated Promotional Channel Mix” panel with Novartis, CMI, and QualityHealth. The conference will be held February 8-10, 2010 at the Hyatt Regency in Philadelphia. For conference and registration information, please visit www.iirusa.com/epharmasummit. If you’d like to connect with Ms. Levy during the conference, please email media@manhattanresearch.com or call 212-255-7799.

About ePharma Consumer® v9.0

ePharma Consumer® v9.0 is focused on the attitudes and behaviors of consumers seeking pharmaceutical information online. The study was conducted via online survey in Q4 2009 among 6,575 adults (age 18+). ePharma Consumer® also provides data on more than 250 pharmaceutical product websites. Clients can segment the broad market research to provide in-depth data on more than 85 condition groups. For additional product and subscription information, please visit www.manhattanresearch.com/epc.

About Manhattan Research

Manhattan Research, a Decision Resources, Inc. company, is a leading market research and advisory services firm for global pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. For more information, visit www.manhattanresearch.com, email sales@manhattanresearch.com or call

About Decision Resources, Inc.

Decision Resources, Inc. is a cohesive portfolio of companies that offers best-in-class, high-value information and insights on important sectors of the healthcare industry. Clients rely on this analysis and data to make informed decisions. Please visit Decision Resources, Inc. at www.decisionresourcesinc.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Joining the Conversation: Quick Social Media Tips for Pharma

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This blog is co-posted with The Pharma Marketer.

The Encima Group

Comprised of a team of seasoned professionals in business, marketing, analytics and technology, The Encima Group offers consulting services aimed at making your initiatives more successful. One of our core strengths is analyzing and optimizing your projects, utilizing key data to drive more targeted, response-driven activity. As an independent third party, working in concert with your other vendors, we are able to offer a unique and unbiased perspective on your programs, and provide an objective evaluation of your marketing efforts. These insights allow us to take your projects to the next level, harnessing all the tools available – from both your internal and external teams. When you engage The Encima Group, you benefit from the entire network’s decades of experience – each with key insights and perspectives for tailoring your programs against quantifiable metrics, and all 100% focused on helping you reach your goals.

The market’s been abuzz with social media and pharma lately, with varying opinions on the level of engagement a pharmaceutical company can — or should — have. FDA joining Twitter certainly bodes well for support of social network

ing platforms as a viable medium for reaching end users, but each company vastly differs in terms of their interpretation of regulatory guidelines. And almost no one wants to open up the can of worms of adverse events reporting and other potentially litiguous elements that come into play once you create a direct line of communication. But there are benign — yet effective — ways that you can connect with your audience via social media that should get past your Medical/Legal review board (although we can’t make any guarantees!). In any event, it’s a good place to start, and spark some thinking around how these tools might align with your current communications strategy. But before you dive into any of these tactics, be sure to use pre-approved content to avoid a lengthy vetting and leg

al approvals process so that you can enter the social media space safely, and build upon your interactions to push the envelope further once you’ve demonstrated solid results.

Expanding the eyeballs: You don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to marketing through social media. That approved TV spot or print piece could easily be delivered through a social network that expands your reach amo

ng your desired audience, and offer ways for them to interact with the content more meaningfully than with a fleeting ad. Merck, for example, is using Facebook to promote Gardasil, its cervical cancer vaccine; Bayer Aspirin has a Facebook page for women; and McNeil has an adults-with-ADHD awareness page. And companies like GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca have harnessed the power of YouTube with promotional videos such as a restless-legs awareness film and spots for asthma med Symbicort, respectively. So, some precedents have been set for taking the plunge with existing materials to at least begin building greater awareness at the places where your consumers are spending a majority of their time.

Facilitating the conversation: One of the benefits of

social media is community, so while it can be tricky to interact directly with cosnumers, you can facilitate interactions that they can have with each other. Offering avenues through which they can connect with others who may have the same symptoms, or where they can share experiences that they’ve had with treatments is key for creating a personal connection that ultimately translates back to your brand. For example, a community site sponsored by McNeil is aimed at adults with ADHD , and recently offered an online audio conference for caregivers, a comment area, a podcast on financial advice and an ADHD self-assessment tool. Does this also come with the potential of users sharing negative experiences? Sure, but isn’t it better to know what problems they are having so that you can address them via the appropriate channels, and tailor your efforts accordin

gly? So long as you clearly post guidelines around any potential drug issues, the way Johnson & Johnson has through their blog, you can be the host of these interactions and obtain valuable data and more effectively meet the needs of your current patients and potential consumer.

Use your learned intermediaries: While you may not b

e able to dispense medical advice, for which most onlne health users are seeking, you can leverage the direct connections you build with consumers through social media to direct them to their healthcare professional. Offer downloadable tools such as ‘questions to ask your doctor’ or a checklist they can bring to their doctor’s office to learn more about their condition, and your therapy. You can even close the loop on this process by encouraging them to return to your site post-office visit to download ad

ditional materials or a coupon code for a script. Bringing the physician into the mix can only serve to help relationships with your network of prescribers, and also gives the user relevant materials they need in their decision-making process, direct from the source, instead of the myriad of 3rd party health sites dispending diagnoses and information. Empowering patients to take charge of their condition will show them that you are invested in their health, and there’s no better way to do that than through networks where they are already used to — and comfortable — sharing experiences, issues and needs.

According to the Washington Post, the FDA is watching the development with interest. “If drug companies or others working on behalf of drug companies wish to promote [their products] using social media tools, FDA would evaluat

e the resulting messages as to whether they comply with the applicable laws and regulations.” said Karen Riley, a spokeswoman for the agency. “Our laws and regulations don’t restrict the channels that prescription drug companies choose to use for disseminating product promotional messages.”

So, pharma marketers essentially have the green light to a

t least begin dipping into social media, and according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, not only do people use the Internet to seek information about healthcare options, but people with chronic illnesses are more likely to access and act on information they get from the Internet. If people are moving to the web to get this information, and pharmaceutical companies don’t join in, then they are leaving their bran

d to be shaped by almost entirely by outside forces with zero control of their message. And with the abundance of medical online sources such as Medpedia, Wikipedia, Sermo and Physician Connect, the case has been made for building communities around consumer health, so the only thing stopping you from carving a place for your brand in that conversation is you.

The Pharma Marketer is an official media partner of the ePharma Summit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ePharma: What's Working, What's Not, & What's Next

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The 9th Annual ePharma Summit is geared up to offer a "Superbowl" of speakers and topics. John Mack will host and moderate a roundtable discussion with several of the Summit speakers and other invited guests from the ePharma Pioneer Club. The focus will be on What's Working, What's Not,& What's Next.

A topic of discussion will be the comments submitted to the FDA by the "Social Media Working Group" (SMWG) comprised of representatives from Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and sanofi-aventis U.S. This discussion took place on February 2, 2010, please click the link below to listen.

Live Streaming Audio Archive