Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays from the ePharma Summit!

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We're taking some time off from our coverage of all things Pharma marketing to celebrate the season with our loved ones. We want to sincerely thank you for your readership, your comments and your participation. We look forward to returning to the world of ePharma in 2011!

Here are our top ePharma Summit posts from 2010:
ePharma Summit 2010: Creating Value in Non-Personal Promotion
Epharma Summit 2010 Physician Portals: Just Say No
Progressive Rx Faces challenges with Google

We wish you Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

10 of the Top Health Apps for Consumers & Professionals in 2010

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A lot has changed over the course of 2010 in the apps that HCP’s and Patients use to divulge health information. Many are continuing to get on the Mobile “Bandwagon” for the first time this year alone thanks to innovations in Smartphones and new portable tablets.

Here are 10 popular apps you should consider:

1. Medscape Medscape tops our list as the number one free medical app for medical professionals. The amount of free content provided by Medscape is absolutely mind boggling and seems to continuously grow with each update. 7,000+ drug references, 3,500+ disease clinical references, 2,500+ clinical images and procedure videos, robust drug interaction tool checker, CME activities, and more.

2. Micromedex This might come as a surprise to many, but after you use this prescription medical reference app you’ll understand why it ranks so high. The overall user interface of the app is simple and quick. There is minimal clutter — another reason for such a high ranking. If you need to look up a dose or some quick reference information about a drug you can accomplish this with ease.

There are no prompts to register your e-mail address, no CME activities, no icon badges, no notifications, or any other distractions. The one knock on this app is it doesn’t have a robust drug interaction checker, something Medscape and Epocrates provide. On the flip side, for residents and medical students, the app does a better job than other drug reference apps when it comes to mechanism of action information and patient teaching information. Another plus is it’s available for the iPad — which is not true of Epocrates and Medscape.

The application is a production of Thomson Reuters, a legitimate name in Healthcare.

3. New England Journal of Medicine The NEJM app is clearly a must have for all health care professionals. The caveat is that when this app was released the NEJM stated it would be free for a “limited time” in the iTunes description — that was more than 5 months ago and the app still remains free, allowing you to access fantastic NEJM content customized for the mobile format. The app allows you to access the last 7 days worth of published articles, along with images of various medical conditions and videos on how to perform procedures such as LPs and chest tubes.

4. Epocrates There is no denying Epocrates is one of the best medical reference tools in the mobile format. The free version of Epocrates, Epocrates Rx, provides great content: Drug monographs and health plan formularies, drug interaction tool, pill identifier, medical Calculator, and a new addition: Medical News and handpicked clinical articles.

5. MedCalc MedCalc once again makes it into our top free medical apps list. The creators of MedCalc have updated the app multiple times, making its user interface more robust and continuously adding medical formulas. It’s been downloaded more than a mind numbing 700,000 times, making it one of the most popular medical apps for the iPhone. The creators of the app are medical professionals and it was one of the first medical calculators to hit the iOS App Store with the introduction of the iPhone.

6. WebMD Mobile This is a free app, which helps patients to diagnose their condition, using a symptom checker. You simply enter your symptoms and the app gives you a diagnosis. There is also a first aid section, which covers everything from minor cuts to heart attacks. The app also offers information about suitable treatments

7) iPregnancy This is a useful application for pregnant women; it has a range of pictures of the developing baby and contains a wealth of information about pregnancy. The app also has a tool to keep track of antenatal appointments.

8) Blood pressure This app tracks blood pressure and can be used to keep a record of blood pressure over a set time period. The app can be utilized by multiple users and is easy to use. This app is ideal for those who have high blood pressure but can be beneficial for everyone, as there are often no obvious symptoms of high blood pressure.

9) Glucose Buddy
The Glucose Buddy app is a really useful tool for diabetics; it helps to keep track of blood sugar levels.

10) iPharmacy iPharmacy enables you to look up medications and treatments and look for dosage instructions, side-effects and information about different drugs. The app also has information about drug interactions so you can find out about taking medications with other types of drug.

Doctors are taking to iPhone, BlackBerry and smartphone apps. According to the 2009 Smartphone Survey, 53% of physician respondents own a smartphone and 63% of those physicians are using mobile medical applications. Like it or not apps are here to stay. I truly think they will help 98% of the time both as a reference or a quick way to get updated information about any topic.

Learn more about apps in the medical industry at Epharma Summit 2011 on Wednesday, February 9, 2011, General Session:

Innovations in Mobile: Tools, Applications and Platforms

Speakers are:
Brian Dolan, Editor, Mobihealthnews
Ruth Clements, Director, Marketing Betaseron US, Bayer
Dorthy Gemmell, SVP, Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Markets

Download the brochure for more information.
Be sure to mention the code XP1606BLOG to save 10% on
your registration
. Click here to
register Epharma Summit 2011

With the exponential amount of medical applications being created daily, the question remains: What does it take for one app to be more successful than another? What do Physicians and Consumers find most valuable in their daily use of these programs?

There are many apps available. These top 10 are ones we felt are definitely the top rated for now. If you know of other Iphone Apps for healthcare professionals feel free to post in the comment section below.

Portions originally posted

Friday, December 17, 2010

Social Media Changed the Game, But the Rules Remain the Same: There Are No Rules

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What constitutes responsible marketing in the pharmaceutical and health care industries?

Hah! Wouldn’t you like to know…Problem is regulators have an annoying habit of keeping their cards close to the vest – especially the blank ones.

As far back as the ancient days of DTC when dinosaurs – print and broadcast – ruled the earth, the regulatory rule of thumb has always been, “You tell us, then we’ll tell you you’re wrong.”

Thousands of digital years later – roughly three analogue years – emerging media platforms like Twitter have turned a regulatory minefield into…well…a regulatory minefield, only on steroids.

Under the circumstances, to even attempt to navigate the digital frontier would seem a fool’s errand. But to do nothing? Even more foolish, of course.

According to Mark Senak – author of the leading blog “EyeOnFDA,” a health care public affairs pro with Fleishman-Hillard and a lawyer with a keen interest in pharma regulatory issues – it is possible, indeed advisable, to market pharmaceutical products and health care services in the social media world.

In part one of a four-part interview for IIR’s new podcast series – “ePharma Insights & Prescriptions” – Senak provides an introduction to the regulatory landscape and tackles the dilemmic question: Are we better off?

And please tune in to part two of our interview with Mark Senak, when we’ll discuss some common epharma marketing mistakes. We’ll also weigh ROI considerations versus the opportunity cost of not having a robust social media presence, and we’ll speculate on where the FDA may be headed in the near term.

Author’s note: Senak will be co-conducting a workshop on FDA/DDMAC enforcement trends at IIR’s 10th Annual ePharma Summit on Monday Feb 7.

To register or for more information, please visit

Marc Dresner is an IIR communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for market researchers in the pharmaceutical industry. He may be reached at

Click here to download Part 1 of the ePharma Insights & Prescriptions Podcast.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Policy by the AMA aims to Help Guide Physicians in Maintaining a Positive Patient-Physician Relationship Online

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90% of Americans are searching online for health information, but until recently, what they found tended to be jumbled and lacked credibility. Times are changing though. Mashable reports that as the health care revolution changes, many doctors, nurses and medical professionals are taking their insights online and offering patients credible resources to improve their health knowledge online.

Both the AMA and the CDC has recognized this, and released Best Practice documents for those professionals. A few of the Best Practices that caught our attention were:
  • Using privacy settings to safeguard personal information and content to the fullest extent possible on social networking sites.
  • Routinely monitoring their own Internet presence to ensure that the personal and professional information on their own sites and content posted about them by others, is accurate and appropriate.
  • Maintaining appropriate boundaries of the patient-physician relationship when interacting with patients online and ensure patient privacy and confidentiality is maintained.
  • Considering separating personal and professional content online.
As social media and med-focused online outlets increase, so do the number of potential challenges that arise when consumers approach the web to take their health into their own hands increase as well. For physicians, posting anything searchable online can be a huge risk but does have its benefits- exposure as a thought leader for one. As for advertising, press of practice is press nonetheless so one has to wonder about guidelines to help hinder HCP’s that create a potential danger not just for their own patients, but for the hundreds that comb the web looking for any information at all that might help them with their own diagnosis.

How much do you think these policies will help to mold the updated guidelines from the FDA in order to protect patients from those that misuse these technologies?

At the ePharma Summit, we will be addressing how marketers can better connect with today’s tech-saavy physician in our The Doctor’s Live Panel which will feature Sanjay Pingle of Physician’s Interactive as well as the perspective of Dr. Jason Bhan, Family Physician and Co-Founder of Ozmosis, Inc.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Startup Lets Doctors Enter Prescriptions on iPad

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Two entrepreneurs have developed an application in hopes of reducing error due to notoriously illegible physician penmanship. Liam Davis-Mead, 31, co-founder and CTO of the Boulder, Colorado-based startup said as many as 40 percent of prescriptions contain some sort of medication error, from improper dosing to overlooked interactions with other drugs and just simply because pharmacists can't read the doctor's messy handwriting.

The technology was developed by software programer and CEO Shane Taylor, who said his father, who takes 26 medications to fight heart disease and cancer, nearly died "on a few occasions" due to prescription errors.

The company plans to launch the free version of its app by the end of the year and hopes to roll out a premium subscription-based service within the next eight to nine months that would charge physicians $49 per month.  

As physicians adopt mobile technologies to improve patient interaction, we will look at how marketers can reach them through these new channels. Our Professional Marketing track on day 2 will focus on physicians and their use of new technologies in treatment from start to finish. We will also highlight the Innovations in Mobile Tools, Applications and Platforms on Day 3 with leaders from MobiHealthNews, Bayer and WebMD.  

Register by Friday December 10th so save $400 and mention the code XP1606BLOG at checkout to save an additional 10%.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Last Chance to Save $400 on Your ePharma Registration

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Join hundreds of the leading pharmaceutical professionals for incomparable access to insider information on how the top organizations are optimizing their brand strategy and boosting customer engagement.

Meet representatives from a wide range of Pharma stakeholders including Eli Lilly & Company, HealthCentral, Merck, Bayer Inc, Google, Bristol Myers Squibb, Shire Pharmaceuticals, Mount Carmel Health System, The Doctors Channel, Ozmosis, WEGO Health, Aton Pharma, M3 USA and more…

Celebrate 10 successful years with exclusive keynote presentations from:
→ Thomas Abrams, Director, DDMAC
→ David Pogue, The New York Times, CBS News
→ Thomas Goetz, Wired Magazine

Praise for the ePharma Summit from Joe Shields, Product Director & Team Leader, ENBREL, Pfizer, Inc., "The organizers and advisory board for the ePharma Summit continuously reinvent the meeting’s mission and focal points each year, staying one step ahead of the trends that shape health care marketing. The event provides savvy marketers with a healthy balance of networking, best practices, new thinking and, of course, controversy."

For more information, download the ePharma Summit Brochure:

We’re expecting to have our biggest year ever. Join us at the most respected digital marketing event for the life sciences industry as we explore innovative e-strategies and proven techniques to drive business. As a reader of the ePharma Summit blog, you will receive a 10% discount off the current rate when you use code XP1606BLOG.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

ePharma's 12 Days of Christmas

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Save 15% off your registration during the next 12 (business) days of Christmas. Be the first to email each day starting at 10:00 am to receive your code to register at 15% off, a savings of almost $350. And be sure to follow us on twitter (@epharma) to receive industry updates and other special offers from the ePharma Summit.

The ePharma Summit is the largest and most respected digital marketing event in the life sciences industry. Join us this year for exclusive keynotes from Thomas Abrams, Director of DDMAC, David Pogue, Personal Technology Columnist at The New York Times, and Thomas Goetz, Executive Editor at Wired Magazine.

With over 500 people in attendance, you can be sure you'll meet and hear from the most influential people in the industry. Don’t wait, register today!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Winning In The Relationship Era

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Marketers feel the ground shifting beneath their feet. Health care consumers are more empowered than ever, and as consumers gain unparalleled access to and influence over brands, they form new expectations about brand relationships. They expect us to truly engage with them - and to provide value beyond the pill - by building an experience around the brand that’s not about product branding, but rather about making them and their loved ones healthier. Authenticity and trust will drive their behaviors, not 30-second spots. So, how can business leaders - given the realities of the current regulatory environment - best adapt from a campaign-driven paradigm to an always-on marketing ecosystem? Learn how brands can adapt and win in the “Relationship Era” by building sustainable relationships with healthcare consumers involving both high levels of transaction and trust. Read IMC2's White Paper examining the topic here.

Doug Levy, CEO, IMC2, will be expanding on the findings in the white paper on Tuesday, February 8, 2011, at the ePharma Summit in New York City. Download the brochure and remember to register by 12/10 to save $300. Register using the code XP1606BLOG and save an extra 10%.