Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reps Stand Their Ground Despite 45,000+ Sales Jobs Lost This Year

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The shift to digital has provided new avenues for companies to reach physicians. It has also led to the downsizing of pharma sales forces around the world. In the past year over 45,263 sales jobs have disappeared according to outplacement company Challenger, Gray and Christmas.

A computer can never entirely replace a pharmaceutical rep, according to David Pineiro, 28, who works for the Japanese pharmaceutical company Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. Salespeople and in-person visits are valuable resources for overextended physicians, Pineiro said.

"I would say at least 50% of physicians don't have the time to go out of their way and do that extra research on drugs or new warnings that have come out," he said. Pineiro worked for Novartis for six years before moving to Daiichi Sankyo.

The human touch that sales reps provide is simply effective, according to Brad Sullivan, marketing director for the National Association of Pharmaceutical Representatives in Washington, D.C. IPhone apps, for example, can enhance a representative's visit or provide online research, but Sullivan expects the industry still needs a salesforce.

"You still want a live presence there. It's a psychological thing to get your product noticed," Sullivan said.

So how can you maximize your dwindling sales force in the coming year and what tools are at their disposal to make the most of their face time with physicians? ePharma Summit West will show you how to modernize your sales force and bring them into the 21st century to make your product stand out from the crowd.

Click here to download the brochure and see what ePharma West has to offer you.

Register by June 3rd to save $400, and mention XP1656BLOG to save an additional 10%.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

How far does Doctor/Patient Confidentiality extend in the digital age?

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Dr. Bryan Vartabedian came across a conversation that occurred on Twitter between physicians about a specific patient’s unfortunate medical condition and the doctor’s embarrassment about the case. No names, hospitals or specific variables are easily identifiable but the posts certainly begin to cross the line of confidentiality inherent to this type of relationship. The American Medical Association has identified guidelines for the use of the platforms for physicians. Do you believe this a true violation of the guidelines?

From the patient perspective, I'm not sure I'd like any of my medical details to be posted to Twitter to be the topic of conversation, but at what point is a doctor sharing patient information and just thoughts about their life like everyone else. Should the AMA set stricter guidelines that help protect the patients? But if that happens, what learning experiences will be lost? Could cases like this have negative implications for generally positive technological advances?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Why social media helps build a valuable network

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Barbara Ficarra recently wrote a blog post examining why social media is doing such a great job of connection the patient, the doctor and the informational benefits it can provide to both parties. The face of modern medicine today includes YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and blogs. All parties are on every platform, providing information and building communities around the the globe.

Her three most important reasons social media is valuable to healthcare are:
  1. Offers Valuable and Real-Time Health Information to Help Guide Patients and Consumers
  2. Establishes a relationship with the Community
  3. The use of social networking is the real game-changer. Did Twitter save a life?
What do you think? Are these your game-changers as to why social media provides a valuable network to patients, doctors and credible health information on the Internet?

ePharma Summit West gives you access to social media and digital marketing experts who will help you develop and/or perfect your integrated marketing plan. Download the brochure to see who you can meet and be sure to register by June 3rd to save $400. Register using the code XP1656BLOG to save an additional 10%.

Monday, May 23, 2011

ePharma West Agenda Updated!

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The ePharma Summit West brochure has been updated with even more dynamic speakers from the pharma industry, new informative sessions and a Webby Award winning case study. Get a full preview of your best chance to hear from the leaders in digital marketing. Be sure to read about our informative workshops which can help your company break into digital marketing, get up to speed on mobile trends, and see what the future holds for the industry.

Download the brochure to get all of the new updates.

Register for ePharma Summit West, taking place July 25-27, 2011, before June 3rd to save $400, and use the code XP1656BLOG to save an additional 10%!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Put away the laptop, switch to the iPad

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At The Mac Observer, Key Ray talks about the Pharma companies purchasing iPads for their sales representatives long before they even have a system to run any of their sales presentations on.  When a sales rep enters a doctor's office, the doctor, on average, gives them 30 seconds of their attention.  If a rep is using a laptop, it could take at least 30 seconds to power up that laptop.That's why Pharma is looking to switch to the easy, sleek iPad which can be functional within seconds.

ePharma West is the best event for you to learn about digital marketing and sales on the west coast. Check out sessions like “The Sales Force of the Future: Progressive and Digitally Active” and “Seamless Integration of E-Initiatives into your Multi-Channel Media Plans.” Meet with brand managers and sales leads from the major pharma companies to discuss what’s working now and what will work in the future.

Register before June 3rd to save $400, and use the code XP1656BLOG to save an additional 10%

Do you think there's an opportunity for software companies to develop Apps for the reps?  Will this help the amount of information doctors better understand with their sales reps?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How Can One Online Test Help Fight Disease?

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A recent study funded by the National Institutes of Health has shown that online health site successfully motivated employees to initiate and adhere to a health-management plan resulting in significant waist-size reductions. These results were produced by only one e-mail interaction inviting them to take the RealAge Test, a health assessment that determines a person’s risk of mortality based on a variety of health-related factors. The findings are published in the May issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The study findings show that although the coaching group had different benefits, only the RealAge group had a significant reduction in waist circumference -- an objective indicator of overall health; the fat that enlarges waists is linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation in the liver, blood vessels and more. The waist-size changes were seen within 6 months and maintained at 1 year after the study began.

Real age is a proud sponsor of ePharma Summit West, taking place this July 25th - 27th in Santa Clara, California. Register using the code XP1656BLOG to save 10% on your registration.

For the full report on this fascinating study, click here

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The digital presence of Doctors and Sales Reps

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The Teledoc iPad and iPhone devices are on their way this summer reports Mobiledia.  These digital tools are apps that allow patients to request on demand video chats with registered physicians.  This is just one way doctors and Pharma are bridging the new gaps to connect with patients in light of budget cuts and the poor economy.

The Pharma companies are diving in as well, Astra Zeneca has adopted AZ Touchpoints, Boehringer Ingelheim launched an educational marketing campaign for doctors with Pradaxa, and Novo Nordisk has launched the "Coags Uncomplicated" app to diagnose bleeding disorders.  The article, does mention at the end, these technical advances still don't replace face to face contact and the benefits that can provide for the doctor/patient relationship or even the Pharma sales representative/doctor relationship.  How do you see software like this aiding the industry?  

Find out about the newest technologies affecting the industry at ePharma Summit West. Hear from Bob Harrell of Shire Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Daniel Kraft of Singularity University as they discuss “Accelerating Technologies and our Radical Future” and Jonathan Richman of Possible Worldwide in his session “Paging Doctor PC” which discussed the impact of personal tech on treatments and doctor patient interaction.

Save 10% on your registration when you use the code XP1656BLOG. Register by June 3rd to save over $400 off of our standard rates.

Monday, May 16, 2011

"How to Profit from the mHealth Revolution" Free eBook

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Valuable guide reveals 6 critical rules for using the power of mobile to transform patient relationships across the healthcare ecosystem.

Orinda, CA May 10, 2011 - A new eBook, “How to Profit from the mHealth Revolution: Critical Rules for Using the Power of Mobile to Transform Your Patient Relationships” is now available for free download from Mobile PRM, the experts in mobile patient relationship management.

The eBook, written by Pamela Swingley, founder and CEO of Mobile PRM, is based upon more than two decades of customer relationship management expertise in the enterprise software industry.

The rapid and widespread adoption of smart phones is quickly shaping a new generation of customer relationships. According to industry analysts the greatest potential for transformation is in the area of mobile health. PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute estimates the annual consumer market for remote/mobile monitoring devices and services to be $7.7 billion to $43 billion.

“While there is massive buzz about mobile health these days, there is a shortage of information on exactly how companies can implement and profit from mobile health services,” notes Swingley. “We wrote this eBook to help pharma executives, CRO’s, pharmacy benefit management, health plans, and ACO’s leverage smart phone technologies to improve patient acquisition, retention, and outcomes.”

This eBook is a must read for executives that want to learn how to:
  • Increase adherence by helping patients take their medications correctly
  • Obtain feedback from patients on how well treatments are working
  • Build sticky patient and caregiver relationships
  • Improve the ROI of your patient communication programs
Connect directly with patients, all day, every day“How to Profit from the mHealth Revolution” covers the converging trends that make this time ideal for implementing mobile solutions and increasing adoption. It also reveals the rules for mobile success and how to improve the return on investment, including research on the value of real-time engagement.

Discover the power of mobile health to build direct, two-way patient relationships that empower patients, engage marketers, and improve outcomes. Download your copy of “How to Profit from the mHealth Revolution” for free.

About Mobile PRM
Mobile PRM was founded in 2009 by a team of customer relationship management (CRM) experts who recognized the opportunity to transform patient relationship management through the power of mobile communications. The company's patient-centric web-based desktop and mobile services create completely new and direct two-way relationships between patients, caregivers and the healthcare ecosystem.

Mobile PRM helps to improve medication adherence, provide treatment feedback, reduce patient acquisition costs, disseminate health information, and facilitate market research. Most importantly, Mobile PRM helps people stay healthier.

To learn more about our services, visit Headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mobile PRM is privately held.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Social for Pharma could be a powerful educational tool

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Education is the key to online marketing for Pharma marketers according to Dave Folkins at the Top Rank Online Marketing Blog. He believes that lack of regulations has kept many Pharma marketers from entering the space. While there aren’t guidelines as to how companies should, many Pharma companies are still finding success and followings with their plans while avoiding DDMAC letters, as only one of 52 issued last year dealt with social media.

Folkins suggests that Pharma marketing divisions work closely with their legal teams. Also, have a few ways to share the risk information. Education about illnesses provides Pharma a way to join the community online and educate, and could be one of the key ways that Pharma has success in the social space.

What do you think? Should Pharma companies look for their social strategies to educate the public about disease/illness awareness?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Pfizer tests vaccine education via SMS

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VAXTEXT, the new SMS promotion by Pfizer, is looking to create awareness and inform the public about childhood vaccinations. This is currently being tested in the Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami markets, three of the major metropolitan areas where childhood vaccinations are low. The goal of the promotion is to send personalized texts educating parents on their options for vaccines, what illnesses they can prevent and the optimal timelines for receiving them. Parents can sign up for alerts at

The ePharma Summit series is your best chance to learn about using mobile as a piece of your digital media strategy. Join us for our “Art of Mobile” workshop or general sessions such as “Mobile: Putting the “Smart” in Smartphone Marketing Decision Making” and “Measuring Digital Marketing toward Supporting Patient Adherence & Consumer Education,” or “Seamless Integration of E-Initiatives into your Multi-Channel Media Plans.”

This February, Dr. Jennifer Shine Dyer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital spoke at ePharma about a new program using SMS as a tool to promote diabetic teen patient adherence. ePharma interviewed Dr. Dyer on her project before her speech. Get a free PDF file of the interview here.  Join us July 25-27th to hear these topics and more at ePharma West. Mention the code XP1656BLOG when registering to save 10%.


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Astra Zeneca expanding digital customer care

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AstraZeneca has now placed “Click To Chat” features on the “Contact Us” pages of Crestor and Nexium. The IMing feature is the first of its kind in the Pharmaceutical industry, and AZ believes this is just one more way they can connect digitally with their customers.

Donna Holder, senior director, AstraZeneca Information Center, stated “AstraZeneca understands that our consumers want flexibility, especially when it comes to health information. This new resource enables consumers to have easier access to the information they seek through the convenience of a real-time, online channel.” (Source: Jack's Posterous)

ePharma Summit West is the best event to help you understand how to use your digital toolbox to access customers. Sessions like “Measuring Digital Marketing Toward Supporting Patient Adherence & Consumer Education” and “Extending Quality of Life Through the Shift Toward the Consumer” examine the new role of the empowered patient in pharmaceutical marketing and how you can adapt. Join AZ and others at ePharma Summit West this July 25 – 27th in Santa Clara California.

Register using the code XP1656BLOG to save 10% on your registration.

Do you think this is a step in the right direction for Pharmaceutical Customer Care? Do you think more patients will look to the IMing services rather than find user generated content to get their questions on Crestor and Nexium?