Thursday, August 25, 2011

Want to receive a complimentary pass to ePharma Summit 2012? Join us as a guest blogger!

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Earn a complimentary All-Access pass to the ePharma Summit by serving as a guest-blogger. As a guest blogger, you’ll have access to the entire event, including workshops. The ePharma Summit attracts the best in insights from around the country featuring more than 60 speakers from the biggest and most innovative companies in the industry.

The ePharma Summit is taking place February 6-8, 2012 in New York City. Responsibilities will include blogging on set industry topics leading up to the event and attending specifically assigned sessions and blogging live or same day. In exchange for guest blogging, you will receive an all-access pass to the event – a $3,000+ value. Guest bloggers are responsible for their travel and lodging.

Apply today by sending your name, company, biography and links to your blog to Jennifer Pereira at jpereira@iirusa.com. Deadline for submissions is September 30, 2011 at 12pm EST. Early submissions encouraged.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bayer Healthcare UK "Discredited UK Pharma Industry"

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The continuing saga of Bayer Healthcare's tweets continues to be a news story in the UK drug industry.  Last year, Bayer copied two press release headlines, then released them to the public as tweets.  In coordination with the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), Bayer Healthcare UK has violated their Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Code of Conduct (ABPI Code).  This has resulted in discrediting the Pharma industry in the UK according to the governing board.

According to The Register, they have discreded the industry by violating these rules:

- Companies are prohibits to release information about prescription-only medicines that would encourage the public to ask their doctor for the product
- Bayer Healthcare Failed to maintain high standards and brought discredit upon, and reduced the confidence in, the pharmaceutical industry
What do you take from this situation that arose from the misuse of Twitter concerning the Pharma industry?  While there are a lack of rules in the Untied States surrounding Pharma and social media, how do you think this could be avoided in the future?  How important is it to work closely with a legal team before publishing content on these mediums?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Online games promotes teen cancer awareness

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Source: MiniClip
Funky Nurse, an online game built by Miniclip in coordination with the Teenage Cancer Trust in the UK, is an online game that sets out to spread awareness of the 2100 teens a year who are told they have cancer.  Funky Nurse sets the player in the shoes of a nurse, and they must keep patients happy and fed, provide sufficient medical care and look for bonuses to upgrade the hospital.  According to Mashable, Teenage Cancer Trust and Miniclip have worked together since 2009, creating fund raising events and online opportunities. Teenage Cancer Trust's goal is to create cancer wards for the teenagers where they feel welcome, in addition to providing funding for clinical trials and educating the community.

Do you think online gaming is a good way to promote the awareness of medical conditions?  What other games have you seen that promote the awareness of a specific medical condition?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Moms are top searchers of health on SmartPhones

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SmartPhones are now being adapted by the majority of the population.  While games, entertainment and social networking are the top Apps on their phones, half of the mom population has downloaded a health related app to their phone.  Moms key concerns are often the health and wellness of their family, and now, with this device and these apps, they have the ability to have a portable research device and much of the information they need to know in the palm of their hands.

How do they use these apps? The Mom Central survey detailed in a recent post from  eMarketer shows how the moms are using these phones and reveals that their is an incredible market for healthcare marketers to connect with.


Health Apps are a part of the market that can both increase education and awareness of health conditions from the common cold to more sever conditions.  What do you think are the top Apps used by these moms, and why are they successful in connecting with the audience?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Some Pharma Facebook pages stay open while others close

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Yesterday, Monday, August 15, was the day in which Facebook made all pages on their site open for Facebook comments.  This sent the Pharma companies with Facebook walls, still with no regulation in social media, into two different directions.  Some companies, such as Johnson and Johnson, chose to shut down Facebook sites ADHD Moms and ADHD Allies.  AstraZeneca chose the same avenue, and closed down their Facebook page for Seroquel.  Facebook didn't give a specific reason as to the new requirements, but did say they want to encourage open dialogue.

While other companies, including Pfizer, Amgen and Sanofi Aventis chose to continue to navigate the dark waters of social media for Pharma.

What prompted J&J and AstraZeneca to shut down their Facebook page?  The Washington Post suggests bad side affects posted on the walls, promotion of off-label use on the individual drugs walls, and inappropriate comments. Tony Jewell, an AstraZeneca spokesman did point out that they are committed to social media, but must allocate the appropriate time and resources in order to properly monitor the risks.

What do you think?  Was this an advance or setback for Pharma in social media space?  Did some of the companies who chose to shut down their Facebook efforts surprise you?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tips for Pharma on Facebook

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Many Pharma companies are hesitant to use Facebook as a medium to communicate with their audience, and many fear it is because they will have additional worries concerning the FDA and adverse events of their drugs. Mashable recently set out and shared a few better ways for Pharma companies to communicate with their fans on Facebook while connecting with them at them at the same time.

Some of the tips:
- Know who is making the decisions about buying your product.  For example, doctors are not likely to reference Facebook when searching about a drug.  But for many Over the Counter drugs, consumers will look online and a Facebook page could be a great place to inform them about that drug.

- Use the Facebook page as a way to communicate, connect and listen to your consumers.  Ask them meaningful questions that are useful for your company to know.  It also fosters a relationship with your brand by connecting through meaningful conversation.

- An adverse affect of your drug is only considered valid if the factors below are in that complaint.  Should this appear on your social media channels, then take that complaint to your legal department and determine if it's something you need to bring to the attention of the FDA.

    • Who is the patient affected?
    • Who reported the event?
    • What was the adverse event?
    • What was the product that is suspected of causing the bad reaction? 

What other tips do you have for Pharma and Healthcare companies who are getting ready to use Facebook as a communication tool with your audience?  How severely affected do you think Pharma will be by the opening of Facebook comments for all walls on Monday?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pharma Companies facing challenge with Facebook

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August 15 is the day all companies on Facebook are required to have open discussion forums on their Facebook pages.  Pharma companies view this as a problem because they will be required to have open commenting on their Facebook walls.

BrandChannel.com recently looked back at the recent hacking that too place at Pfizer's Facebook page.  On July 19, Pfizer was recently surprised by the Script Kiddies, who were responsible for hacking into their fan page and posting a series of messages that commented negatively on the brand, then openly claimed responsibility for doing so.  Even though this took place, the author points out that Pfizer is one of the digital companies who is taking a hands-on approach to managing their digital presence.  They're looking at the hack as a learning experience.

What is your #1 concern with Facebook allowing for open discussions taking place on Pharma's Facebook walls?  Will it ultimately be a bonus for the companies, as they can truly have an open dialogue with their customers or will  it cause  more problems in relation to the FDA and specific side affects of their drugs?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Social media playing critical role in public health

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Social media is known for its fast dissemination of information.  Perhaps the public will benefit most from the way public health matters are quickly spreading.  In a recent article at Medical, Marketing and Media, they looked at the impact of information spreading through social media and how that aided public health.  Examples of situations in which the impact was substantial were the H1N1 Flu Epidemic, the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, and the 2011 Egyptian uprising.  Specifically in the case of the Haitian earthquake, afterwards as chlorea was spreading throughout the waterways, the dissemination could be traced and locals could be notified when their water was going to be tainted due to the tracking via social media.

According to the Raina M. Merchant, an emergency physician and assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Pearlman School of Medicine, "Clearly, social media are changing the way people communicate not only in their day-to-day lives, but also during disasters that threaten public health.  Engaging with and using emerging social media may well place the emergency-management community, including medical and public health professionals, in a better position to respond to disasters."

What other examples have you seen that showcase the way social media can help spread public and awareness of health conditions?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Pozen Seeks Help From Outside Pharma for New Digital Ideas

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Pozen Inc. has announced the formation of a new digital advisory board to guide them through the launch of their first products. Pozen executives hope that this new initiative will begin a revolution in the traditional commercial model for pharmaceuticals.

The group is comprised of 6 individuals from various industries. "The pharmaceutical industry has only begun to scratch the surface of employing digitally-based commercialization approaches. As POZEN moves forward to commercialize its PA pipeline, our goal in collaborating with these advisors is to look beyond the industry to identify untapped digital strategies that will help us deliver an affordable and accessible product to our customers," said Liz Cermak, Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer of POZEN.

Committee members include:
  • Raj Amin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, HealthiNation; previously Vice President of Business Development, N2 Broadband
  • John Bax, Chief Financial Officer, LivingSocial; previously Chief Financial Officer, RecycleBank and Walmart.com
  • Bonin Bough, Director of Digital and Social Media, PepsiCo; previously Director of Global Interactive, Social and Emerging Media Practice, Weber Shandwick
  • Marc Monseau, Founder and Principal, MDM Communication, LLC; previously Director of Corporate Communication and Social Media, Johnson & Johnson
  • Daniel Palestrant, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Sermo; previously Founder, Azygos, Inc.
  • Meredith Ressi, President, Manhattan Research; previously Chief Operating Officer, Integrated Wellness Solutions 
Do you think this new approach will be successful? How do you think people from outside the industry can change the current model?

View the full press release here.

The 11th Annual ePharma Summit will be taking place February 6 - 8, 2011 at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. Join us for the largest and longest running digital marketing event for the life sciences industry.