Monday, December 30, 2013

ePharma Summit Welcomes the New Year! How can you save 25% off the your pass? Details here!

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To celebrate the finale of a great 2013, we're throwing an ePharma Summit New Years Sale!

For the next two days, we're offering you - the ePharma Summit Online Community - a chance to attend the ePharma Summit in New York City for 25% off the standard rate of all passes!

How can you take advantage of this offer? Register online and mention code XP1906NYE. This limited-time offer expires Tuesday, December 31, 2013 at 11:59PM ET.

ePharma Summit will take place February 10-12, 2014 in New York City. Download the agenda if you'd like to know more about the program.

Rules and Regulations Apply:
• Only new registrants will receive 25% off the standard registration rate
• This offer only applies to passes purchased online on Monday, December 30 and Tuesday, December 31.  This is a non-transferrable offer and cannot be retroactively applied nor combined with other offers, discounts or promotions. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

13 Reasons for ePharma Holiday Cheer

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With the holidays just around the corner, we wanted to thank all of you that help make ePharma the leading marketing event in the industry. It’s you and your colleagues’ participation that makes ePharma the place to reconnect with peers and make new connections. Whether you’re new to ePharma or you’ve consistently attended the event over the past 13 years, we’re sure you’ll walk away with new ideas, contacts and skills that you won’t gain anywhere else.

To close out 2013—and in honor of the 13th year of the ePharma Summit, we wanted to highlight  13 benefits of attending ePharma in 2014:
  • 13 years of ePharma, bringing you content that makes you think, case studies that help you act and networking opportunities that connects you with experts and gurus 72-hour investment in ePharma will impact your 365-day plan and possibly your career—an ROI we can all get behind
  • 12 sessions in the eMarketing University, earning you a Certificate of Completion to hang on your wall
  • 11+ hours of dedicated networking time for mingling, brainstorming, and meeting
  • 10 years of the annual thought leader panel moderated by ePharma Chairman Paul Ivans
  • 9 trends and buzz words fully tackled and dissected into usable and helpful strategies and tactics to move your marketing forward—HCPs. Patients. Payers. EHRs. Clinics. RNs. Sunshine Act. Sales Force. Healthcare Reform.
  • 8 brand-new sponsors and tech providers ensuring a greater marketplace presence for you to explore and onboard into your 2014 marketing campaigns
  • 72-hour investment in ePharma will impact your 365-day plan and possibly your career—an ROI we can all get behind
  • 6 am wake-up call for our new Morning Charity Bootcamp, because it’s fun and 100% of the net proceeds go to Jeremy’s Heroes, in honor of 9/11 hero Jeremy Glick.
  • 550+ attendees, all in one place, over the course of three days.
  • 4 quick-fire Game Changer sessions focused on big data, change management, healthcare reform, and emerging tech.
  • 3 all-new Thought Leader Panels on innovation, the evolving customer model, and pharma’s new value proposition.
  • 2 years with the Refills, a live band including Co-Chair Pete Dannenfelser, taking place during the opening night networking reception.
  • 1 and ONLY digital marketing event the pharmaceutical industry pauses to attend
AND it’s New York City!

Want to know more about ePharma Summit 2014? Download the agenda.

We’re looking forward to seeing you at ePharma Summit next year on February 10-12th in New York City.  Plus, register by January 10th and SAVE up to $700! And as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you can save up to $100 additional.  Now that’s something worth a holiday cheer!

See you in 2014. Happy holidays!

Friday, December 20, 2013

QuickWin Tip from ePharma Keynote Lisa Bodell: Prioritize after a brainstorm

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Today, we feature another QuickWin video from ePharma Summit 2014 Keynote Speaker Lisa Bodell. She points out that we often leave brainstorm sessions with no incentive to activate any of the plans we developed during the session. So she shares some quick pointers on how to change this - identify the implementation ease and impact value of the ideas presented. Discuss why and what is actionable and then prioritize.

Watch the video here:

Lisa will be joining us this February at the ePharma Summit to present the keynote Kill the Company: End the Status Quo and Start an Innovation Revolution to share other tips and trips to becoming an innovative company and how you can become the innovation driver in your corporation. For more information on Lisa's presentation and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you're eligible to save up to $100 off the current rate!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Pharma’s opportunity to improve the patient experience through decision support

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Today's post come from Rory Stanton, Consumer Analyst at Manhattan Research. Manhattan Research will be a part of two sessions at this year's ePharma Summit taking place February 10-12, 2014.  As reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you'll save up to $100 off the current rate!

Pharma’s opportunity to improve the patient experience through decision support

One of the topics we’re digging into here at Manhattan Research is decision support. Though the internet is a go-to option for most US consumers for health information, there are many hurdles to accessing the right information to help consumers make decisions about their health. In fact, only 55% of online consumers reported that they can find all the health and medical information that they need on the Internet. The flood of health apps, websites, portals, health communities, and health news sites has created a bit of “information overload”, and patients need decision support tools to help determine what all this information means in the context of improving and managing their own health.

Some of the key things we’re seeing in this space:
  • Decision Aids: Because healthcare models are changing and patients have less time in front of a physician, they have less time to discuss options, risks, and whether or not to elect certain treatments. Pharma can help consumers speed up the decision making process in a number of ways. A recent JAMA study demonstrated the influence of decision aids on improving participants’ informed decision making and decisional satisfaction.
         For example, take Janssen’s Hep C tool. Janssen breaks down dense content into discreet,         
         digestible components for consumers with which to take action. They’ve also used multiple 
         mediums for content to keep it engaging and enjoyable. There’s a video component for patients 
         to relate to another patient’s story, condition education component (with options to deliberate, 
         factors that affect your choice, explanation of side effects), and an opportunity to participate in 
         the Hep C community with interactive “promise” tiles that are embedded in the background of 
        the home page.

  • The use of interactive video in consumer advertising: Pharma can experiment with interactive communication to allow consumers to experience brand content in a very personalized way. Interactive video companies like Interlude and Jelly Vision allow consumers to partake in the ad or content they’re experiencing by allowing viewers to select one of two options at various points in the video ad. In this way, the brand serves up content that is relevant to only the user’s unique needs.
  • Web-design that takes the guesswork out website navigation: Consumer traffic to pharmaceutical corporate websites is low because usability is typically low. Product websites are fraught with too many navigational choices on the home page for consumers to be able to digest the information when they need it. Offering too many decisions on what to view next on one page paralyzes patients and stands in the way of their main objective: to get the information they need to make informed decisions. The experience of guiding patients through critical decision points for those who arrive on pharmaceutical corporate websites or product pages will be paramount.

Clarifying the many decisional conflicts experienced by consumers is important for the success of the next crop of drugs from Big Pharma.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Physician to Pharma: Engage the Patient!

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Heart Doc Envisions More Meaningful Role for ePharma in Patient Care

By Marc Dresner, IIR

It's not a sentiment one might expect, given DTC's sometimes tense relationship with physicians. 

But Dr. Jordan Safirstein actually wants pharmaceutical companies to interact with his patients directly and in potentially more influential ways.

From a healthcare provider's perspective, advertising to patients would seem intrusive enough; anything more would presumably constitute an intolerable land grab.

Jordan Safirstein
But the cardiologist says he wouldn't be opposed to seeing pharmaceutical and device manufacturers overtly insinuate themselves in the healthcare process. In fact, he's encourage the industry to do just that.

"I feel like there is a lot more [pharma] could do in terms of helping patients with compliance, educating patients about their disease state and not just the medication that they are taking," Safirstein told Inside ePharma.

The opportunity as Safirstein sees it would be most pronounced in the digital space—apps, digital interventions, streaming educational content for patients, etc.

And it seems a natural next step when one considers the potential of interactive media in the context of broader healthcare trends.

“[Pharma] can fill in the gaps that currently exist in medicine.” 
- Dr. Jordan Safirstein

"Now that pharma has been restricted from providing anything without an educational component to it, maybe they should redirect their strategy toward becoming a useful resource beyond just manufacturing medication," Safirstein said.

"Pharmaceutical companies have many more resources than physicians do," he added. 

"There is no doubt that additional assistance, especially to support physicians in their goal to make patients better, can only be a good thing."

In this episode of the Inside ePharma podcast interview series, Safirstein discusses: 

• Why the time is right for pharma and device manufacturers to engage patients on an entirely new level;

• What that engagement should look like; 

• And why physicians and other healthcare providers will appreciate the shift!

Editor’s note: Dr. Jordan Safirstein will be featured on a panel at the 13th Annual ePharma Summit taking place February 10-12, 2014 in New York City.
For more information or to register, please visit

Marc Dresner is IIR USA's senior editor and special communication projects lead. He is the former executive editor of Pharma Market Research Report, a confidential newsletter for marketing researchers in the pharmaceutical industry. He may be reached at Follow him @mdrezz.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Should Genetic Testing Services be Regulated?

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Today, we feature a post from ePharma Summit Media Partner PharmaVoice.

If you have a gene that predisposes you for a specific disease, would you like to know? If yes, do you want those types of services regulated by the FDA, or left to innovative companies to develop unhampered? It’s a very personal question, and currently under much scrutiny.

The FDA recently clamped down on 23andMe, a genetic testing service, because of a lack of access to the company’s data. The FDA’s concern is that the testing may not be accurate, and/or may influence people to undertake unnecessary medical procedures knowing they may be at risk for specific medical conditions. If a consumer finds out she has a gene that predisposes her for breast cancer, she may demand a surgical procedure as a preventive measure. Other patients may demand specific medications as a prophylactic against potential health risks.

It’s no surprise that doctors, in general, do not favor the consumer-based mail order genetic testing approach to health care. Physicians are used to patients coming into a consultation with reams of information from the patient’s web research. A visit to WebMD may cause a patient to believe they have the symptoms of a serious disease, however anecdotal the diagnosis may be. Genetic testing services adds a whole new mountain of personal information that patients can lose sleep over. Test results from services such as 23andMe provide specific information about the patient’s genetic predispositions. The data becomes personal. However, being predisposed for something does not mean that condition will arise in one’s lifetime.

Is it good for patients to know their genetic makeup and their possible health risks, or does it cause more problems than it solves? Does it create an open dialog between patients and HCPs, or does it clog up the system with unnecessary office visits and phone calls? Should the FDA regulate genetic testing services such as 23andMe, or call it an educational tool consumers can use or ignore at their discretion?

Genetic testing services could be a boon to Pharma, because the more health information available to patients, the more likely they are to schedule visits with their doctor and address their health concerns.

What’s your opinion? Tweet your thoughts using hashtag #DNAdiscussion.


Monday, December 16, 2013

EHRS + Clinical Prediction Rules = Better Outcomes + Reduced Costs?

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Today's guest post comes from ePharma's event chair Paul Ivans, President, Evolution Road Consulting. This year marks his 10th year as ePharma event chair.  ePharma Summit takes place this February 10-12, 2014 in New York City.  Want to join Paul?  As a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you're eligible to save up to $100 off the current event rates!*

EHRS + Clinical Prediction Rules = Better Outcomes + Reduced Costs?

As we discussed at the ePharma Summit earlier this year, the US Healthcare System is facing dramatic, tectonic-plate level changes driving us toward the horizon of a very new and different “Healthcare Future”. And the hope for all of us, is that it will be a much better future than the broken, misaligned, costly and marginally effective system we face today.

Source: Image 1                                                                                                                                              Source: Image 2

Of course, the road so far has not been particularly smooth (and you thought you had a tight deadline building that website for your brand, huh). But if we pull back and look at the foundational changes happening in the system, there are tremendous signals of hope that the new healthcare future will drive significantly better patient health outcomes at dramatically lower costs.

A key driver of this optimistic outlook is the intersection of two rapidly growing trends: the rapid adoption of EHRs and the maturing of clinical algorithms that leverage actual patient data from EHRs to provide probabilistic guidance to healthcare providers in real time.

We have all seen the data on the dramatic adoption of EHRs in the US, primarily driven by the current incentives and upcoming penalties related to meaningful use. All good. Yet under the surface is a massive opportunity for EHR data to be leveraged in the clinical setting to improve patient outcomes, yes improve outcomes. The data on you and me in EHRs will include (over time) all our symptoms, lab results, diagnoses, treatments, and how we’ve responded to treatment pathways. The real power of the EHRs will be in leveraging that data in real-time as input to clinical prediction algorithms that will help the provider diagnose you more accurately the first time, with fewer trial and error cycles, fewer lab tests, and fewer office visits…all based on the detailed data and nuances found in your clinical data.

Over the last few months, the results of a series of randomized clinical studies have been published, indicating that while this type of approach is still “early”, it has demonstrated improved outcomes and reduced costs across conditions such as streptococcal pharyngitis and pneumonia (by Mount Sinai's Division of General Internal Medicine as published in JAMA Internal Medicine, September 2013).

Source: Image 3
Additionally, other clinical researchers are adding another fascinating layer to the mix – genomics. For example, the Inova Translational Medicine Institute is partnering with data analytics company GNS Healthcare to build predictive models based on EHR and genomic data to predict infants at risk of preterm live birth. According to Inova and GNS, “these models will characterize the complex relationships among many variables in order to identify the associations and underlying causal mechanisms of preterm birth and will allow for personalized prediction of preterm birth risk and gestational length. This, in turn, will help prioritize the testing of potential new diagnostic and treatment plans for at-risk patients" (source: Fierce EMR, August 2013)

So while we are still in the very early stages of our healthcare system’s transformation to the new healthcare future, there are many strong and positive indicators of hope that, as an industry, we can dramatically improve patient outcomes and reduce costs, at the same time.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Where is your digital doctor online?

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Are physicians becoming more comfortable online?  A recent survey by ZocDoc of 360 physicians shows that 83% of those surveyed have a webpage for their practice - and they also see the importance of connecting with their patients online.  Of physicians 26-55 years old, 87% said they had an online social media preference while 65% of physicians 56-75 had an online presence.

See the full inforgraphic at Med City News.


This February at ePharma, we'll be going more in-depth on these trends in the presentation Emerging Marketing Trends & How to Harness Technology for Physician Engagement.  We'll reveal some of the top platforms and trends attracting the digital physician.  Want to know more about this session and the rest of the program? Download the digital agenda.  If you'd like to join us February 10-12, 2014 in New York, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you'll save up to $100 off the current rate!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Collaboration leads to awareness

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In a recent article from News Medical, they look at a recent effort made by the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City to increase awareness and participation on their social channels surrounding the rare disease Lupus.  They tested whether or not working with the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation would work to increase the number of participants joining their Facebook chats to increase awareness of the disease.  HSS already knew that the Lupus audience online had a desire for information and were digitally inclined to participate in a chat like this.  By having a Facebook Chat, the HSS was able to provide a team of experts at one given time to answer any questions those participating in the chat had to an audience that was already online and asking questions.  They were to educate their audience on any question asked during the period and promote proper physicians visits during this time.

When HSS teamed up with the Lupus Foundation, they saw 332 new likes to their page the day of the chat and 6624 people saw the post.  This is a significant increase from the 34 average likes from the previous two posts.  Overall participation soared by 200% - proving the effort to be a true success.

This February at the ePharma Summit, William J. Tunno, Director, Global Patient Advocacy & Professional Relations, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc will be on hand to present Create Open Dialogue with Patient Advocates and Bloggers.  In addition to online chats, find out where your patients are online and how to really connect and engage with them.  For more information on this session and the rest of event, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us in New York City February 10-12, 2014 and mention code XP1906BLOG, you'll receive the maximum savings - up to $100 off the standard rate!

How important is it to work with well connected patient advocacy groups in today's digital age of marketing?

Friday, December 6, 2013

ePharma Keynotes Address Change Management and Inspire

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In years past, being a digital marketer was like being part of the cool kids club, where you had meetings with fresh-faced companies, start-ups, and boutique agencies, possibly even wearing jeans to the office every day. Oh my how times have changed and digital marketing has grown up—BIG TIME!

Digital marketing has evolved into a more sophisticated job and a necessary part of the marketing mix. Most importantly, in case your function wasn’t taken quite as seriously back in the day, it certainly is now—and you’re expected to drive ROI and deliver profitability! You’re now looking for ways to integrate your digital marketing efforts into mainstream marketing programs inside your organization.

At the ePharma Summit™ taking place on February 10-12 in New York City, the challenges and opportunities around change management will be addressed directly by our headlining keynote presenters. They’ll give you insights and strategies that will help you move your digital agenda and marketing organization forward and also inspire you along the way.
  • - Thrive in the new world of healthcare with Jonathan Bush, Chief Executive Officer, athenahealth
  • - Starting an innovation revolution with Lisa Bodell, Author, Kill the Company & Chief Executive Officer, futurethink
  • - Innovate at the speed of change with Jeff Conklin, Senior Vice President, Global Commercial Operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • - Get a glimpse into the future of pharma marketing with Tom McCourt, Chief Commercial Officer, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

ePharma Summit 2014 will take place February 10-12, 2014 in New York City. We’re proud to have Paul Ivans, President, Evolution Road Consulting, back for a 10th year as an event chair. When you register early to join Paul and other digital pharma marketers, you can save up to $700! As a reader of this blog, you’re eligible for maximum savings when you register to join us and mention priority code XP1906BLOG.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Pharmacists in Focus for Rx Marketing – 3 Key Multichannel Opportunities for Pharma Brands

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Today's post come from Maureen Malloy, Director, Product Commercialization at Manhattan Research.  Manhattan Research will be a part of two sessions at this year's ePharma Summit taking place February 10-12, 2014.  As reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG, you'll save up to $100 off the current rate!

The U.S. healthcare landscape is drastically changing under new reform and pharmacists are stepping in to play a key role in care and supporting patients throughout their treatment plans. Moreover, pharmacists show significant demand for digital patient support services from pharma. These trends represent strategic opportunity for pharma commercial teams looking to support pharmacists who are playing growing role post healthcare reform.

Our latest Taking the Pulse® Pharmacists 2013 study highlights three key multichannel opportunities for brands to consider when evaluating ways to connect with pharmacist audiences:

Pharma-Sponsored Adherence Support: Pharmacists are on the front lines with patients when it comes to helping them take and stay on their medication - a critical role as the government and payers put more pressure on improving treatment outcomes. For example, more than 9 in 10 online retail pharmacists provide patients with adherence support. At the same time, pharmacists want pharma support in this regard. The Taking the Pulse® Pharmacist 2013 study found that more than 4 in 5 pharmacists surveyed have used or are interested in using pharma-sponsored adherence materials and support programs via their EHR.

Educational Materials on Pharma Websites: Pharmacists are also looking to pharma companies for educational materials for teaching and sharing with their patients. For example, 3 in 5 retail pharmacists are interested in accessing patient education materials on pharma product, corporate or service websites.

Online Promotion for Pharmacists: Various pharma companies are already beginning to expand their rep focus to pharma – particularly specialty pharmacists focused on the increasingly critical niche therapy market. Nearly half of specialty pharmacists have already used an on-demand presentation from a pharma company, such as recorded webcasts, videos, slideshows or animations, and a significant share of those who haven’t are interested in doing so.

Manhattan Research’s Taking the Pulse® Pharmacists study and advisory service is focused on helping pharma brands understand the evolving role pharmacists are playing in patient care and how brands can connect with pharmacists through multichannel marketing and sales strategies. The study was fielded in August 2013 among 754 retail, hospital and specialty pharmacists.

For more information about accessing the study and Manhattan Research analysts, please visit the product page or contact

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

From the Impossible to Possible: How can your company overcome challenges?

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Today, we share a brain-storm session idea from ePharma Summit Keynote Speaker Lisa Bodell, Author of Kill the Company and CEO of futurethink.  What do you see as impossible for your company?  What do your employees think of as impossible?  In this video, Lisa looks at how a brainstorming session can bring out the "possible" in the "impossible.

To find out more about Lisa's presentation at the 2014 ePharma Summit, download the agenda. The ePharma Summit will take place February 10-12, 2014. If you'd like to join us, as a reader of the ePharma Summit blog, you can save up to $100 off the current rate* when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG.

Monday, December 2, 2013


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ePharma 2014 is coming February 10-12, 2014, and it's the premier event for digital marketing in the pharmaceutical industry. Join 550+ of your life science peers in pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotech companies as well as agencies for a truly immersive education and networking experience that is rivaled by none in the business!

Save $100 off all current registration rates for 24 Hours – December 2 from 12:00AM-11:59PM ET.  Click here to register on the web and mention code XP1906CYBER.

Download the ePharma brochure here for full agenda details.  Don't miss this opportunity to SAVE an EXTRA $100 on your registration!

Have any questions?  Feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Adverse Actions and Social Media: A Look in to the Trends

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ePharma Summit 2014 sponsors Visible recently released the report Adverse Actions and Social Media.  In this report, the Visible team takes an in-depth look at one of the common problems many Pharma companies see with using social media - an abundance of adverse reports that have to be reported should patients begin discussing them on their social platforms.

What they found throughout their research - which included over 12,530 posts throughout social media across 24 brands - was that the four items needed to report an adverse event (the full name of the patient, the full name of the reporter of the adverse event, the medication they were on and the adverse event that took place) that less than 5% off the entire social population was reporting the side effects.  They found that 3.3% of these mentions were adverse effects.  How many met all of the criteria needed to report an adverse event to the FDA?  Download the report to find out.

Visible will be joining us February 10-12, 2014 in New York City for the ePharma Summit.  For more information on the program, look at the digital agenda.  Would you like meet Visible?  As a reader of this blog when you register to join us an mention code XP1906BLOG, you'll save $100 off the standard rate.*

Do the results of Visible's study surprise you?  What is the best way for this industry to approach questions about adverse events on social media knowing these results?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Making smarter us of the data we have for clinical trials

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In an effort to improve patients and clinical trial conductors make better use of, the US Government has recently signed three deals with Eli Lilly, Novartis and Pfizer to make better use of the data coming in to the government to help more patients connect with clinical trials.

With the increased use of electronic health records, the goal is to better align clinical trial studies with the patients they are trying to find.  The goal is to have each trial create an electronic target health profile.  According to Fierce Biotech IT, programs will be able to find the electronic health records of those patients who may fit the profile of an ideal patient to participate in that clinical trial.  Each of the three pharma companies participating will start the effort by doing this for fifty currently running clinical trials.  The government hopes that after this, more companies will make the target profiles and software developers will develop a software system that can bring the patients to the clinical trials.

This February at ePharma, Tom McCourt, Chief Commercial Officer of Ironwood Pharmaceuticals will be on hand to discuss how his company began work with the University of Michigan and UCLA to better improve their electronic capabilities - ultimately showing how the healthcare delivery system can be improved for the better by better leveraging the capabilities we have with evolving IT and healthcare systems.  For more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the digital agenda. The ePharma Summit will take place February 10-12, 2014 in New York.  If you'd like to join Tom, as a reader of this blog when you register to join us an mention XP1906BLOG, you'll save $100 off the current rate!*  

If you could harness the power of big data to make your work at a Pharma company better or more accessible for patients, what you would you do?

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Big Data is Big Business – Are You Up to the Challenge?

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Today, we feature a post from ePharma Summit Media Partner PharmaVoice.

Imagine you are standing beside a beautiful stream. Your job is to observe the salmon swimming up river to spawn. You are tasked with counting and categorizing the salmon by size, color, speed, and other variables. As you settle in with your binoculars and your notebook, 50,000 salmon swim past you in the space of a couple hours. Obviously, you are not prepared to deal with the volume. You need more resources and better technology to accurately collect and understand what is taking place. Now multiply this by several orders of magnitude, and you’ll have some understanding of how the petabytes of data now available to life science businesses is even more staggering.

Big Data permeates virtually every aspect of the life science industry. It has a presence in R & D, clinical trials, marketing, sales, strategy, and HR. Big Data exploded with the rise of the digital medium as a form factor, and the Internet as a transport mechanism. Now that all of this information is flowing freely in the digital realm, how can we use this raw information to be more competitive, make better decisions, and achieve a higher ROI?

Big Data certainly has a major presence in R & D, but it truly gushes on the consumer side. Every person with a laptop, tablet, or smartphone can contribute new data to the stream - and businesses can analyze this stream in real time. Social media is one of the latest channels for collecting Big Data, but we still have very healthy conduits in the form of email, discussion forums, surveys, web portals, and many other platforms.

Revelations that took months or even years to understand, now may only take days, or even just hours in some cases.

We’ve never had as many opportunities to examine all of this data as we have now. We’ve never had as much brainpower creating tools and working on implementing programs as we have today. But the new way of business is not without its share of major hurdles.

Three Key Big Data Challenges
  1. Transitioning from data to insight
  2. Systems cannot process large volumes of data from different sources
  3. Lacking the talent to undertake deep analysis of big data
Source: PwC’s 5th Annual Digital IQ Survey

Much like salmon in spawn, Big Data is largely untamed. Fortunately it is tamable. We’re developing better tools and technologies to understand this data, but the amount of effort and resources required is substantial. Once a good infrastructure is in place, the ROI can be massive. In fact, if you aren’t deep into Big Data yet, you are falling behind your competitors.

The volume of data will continue to grow, as well as the number and diversity of channels it flows through. Companies need the plan, the tools, and the talent to understand the data and use the findings to make the best decisions for all stakeholders.

We’d like to know your thoughts. Please tweet your ideas using hashtag #bigdata. Feel free to leave your comment under this blog post as well.

Data Management: Getting Value from Big Data, PharmaVOICE September 2013
Big Data to Transform R & D, PharmaVOICE November/December 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Making Health Addictive

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Today's post comes from Joseph C. Kvedar, MD, is the Founder and Director of the Center for Connected Health. He will be presenting at one of the Technologies to Watch Now sessions at the 2014 ePharma Summit.

I first posed the question, “Could Mobile Health Become Addictive?” a few months ago. Since then I’ve done more thinking and I’m warming to the concept.

To start with, addiction is a word laden with negative meaning. When we hear the word, we think of opiates, street drugs, cigarettes, or possibly gambling. In fact, Wikipedia defines addiction as, “the continued repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences.” So, with that definition as backdrop, is there any way health can really be addictive? Probably not.

What I’m really talking about is the juxtaposition of motivational health messaging with some other addictive behavior, specifically checking your smartphone.

New evidence shows that people are in love with these devices, checking them more than 100 times per day! I’ve heard people are tapping in 110, even 150 times a day. Of course this varies, but let’s face it, we check our smartphones a lot and it’s hard to stop. A somewhat disturbing video makes the case well. It’s easy to build a case that smartphones are addictive. Recent research shows that checking your phone results in a small release of the neurochemical dopamine. Dopamine release has long been associated with ingestion of addictive substances such as heroin and tobacco. In fact, once the pattern of ingestion and dopamine release is established, even thinking about the ingestion triggers the dopamine release, the biochemical explanation for cravings.

For the time being, I choose not to question whether this compulsive relationship with smartphones is good or bad, but simply to acknowledge that it is common, almost universal among smartphone users and to ask if we can exploit it as tool to improve your health.

What makes smartphones so addictive? The evolution of mobile apps has made them the proverbial Swiss army knife of electronic devices. We communicate with them and the need to communicate is a profound human instinct. We can capture and share our lives through the camera and other sensors. We can get instant access to all kinds of important information such as news, weather and maps. They’ve been designed for bite-sized consumption of information. Thus whenever a smartphone user comes upon idle time, say waiting for an elevator or the bus, she will inevitably pull out her smartphone to check on what is new in the last five minutes. The curiosity is too much. Each one of these logins leads to a small reward, and that leads to the small release of dopamine setting up the ‘addiction’ and craving.

Many have talked about the transformational possibilities of mobile health including: the opportunity to use an always on, always connected device to message you in-the-moment about health; to capture health-related information about you via the camera and through connected sensors; and, of course, the ability to display relevant information in context. All of these are exciting, but if we can exploit the addictive quality of smartphones, it will be the most important characteristic of mobile health as we move forward.

So how can we take advantage of this phenomenon to improve your health? I believe there are three strategies and three tactics to make health addictive
Strategy #1: Make it about life. Patronizing conversations with folks — threatening them with worsening chronic illness if they do not comply — are really old school and largely ineffective. If we can get inside your head and learn what your aspirations are (find a mate, look 10 years younger, get into a swimsuit, etc.) and tie our health-related messaging to those aspirations, we have a better chance of long-term health improvement.

Strategy #2: Make it personal. The more context we know about you, the more we can message you in a very relevant way. The days of public health-related, widespread messaging are going away in favor of personalized medicine. Mobile health must follow.

Strategy #3: Reinforce Social Connections. There are many motivational tools showing up in products on the market these days – incentives, games and coaching to name some — but those with a social component tend to have a greater impact. While not universal, the desire for affiliation runs deep and none of us wants to appear unhealthy to our friends or family. Social networks will be a powerful tool to increase accountability and adherence to care, and wellness plans and mobile phones make social interactions that much more convenient.

So, I’ve given you a glimpse of the strategies, now a sneak peak at the tactics:

Tactic #1: Employ Subliminal Messaging. My favorite example of this phenomenon is the terrifically successful truth campaign from the American Legacy Foundation. They have employed every trendy teen movement you can think of – from texting, to social media to concerts to online voting all in the name of educating teens about how the tobacco industry manipulates their products. It’s a fascinating tact. There is no admonishment about using tobacco per se, only lots of fun ways to bring teens into the conversation about how bad it is for you. Imagine if every time you checked your phone, an unobtrusive brief message appeared on YOUR health issue and how to improve it.

Tactic #2: Use Unpredictable Rewards. B.F. Skinner proved that operant conditioning is more effective when the stimulus and reward are tied only some of the time. The transportation company Uber does this. From time to time, when you open the app you get a surprise (coupon, offer, etc.). That leads people to open the app even when they are not looking for a ride!

Tactic #3: Use the Sentinel Effect. Patients in our connected health programs tell us they are diligent about sticking to the program because their doctor or nurse is watching. This effect of having an authority figure look in on your life is a really powerful tool that can be used to effectively promote good health through mobility.

Is this all nonsense? I don’t think so. Recently Facebook released Facebook Home, an app for android phone users that takes over the phone’s login screen and offers the user access to all of their Facebook updates every time she looks at the phone before turning to whatever she was actually looking for on the phone. What if your health plan or your Accountable Care Organization (ACO) offered you an app like this, designed to message you about your health, in exchange for a lower premium cost?

Throughout this post I’ve made analogies from the advertising industry. I saw a great quote recently that advertising is moving from the Mad Med generation to the Mr. Spock generation. From billboards and print ads that we all see regardless of relevance (Mad Men style) to personalized, contextual highly segmented messages informed by your last few days of digital behavior (Mr. Spock style). This is where we need to go with health messaging. As we get there, we need to slip these messages in front of you while you’re indulging in that oh, so delicious activity of checking your phone.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thought Leader Panels Revealed for ePharma Summit 2014

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Over the past 13 years at the ePharma Summit, you’ve come to expect presentations and perspectives that go beyond just digital marketing. ePharma is the only digital marketing event for pharmaceutical executives that gives you the big picture and the insight into what it means for you—the marketer.

Building off the success of the Annual Thought Leader Panel, we’ve expanded this feature to satisfy your overwhelming need to understand overarching trends and how they directly relate to your company.

What panels can you look forward to?

How Will Marketing Innovation Help Pharma Adapt to the Massive Changes in Healthcare?
Led by 10-year ePharma Chairman Paul Ivans, this annual thought leader panel kicks off the ePharma Summit by providing you with an overview of the overarching trends affecting you this year.

Hello, Your Customers Have Changed: Do You Know Who They Are, What They Need and How to Get Their Attention?
Back by popular demand, this thought provoking panel provides you with insight into who your new customers are, what they want from you, and how they want to receive information.

Pharma's New Value Proposition and How Marketing Innovators Need to Evolve to Drive Value in the New Paradigm.
With an increased focus on value and providing “pill plus” services, this panel highlights how to go beyond traditional marketing outreach to support your brands and demonstrate additional value.

To find out the speakers and moderators of these panels, download the agenda.

ePharma Summit 2014 will take place February 10-12, 2014 in New York City. When you register to join us early, you can save up to $700! As a reader of this blog, you’re eligible for maximum savings when you register to join us and mention priority code XP1806LINK.

Have any questions or want to get involved? Feel free to email Jennifer Pereira.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Teaching vs. Preaching – How Content-based Marketing is Conquering eMarketing

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Today, we feature a post from ePharma Summit Media Partner PharmaVoice.

95% of most marketing out there is a waste of time and money. The hard truth is your prospects are tuning out much of the marketing they are being bombarded by today. Many companies, including some of your competitors, are simply increasing their marketing spend, attempting to win the arms race for attention. That’s lazy marketing. Do you have the budget to compete with their brute force strategy? I didn’t think so.

Smart companies are shifting gears. They are moving away from traditional marketing, such as ads, brochures, and expensive trade show booths, and are embracing content-based marketing on the web. Banner ads, print ads, and 30 second spots are being replaced by digital white papers, web seminars, podcasts, and blogs.

Here are 5 tips you should follow for a content-based marketing campaign.

1) Thought leadership is the best way to build trust and relationships

Thought leadership should be an entry point to a relationship. Thought leadership should intrigue, challenge, and inspire even people already familiar with a company. It should help start a relationship where none exists, and it should enhance existing relationships.

In the highly regulated, highly competitive arena of pharma, biotech, and medical devices, the challenges are massive and plentiful. The days of the faceless corporation are over. People are seeking answers to their toughest challenges. They look to people they trust and respect. Experts are becoming Internet stars as they blog, conduct web seminars, record podcasts, and publish white papers on a regular basis. The web is a publishing platform that is more efficient, less expensive, and provides better analytics than traditional marketing platforms.

2) Your message better be about the prospect

Content-based marketing is not about how great your product, service, or company is. It’s about connecting with prospects in a way that will build trust. Lose the sales pitch and focus on the prospect’s needs.

Statements to avoid:
  • Our best-in-class proprietary blah blah blah
  • We’re the industry leader in blah blah blah
  • We [almost anything] blah blah blah

The number of sentences that start with “You” should outnumber those that start with “We” by a wide margin, especially in the beginning of your content.

3) Tell stories for maximum impact

Here’s the only place where you get to use the first person narrative. Be authentic. Your prospects can smell dishonesty, pandering, and an ulterior motive. So keep it real, as they say. Your story should resolve some issue, solve a problem. Hopefully, a problem the prospect can relate to in a meaningful way.

If you think marketing your product or service is difficult, try marketing a commodity like rice.

A great story can work for any product or service. If rice can be the glue that binds a story together, then imagine how a life science product or service can change minds and lives. Tuning into the emotional side of the viewer is extremely powerful. Emotion always trumps logic. It doesn’t matter whether your business is on the clinical side, or the marketing side of the industry – you have powerful stories to tell.

4) Save humor for the professionals

Humor is incredibly difficult to pull off. When it works, it is a home run.

When it flops, it really flops. I love humor in marketing, but unless you have access to the Conan O’Brien staff, or are willing to hire professionals with the chops to pull it off without wrecking your brand, I believe the risk-reward ratio is way too skewed toward risk. You want to make every dollar count. Blowing up a humorous piece because it falls flat, and starting from scratch, can be very expensive. And before you note about how funny stuff often goes viral, know that you have a better chance becoming president than creating a viral success story.

5) End your message with a call to action

You’ve done everything right. Your message is all about the prospect. You grabbed them from the start and stuck the landing. The prospect is feeling good about you. You won’t have a better time to ask them to take things to the next level.

Here is a sample of calls to action that can create a deeper relationship with your prospect, generate leads, and help you measure the success of your campaign. Your prospects can:
  • Subscribe to your email list to be notified when more great content is available
  • Fill out a form to download other related content
  • Register for your next web seminar
  • Follow, like, +1, comment, and tweet about your content and/or your company on social media channels
  • Visit a specific landing page on your web site (used only for this campaign)
  • Call or email you for additional information or to schedule a meeting

There are certainly distinct differences between B2C and B2B marketing, but a content-based approach works for both types.

Find a marketing company who understands these issues, and soon you’ll be on your way to building a legion of followers looking to you to help solve their problems.

We’d like to know your thoughts. Please tweet your ideas using hashtag #contentmarketing. Feel free to leave your comment under this blog post as well.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Why are digital Pharma marketers worried?

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Recent research from 3 Monkeys Health + Wellness, showcased in The Drum, shows that many Pharmaceutical marketers find it harder to do their job today than five years ago. Out of 5000 marketers surveyed, over 83% of marketers find it hard to properly work in the sector. Over 77% expressed that marketing on the digital platform with the rules and regulations in place - or not in place - made it hard to properly do their job. Which is concerning as the article also surveyed consumers and found that 62% of 18-24 year olds use the Internet as their first place of reference for health material and 73% of all adults who visit the doctor come home and search the internet for more information after leaving the doctor.

Jonathan Bush, CEO, athenahealth will be speaking this February at ePharma, where he will address innovations in healthcare delivery.  It seems that Pharma marketers are on the forefront of this as they know their market is online and they can be used as a tool to bridge the gap between the patient research both before and after a physician's appointment and the visit to the physician's office.  For for more information on this session and the rest of the program, download the agenda.  If you'd like to join us this February 10-12, 2014, as a reader of the blog, register to join us and mention priority code XP1900BLOG* and save $100 off the current rate!

Do you feel this way?  What inconveniences are you facing when it comes to digital marketing?  And how do you see it evolving the patient/doctor relationship?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Would you like to attend ePharma on us? Join us as a guest blogger!

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That’s right, we’re offering a few exclusive all-access complimentary passes to the ePharma Summit – February 10-12, 2014, in New York City, and you could attend the conference – on us ($3,000+ value).

We’re looking for experienced bloggers who are well-versed in digital Pharma marketing to begin blogging and attend this year's event as an official ePharma blogger. You’ll be able to attend educational sessions and training seminars delivered by industry thought-leaders and Pharma professionals through in-depth case studies featuring the industry experts from leading pharmaceutical companies like Merck and Brystol-Myers Squibb, Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi.

To apply to be a guest blogger, simply send your name, title, company and a few writing samples (a link to your blog is recommended) to Jennifer Pereira at no later than Monday, November 25. We will review the submissions and contact all winners directly with more details. This opportunity doesn’t come often and we encourage you to apply and join us in New York!

Want to learn more about this year's event?  Visit the webpage.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

ePharma Brochure Now Available + Register early and save up to $700

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IIR's ePharma Summit™ is coming to Times Square on February 10-12, 2014 - and we invite you to join more than 500 pharmaceutical digital marketing execs at the New York Marriott Marquis for three days of interactive content, keynotes, case studies, networking, and more!

Digital marketing masters share insights that deliver profitability. This year's keynote line-up is dynamite. You can hear from:
  • Jonathan Bush, Chief Executive Officer, athenahealth
  • Lisa Bodell, Author, Kill the Company, Chief Executive Officer, futurethink
  • Jeff Conklin, Vice President of Strategy and Operations, Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Tom McCourt, Chief Commercial Officer, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals

Register early and SAVE up to $700 or bring your team and save even more! As a reader of this blog, you’re eligible for maximum savings when you register to join us and mention priority code XP1806BLOG.

Have any questions or want to get involved? Feel free to email me at

Thursday, October 17, 2013

You can now see your physician - on your SmartPhone

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We all know that the growing cost of healthcare are causing some to cut back on their prescriptions.  According to Take Part, this is because of several factors including cutting back on filling prescriptions which is a result of several things: fewer visits to the doctors office, fewer visits to the emergency room and outpatient clinics, and a less sever flu season.  Some find this troubling as they have determined that many patients aren't going to the doctor when they need to.

Enter American Well.  This company has made telehealth available and affordable to many Americans and has just opened up their services to all Americans in most states (Texas, Alabama, Alaska, Louisiana and Oklahoma are currently excluded due to current laws).  According to MobiHealthNews, now anyone can meet with the physician via the service over their mobile device after they download the app.  To do so, users simply agree to the terms of service, enter their personal information and health insurance information if they have it then are presented with a list of physicians that are able to see them for a fee $49 if the user has no insurance.  Also collected during the visit is information about their online pharmacy, a follow up phone number and asks where the patient would have gone had they not used this method to visit the doctor.  Depending on the state, users can receive prescriptions from the doctors.

Some of the top uses for this tool are basic care questions like rashes, flu, and bronchitis.  If users have chronic conditions, they'll check to see if a symptom can b
e treated with something they already have in their medicine cabinet.

This February at the ePharma Summit, during the panel presentation How Will Marketing Innovation Help Pharma Adapt to the Massive Changes in Healthcare?.  This panel will focus on many of the innovations revolutionizing the healthcare industry, many like this which allows users to visit the doctor with their SmartPhone and even receive prescriptions for their illnesses.  For more information on this session and the rest of the agenda, download the program.  If you'd like to join us, as a reader of this blog, when you mention priority code XP1906BLOG and register to join us, you're eligible to save 15% off the standard rate.

Do you think giving patients access to physicians in more methods would allow healthcare in this nation overall to improve?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Introducing ePharma 2014: a Note from the ePharma Summit Program Director

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What keeps you awake at night?
During the ePharma Summit advisory board meeting, meetings and research calls, I continuously found myself asking potential ePharma attendees what keeps them awake at night, and what stands in their way of being better at their jobs. There were the standard responses (too much work, too little time), there were the jokes ("my two-month-old keeps me awake at night"), then there were some interesting answers:

"Driving change within my organization."
Several people mentioned that they finally feel like they've gotten a seat at the important, forward-looking company-wide meetings. Most organizations recognize that digital marketing drives sales, increases brand awareness, and overall effects their companies' bottom lines. How can you ensure you make the most of your time in these meetings, and use them to become a change agent?

"The Affordable Care Act is important, but what does it actually mean for me?"
There are millions of previously uninsured that will now have access to insurance. The whole care delivery ecosystem is changing, as ACOs come into effect and health insurance exchanges go live. You know that there are new opportunities, but what are those opportunities, from a marketer's perspective?

We'll cover these topics and more at ePharma, taking place on February 10-12 in New York. I invite you to download the brochure. If you would like to get involved as a speaker, please email me at, otherwise stay tuned for additional trends we've identified and will be covering at ePharma next year.

I look forward to seeing you in February!

Sarah Gordon
Program Director
ePharma Summit

PS. As a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention code XP1906BLOG for maximum savings!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Where are Pharma's advertising dollars for the Hispanic market?

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According to Portada, the current spending on the Hispanic market is very minimal - with the #1 spender focusing on healthcare in the market ranking 39th among fifty being St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. So where are the healthcare/Pharmaceutical advertisers? And will they join the advertising market now that the Affordable Care Act has opened up the healthcare market - many of those newly insured individuals being Hispanics? The article pointed out that Nationwide and WellPoint are two of the biggest spenders promoting their plans associated with the Affordable Healthcare Act - but they aren't targeted towards this market.

The author hopes that the new coverage will help a slow moving marketing spend grow slowly. What the author does believe it that health care aside, Pharma companies can see a big opportunity to target their markets in a very segmented way - by therapeutics, brands, age groups, co-pay breakdowns and more. Even bigger is the opportunities Pharma will see when it comes to marketing through the digital channels. This will play a key role in healhtcare education for years to come.

This February,Trish Nettleship, Director, Social Media & Influence, UCB, Inc.will be on hand at the ePharma Summit to present Distributing Relevant Content via Social Media which will be key to reaching the new Hispanic market.  We're putting the finishing touches on the ePharma 2014 program and the program will be released soon.  To sign up for the latest information and to be notified when the agenda is available, sign up to receive email updates.

Is your company looking into reaching out directly to the Hispanic market? Why or why not?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

What if Pharma put the time to meet with reps in doctors hands?

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That's exactly what Pfizer has done for primary care physicians in the United Kingdom according to Pharmafile.  With this new technology, physicians are getting information on their time when and how they want it.  The new webpage provides links to all the branded drugs available in their market as well as an online meeting room where doctors can book time slots to talk to sales representatives as well as see media rich presentations.  They are reaching out to their potential market and letting them know these services exist by advertising in British Medical Journal.

This February 10-12, 2014, at the ePharma Summit, we'll have a track that focuses on healthcare provider engagement - from mobile marketing advice, content creation to sales force messaging and physician engagement.  We're putting the finishing touches on the 2014 ePharma Summit program.  To receive the latest information on ePharma and be notified when the agenda is released sign up

Do you think doctors reaching out to sales reps would be a better solution than the current sales rep model?  What supplemental initiatives do you also see working for an effort like this?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Why should physician practices have a digital strategy?

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Why does a medical practice need a digital strategy?  The same reason most brands and companies do - to connect, empower, share and communicate with their target market.  Healthy Startups recently took an in-depth look as to specific reasons that doctors should have digital strategies.  These strategies also have the added benefit of creating a community among the users.

Why should doctors have a digital strategy?

  • It gives doctors the ability to share their human side.  It'll allow their patients to see them as people - not just the doctor in the office, but a knowledgeable, accessible person who really knows the ins and outs of health.
  • The networks online are far beyond those that many people have in their social network.  It'll allow doctors to reach out and connect not only with their patients but also doctors from around the world expanding the network and knowledge the doctor has access to.
  • Discover, empower and inspire patients.  A healthcare professional can now have a connection to their patients online through your platforms.  Use them to benefit both the patient and the practice.  Let them know the doctors is available to answer questions.  Start conversations that can engage and educate the patient.  Share stories about patient successes.  Share news about your hometown to promote a community feeling.
We've seen social media connect the masses.  Now, if used right, it can help the doctor connect to the patient a whole way.  Offering human interaction through new digital media is just one way to to further enhance the patient experience.  Yesterday we took an in-depth look at how Pharma Marketers could work to better provide value and reach their patients.  

How would you lay out a strategy for a physician's practice?  What would be the number one thing to include in the patient outreach strategy?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Will the Affordable Care Act change the way Pharma markets to their customers?

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As we all know, the Affordable Care Act is one of the main reasons that the government has currently closed for business.  With much of the Affordable Care Act launched today, parties lines are divided and no agreements were made before midnight about the budget.

Some aspects, like the Health Insurance Exchanges, have launched today.  With this new way to service the public in healthcare, how can Pharma reach out and help their current and new customers? AdWeek recently took an in-depth look on how they think the new initiatives will change Pharma marketing.

New focuses of the Affordable Care Act turn the current healthcare system we are currently dealing with to a systems where disease awareness, education and prevention are brought into the light.  The new care system will allow Pharma companies to become more patient driven - and open up doors to some of the costliest health conditions in our country: obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

Pharma is also provided with a better opportunity to engage with their patient population.  With the implementation of the new healthcare system, already strapped doctors will have even less time to interact with their patients - as their growing number are increasing.

We also know that one of the costliest parts of our healthcare system is patients failing to be adherent to their medications.  The scripts doctors write will be based on data from Accountable Care Organizations which assess the overall effectiveness based on many factors.  Pharma can contribute to these by enhancing the value of the medications they prescribe.  The ACOs will factor what information in on their formulates beyond the singular value of the pill, but will include the comprehensive value.  What the article concludes with is looking at how those value ads - online tracking programs and game-focused apps - can go beyond developing value for the customer but can also be a factor in data collection.  What are the habits of the consumers who are using the game?  Can this be used to see where they will become non-compliant with their medication?

This February at ePharma,  we'll feature a selection of sessions that look at how ACOs affect Pharma marketers.  The program is in it's final stages of completion, so sign up to receive the latest updates.

How is Pharma best poised to bring value to the medications that are prescribed by doctors on a daily basis?

Friday, September 27, 2013

What can promoted tweets do for you?

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A new study came out from Twitter and Datalogix that proved that your presence on Twitter does, in fact, lead to more sales. They looked at how organic and promoted tweets, as well as engagement with those tweets, affected the purchasing habits of those who saw the tweets. The study followed 35 brands.

What did they find?
  • Those who engaged with a tweet (favorited, retweeted or replied) were 12% more likely to make a purchase.
  • In terms of organic tweets, 8% of those who saw a tweet are more likely to purchase the product mentioned. This number increases with the number of organic tweets each person sees
  • As for those who see promoted tweets, users who see them are 29% more likely to purchase a product after they see a promoted tweet.
How could promoted tweets be used in the Pharma/Healthcare environment?  Yesterday, we discussed empowering the patient through digital means.  Could this be one more step in the channel of empowering patients and giving them more knowledge in the name of healthcare?  

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Patient Engagement at Point of Care

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Today's healthcare system focuses mainly on fixing those who are sick.  What would happen if we took the instances where we have a patient with time on their hands in the healthcare setting environment.  What would happen if we gave them the tools to learn and understand the changes that were taking place while at their hospital stay - like what drugs they were taking and how it affected their ailment?

Iltifat Husain, MD at iMedical Apps recently wrote a blog post looking at the various possibilities of what could happen if something as simple as the patient's television was swapped with an iPad with television streaming capabilities in a patient's hands.  In their spare time, should they find themselves bored with flipping channels, an iPad with the right app can present the patient with the opportunity to learn about the medications they're taking, what changes they make to the body in order for them to successfully fight the ailment.  This is also a great time to acquaint the patient with the look and feel of each medication so the individual also know what the pills look like.  Dr. Husain goes as far as to say that by the end of the stay that if the patient can't identify what medication he/she is taking and what it functions as, more education should occur before the patient can leave the hospital.

This February at ePharma Summit, experts will gather for the panel Pharma’s New Value Proposition and How Marketing Innovators Need to Evolve to Drive Value in this New Paradigm to discuss how important patient outcome programs are among many other things. Pharma help the patient education process. Join others in New York City this February 10-12 to to network and discuss this possibility and others that will allow patients to become more empowered. We're in the final stages of creating this year's program. Sign up for email updates to get announcements on the latest program updates.

What do you think?  Should patients be required to learn more about what medications they're taking and why?  Will this empower them to become better patients and lead to better care for themselves in the future?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Final FDA Ruling Released on Medical Apps

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Almost two years after the draft guidance was released for the FDA's oversight on medical apps, final rulings were released yesterday.  The FDA will only be regulating those apps that when used can cause harm to a customer - most of the time - an app that turns portable devices into medical devices.  Most notable about this regulation is it leaves the platform and distributors alone and looks at the functionality of the device.  The majority of mHealth apps are left out of the zone of regulation including pedometers, health rate monitors and wellness tools.  Find out more from the FDA's Official Announcement.

So now that we have official guidance, how will the Pharma industry respond?  Earlier this year, Research2Guidance looked at how they're currently working in the market place - not well - and who Pharma companies can embrace the practices of other app makers to really and truly reach the market.  Many are failing to make the app connectable with social media which can often drive the use and viral spread of apps.  They are also focusing on very niche topics - specific disease states or medical references - making a general app to appeal to a wider audience would allow for Pharma apps to be more usable for a general market.  And finally, many times, integration of the app into core marketing and other initiatives don't allow apps to reach their full potential.  

This winter at ePharma Summit 2014, we'll be hosting the eMarketing University.  Year over year, attendees come to this portion of the event to discuss the keys to any Pharma marketers job including channel strategies, content creation and integrated marketing.  We'll be releasing the agenda soon.  For the latest news and information on the event, be sure to sign up to receive email updates.

Now that the FDA has set out rules for the mHealth App industry, do you think that Pharma will look into diving deeper into the health app industry?