Wednesday, March 6, 2013

#ePharma Day 3: Social Media, Storytelling & Pharma

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Bob Brooks, Executive Vice President, WEGO Health, lead our panel: Social Media for Pharma: A Match Made in Heaven or Hell?

Panelists: 
Michael Weiss, Crohn's Health Activist, hospitalpatient.com
Tiffany Peterson, Lupus Health Activist, tiffanyandlupus.com
Dee Sparacio, Ovarian Cancer Health Activist, womenofteal.blogspot.com
Casey Quinlan, Author and Breast Cancer Health Activist, cancerforchristmas.com

Does the use of social media help people understand? What is the best way to get patients involved? These days you have to go where your customers are,and today, they're all online. If you can facilitate the patients that use your drug, this would help aid in the effectiveness and value of the drug. Marketers don't sell drugs, patients do. These were all topics discussed by the panel, who were all patients themselves. So what is the best way to help people understand? Should pharma advertise on discussion boards? Begin to engage with influential patients, ask questions, how can you get involved? They're waiting for YOU. Customer support via telephone is being antiquated by social media. Communication is key and patients need to be informed. To sum it up: communicate, explain, and provide information. Why are you starting a new drug? What happened to the previous medication? Be concise in your response and make sure to speak in laymen’s terms.

Peter Pitts, President, Center for Medicine in the Public Interest lead the next session: Opportunities for Convergence as a Result of Electronic Health Records, ePrescribing and other Government Initiatives

Panelists:
Brent Rose, Daiichi Sankyo
Mary Varghese, Director, Primary Care Strategy and Innovation, Pfizer

This panel focused primarily on the importance of EHRs and how they could help increase patient engagement. Information technology has changed the way we purchase things. Our healthcare system is rather fragmented so it's important that we have relative channels. Relativity will help reduce waste, creating more information to help patients make better decisions. EHRs also force a behavior change, not with the patient, but the team surrounding them. Structured date is collected, smoking status, patient reminders, all things that may have been overlooked before. This data can help marketers AND physicians by detecting which medication best suits the patient based on their electronic record. Bottom line? EHRs can help create a more organized, structured form of data.

Our last session of the day, Next Generation Content & Its Promise for Improved Health Outcomes, was lead by Craig A. DeLarge, Leader, US & CBL, MultiChannel Marketing Center of Excellence, Merck & Co. Inc. DeLarge started with a dilemma, a habit, and a need. The dilemma: getting customers to engage more. Our habit: blaming our channels for what our content doesn't do. Our need: a new generation of content. So what now? Remember you're telling a story, your story. Use context that makes sense of the disease, model what success and struggle looks like. Also, a patients 'journey' as a game. Games provide road maps and rewards for progress made. They give people encouragement, a sense of control and are also a form of education.

That concludes this year's ePharma Summit! Thanks to all who participated and we'll see you next year!

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