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?

Friday, September 13, 2013

TrialCard Develops A New Pharmaceutical Marketing Strategy That Shifts The Focus From Physicians To The Pharmacists

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Today's guest post comes from Megan Kearney, Marketing Associate at TrialCard. She has worked for TrialCard for almost a decade years. In that time, she has held multiple positions starting as a Call Center Representative, then Project Manager, then Executive Project Manager and now Marketing Associate.

Pharmaceutical companies exhaust many marketing avenues, time and budgets in efforts to get their brands prescribed by physicians. The Point of Care has long been viewed as the vital battle for brands to win but, the growing restrictions and decreasing access to physicians has pharma searching for new opportunities. TrialCard has been closely monitoring this shift in physician access and that’s why we developed a new solution to help pharma companies maintain and even grow their TRxs. We have shifted the battle ground from the Point of Care to the Point of Sale.

TrialCard is a known leader in innovative and customized solutions. Our eight patented solutions have redefined how pharmaceutical companies gain access, acquisition and adherence for their brands. Our newest Point of Sale solution, RxSaver, sparks organic growth for brands, by rescuing the prescriptions that prescribers have already written. RxSaver provides analytics that prove the rate of abandonment solution and ROI of 544%!

“Pharmaceutical brands, pharmacists, and patients all benefit from patients taking their prescriptions as written by their prescriber.” said David Cunningham, CEO, TrialCard. “RxSaver is a true solution for prescription abandonment that provides value to brands, pharmacists, and patients.”

Join us next Tuesday, Sept 17th at the ePharma Summit West for the panel discussion to learn more and how this solution can work for you! Our West Coast Sales Director, Sanjeev Ganatra, will be on the panel and ready to answer your questions.

Could text reminders prevent some diseases?

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Doctors in India wondered if intervention on those prone to developing Type II Diabetes would prove to help them from developing the disease.  They decided that an affordable way to do test a pool of men in India who had the following qualifications: have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 23 and positive family history of diabetes, own a mobile phone, and be able to read and understand text messages in English.  From there, they divided the trial participants into those who would receive intervention messages or standard messages.  All the messages sent related to a healthy lifestyle and and information about diet and exercise and were sent in the morning and evening.

After two years of this test, those in the test group receiving intervention message proved less likely to develop diabetes - only 50 individuals in the test group compared to 73 in the control group.  The test proved that out of every eleven people who receive these texts, one case of diabetes would be prevented.  For more information on how this affected the participants BMI and other questions that remain after the study, read the article.

At ePharma Summit 2014 taking place in February  in New York City, we'll be looking at how Pharma companies can enhance their offerings by connecting with the patient via digital to help increase their compliance and become more informed on their conditions.  Sign up for updates to receive the latest news on the ePharma Summit 2014 agenda.

We saw, in preliminary studies, that this did help educate the consumer and prevent a troublesome disease.  What type of ailments do you see this type of patient intervention working for in the future?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Last Chance to Register for ePharma Summit West + New Preview Podcast

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Just a final reminder that this is your last chance to register online for the ePharma Summit West as it starts next week! Join us next September 16-18 at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, to hear directly from pharmaceutical marketers on successes they've experienced when marketing to HCPs, consumers and payers.

Download the finalized agenda with new speakers confirmed, including Gregory Birgfeld, Associate Director, Social Media Strategy & Analytics, Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Trisha Holleran, Senior Manager, Rheumatology Marketing, Questcor. As well as startup CEOs and founders from Neumitra, Lyfechannel, Kinsights and DrChrono.

Would you like a preview of next week’s conference? Check out this interview with Chuck Davis, Chief Technology Officer and get a taste of BehaviorMatrix's presentation. He shares how emotion affects behavior, and best practices for utilizing behavior analytics to strengthen your marketing campaign.

Don’t forget, as a reader of this blog, when you register to join us and mention priority code XP1856BLOG, you’ll save 15% off the standard rate!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Patients are online. Why are the providers?

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Patients are digital.  They go online and they communicate with others.  According to a recent study from Wego Health, over 85% of patients are online.  People care about their health and are online looking for information about their options.  A recent article at Business 2 Community looks at a few or the reasons why the providers of healthcare - the Pharmaceutical companies, medical device companies, hospitals and health insurance companies are falling behind the digital pace of their customers - the patients.  The growing gap between the patients online and amount of information heatlhcare related professionals can provide is widening.  Who can fill in the gap?  We all know that doctors are already challenged by the amount of time they can spend with patients.  Patients turn to other trusted sources when they can't receive questions in a timely manor from their physicians.

This is where other companies can come in.  While many of the healthcare providers are online - just over 50% for Pharma, Med Device, Hospitals and healthcare providers - more could step in and educate.  Provide the information patients are looking for.  These different healthcare providers should be able to help them become informed patients when they go into the doctor.

This article challenges healthcare providers to step up and help the online patient become a better customer.  What's a company that stands out in your mind that helps the patient become a more educated consumer?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Could crowd funding be the next step to get drugs to market?

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Pure Transplant Solutions, a biotech from Austin, Texas, has taken a new step in order to get funding for their medial device.

They're looking for funding for the ARC device:
The ARC device works by removing a donor recipient’s antibodies that causes the rejection of organs that aren’t biological matches. If successful, the device will make any available organ viable for transplant into a patient in need and reduce the typical waiting time for a transplant from seven years to less than two years.

Its use will also help to lengthen the usefulness of donated organs for their recipient since all bodies eventually attack and reject transplants.


They went to the crowd using Indiegogo. With a goal to reach $100,000, the Austin Business Journal shares that their real goal of the project was to attract new researcher partners and potential investors.  Not only were they able to spread the word of the device through crowd funding, but they were also able to bring awareness to transplant organizations.  Many people are interested in donating, but value was also brought to the project by sharing the cause behind the development of the product.  At least $10 million is needed to head into Phase I of the clinical trial.

Digital is constantly bringing new ways for Pharma and Biotech to get their word out to the market about their potential products.  They're also constantly looking for a way to reduce the cost of bringing drugs and devices to the market.  What do you think of this effort from Pure Transplant Solutions.  Even though they didn't reach their goal of $100,000, would you view this as a success?

Friday, September 6, 2013

A New Approach to Measuring ROI

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Today's guest post comes from Megan Kearney, Marketing Associate at TrialCard. She has worked for TrialCard for almost a decade years. In that time, she has held multiple positions starting as a Call Center Representative, then Project Manager, then Executive Project Manager and now Marketing Associate.

For many years, there has been a surprisingly low level of activity related to the demonstration of the return on investment of copay programs, voucher programs, and the like. To some degree, this was probably because the answer seemed axiomatic: “Of course these programs generate ROI because more prescriptions are being written.” On its face, this is correct, but is it the right question? In order to evaluate a promotion such as a copay card fairly, TrialCard invested in key measures that consider a set of related, but distinct measures including spillover prescribing (also known as the “halo effect”) and its opposite, cannibalization; the velocity of the uptake of redemptions, the effectiveness of the offer, and the change in patient persistency. We recognize that none of these measures are particularly easy to assess without having a sophisticated analytic structure. We provide our clients the assurance that their promotions are generating positive returns. How do we do this? We take a three step approach. The first step in this process is to measure the specific financial impact of a campaign. We believe the focus cannot solely reside on the number of redemptions, prescribers, etc.

TrialCard measures the incremental benefit of our programs over the appropriate baseline and its fundamental benefit: the number of unsubsidized prescriptions that the physician’s redemptions created – or prescriber spillover. The second arrow in TrialCard’s analytic quiver is our ability to model the optimal prescribers to engage in a campaign. We have built predictive models and clusters that allow brand teams to populate their analysis with the right mix of prescribers so that they can achieve their brand growth goals as cost-effectively as possible. The final piece of the puzzle relates to the tuning of the copay offer itself. TrialCard views the shaping of the offer as being influenced by a range of measures outside of the surface ones (i.e. benefit limits, number of uses, dollar buydown, etc.). By looking at the data from different angles, we create various “scenarios” for the brand teams to review in order to settle upon the right levels and right type of offers to provide. As copay programs continue to evolve, the need to increase the analytic sophistication of these solutions will also increase. That said, the first step is to build proof that demonstrates the financial effectiveness of campaigns. TrialCard is a known leader in innovative and customized solutions. Our eight patented solutions have redefined how pharmaceutical companies gain access, acquisition and adherence for their brands. Join us on Sept 17th at the ePharma Summit West for the panel discussion to learn more about the importance of our data analytics. Our West Coast Sales Director, Sanjeev Ganatra, will be on the panel and ready to answer your questions.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Electronic Health Records and Social: What does the future hold?

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Electronic health records provide many benefits for patients.  However, the full integration of these electronic health records by 2015 is still an uphill battle.  According to the News Tribune of Tacoma, Washington, since 2009, over $6 billion has been spent in order to get electronic health records in order.  The second wave of money coming into the system will allow patients to be more involved with their records.  With the increased amount of electronic flexibility, one would think doctors use it to reference other available electronic health records for their patients - but only 45% do.

But what if we could make electronic health records more robust? Jennifer Bresnick of EHR Intelligence points to the simplest of all digital channels right now: social media. She saw several things that could hold this initiative back, though. Will tweets and social posts that are tweeted be taken seriously when translated into electronic health records? Will they be given the same amount of respect as when patients tell their doctors things in an exam room? It should be considered. Digital tools are allowing patients to be more involved in their care, why not allow tools to tap in to social channels to create a fuller picture of their everyday interaction with their medication and health behavior. We all know the difficulties, but as the EHR programs become versatile and robust, this is one way the programs can be more useful for patients and doctors.