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?