Friday, December 18, 2015

ePharma News: Martin Shkrelli arrested | A Dating App has leaked info on its HIV-positive users

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Official website of The House of Representatives
The House of Representatives has voted to ban the use of microbeads, the small parts that are used in a lot of personal care products as exfoliators. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 bill prohibits manufacture or the introduction of a rinse-off cosmetic that contains intentionally-added plastic microbeads that are less than five millimeters in size and is intended to be used as exfoliators or cleansers in cosmetic products. Plastic microbeads were found to be hazardous to the environment causing pollution and putting in danger marine life. The Microbead-Free Waters Act of 2015 bill will take effect in 2018.

Another data breach involving personal medical information has affected the users of HZone, a dating app for HIV - positive people. According to Mirror, HZone has accidentally revealed sensitive information on almost 5000 of its users. The more concerning factor is that the information stored with the app is not limited with emails and addresses of the users but also has their HIV-positive status, which for most users is absolutely crucial to keep a secret about. HZone app that states to be number one HIV Dating App for HIV singles, has a similar approach to another popular dating app called Tinder, where the matching opportunities are based on the location of the users. It was reported that the security measures were put in place.

It was announced that Martin Shkrelli, a pharmaceutical executive who became notorious for buying the exclusive rights for the drug Pyrimethamine (trade name Daraprim) and increasing its price from $13.5 to $750 per pill, was arrested in New York on fraud charges. According to Bloomberg Business Martin Shkrelli has orchestrated an investment scheme and misappropriated the assets of his company Retrophin.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton

Friday, December 11, 2015

ePharma News: eCigarettes are out to get YOU | Pfizer-Allergan: $64 billion in sales to expect

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A woman is smoking e-cigarette
Harvard Gazette just published the findings of Harvard researchers on correlation between the lung disease and smoking e-cigarettes. The scientists from Harvard have conducted a study with an objective to determine whether or not flavoring chemical diacetyl (that has been linked in the past to the "popcorn lung"), and two other flavoring chemicals are present in a sample of flavored e-cigarettes. As the result, at least one flavoring chemical was detected in 47 of 51 unique flavors tested, and diacetyl was detected above the laboratory limit of detection 39 of the 51 flavors tested. Given that diacetyl has already been associated with severe respiratory diseases of those exposed to its vapors,the researchers are trying to make a point that while nicotine remains to be the main concern when talking about smoking, there are other chemicals that lead to cancer, and the matter needs to be further researched.

Google yet again makes the news. Google (Alphabet) Life Sciences just applied for a patent for its new wearable med tech device called Needle-Free Blood Draw. In its attempt to help diabetic patients, the life science division of Google has developed a device that collects a small blood sample without a needle penetration. This work contributes to an ongoing efforts toward patients with diabetes who make up to 29 million people in the U.S. along. The bigger idea is to be able to provide on the go support to those patients who require to be monitored 24/7. So far there are two different designs that were proposed in the patent application: a wrist-based wearable and a device that reminds a standard blood-drawing tool.

How impactful can be $1.6 billion spent on advertising? Quite impactful, in fact. Pfizer and Allergan
Pfizer headquarters in NYC
are merging ($160 billion deal) creating the largest pharma company in the world that will be operating the name Pfizer plc. Combined advertising spend of both companies will place it right below the top advertisers including Proctor & Gamble ($4.6 billion spent in 2015.) Together, Pfizer and Allergan are expected to produce $64 billion in sales. The occurring merge of the two giants is a part of the bigger picture - tax inversion, a move that will cut down Pfizertaxes from 25% to 17% -18% by moving the headquarters to Ireland, a lower-tax nation and the homebase for Allergan.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Keynote Line-Up You’ve Never Seen Before

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Introducing the ePharma 2016 Dignitary Keynote Line Up!

Sharing big ideas, concepts and thought leadership on the next leap forward into a deeper digital transformation:

·         Why I'm Excited about "Disruption" in Pharma
Judy Sewards, Head of Corporate Digital Strategy, Pfizer

·         How Patient-Driven Tech Killed the ePatient
Matthew Zachary, CEO and Founder, Chief Product Officer, Instapeer; Exec. Producer, The Stupid Cancer Show,

·         What We Can Learn From Google, Facebook and Adidas: Reinventing Healthcare Is Not Impossible!
Stephen K. Klasko, M.D., M.B.A. President and CEO, Jefferson

·         Science and Medicine Saved My Life
Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a Boston Marathon bombing survivor, gives us a look into her struggles and successes as a dancer after losing her lower leg on April 15, 2013. She'll discuss how a combination of strength, medicine & science saved her life.

·         Mixing Gaming, Technology, Psychology and Sociology to Boost Engagement with Your Customers
Jane McGonigal, PhD, New York Times Bestselling Author of SuperBetter

-Fast Company: "Top 100 Creative People in Business"
-Oprah Winfrey for O Magazine: "20 Most Inspiring Women in the World"
-MIT Technology Review: "Top 35 innovators changing the world through technology"
-Business Week: "Top Ten Innovators to Watch"
-Harvard Business Review: "Top 20 Breakthrough Ideas"

BONUS! The first 50 ePharma registrants will receive copy of Jane’s book, SuperBetter!

Check out the agenda to learn more about what the keynotes will be divulging at ePharma:

Use code EPHARMA16BL for $100 off the current rate. Register today:

We hope to see you in NYC!

The ePharma 2016 Team


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Passionate about Digital Marketing in Healthcare & Pharma sectors? Join our event as a Guest Blogger!

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IIR's 15th Annual ePharma Summit

February 29 - March 2, 2016 
Sheraton Times Square 
New York, NY

We are looking for an industry expert with interest in the following topics:

Digital Health
Healthcare Marketing and Advertising;
• mHealth;
• TeleHealth/ Medical Automation;
• Content Marketing and Storytelling;
• Patient Engagement & Empowerment;
• Innovations in Healthcare Technologies;
Healthcare through Data and Analytics;
• Pharma and Social Media;
• HCP's in the Digital Age...

...and who would like to learn about the future trends in Healthcare Digital Marketing!

The premise is to provide ePharma Summit related blog posts (never more than 300 words), whitepapers, and overall light coverage of the event.

What You get is:
• FREE pass to the conference (valued up to $2,795);
• Access to extensive social learning activities;
• Exclusive admission to a networking community in the industry of your interest!

You also have a chance to GAIN exposure through our ePharma blog with over 2000 unique visitors monthly and more 4 healthcare marketing LinkedIn groups.

Learn more about the IIR's 15th ePharma Summit by visiting the website.

Interested & want to learn more about this opportunity? Please contact Krista Lentini at

We hope to have you join us in the City That Never Sleeps - New York City!

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Just Announced! Fresh Faces for Fresh Insights

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ePharma 2016 is happy to announce its new dynamic line-up of Chairpeople. Handpicked to bring forth the best digital marketing and health insights, these new Chairs will usher in a new era for ePharma. You'll hear 35+ curated case studies and real-world application panels from 110+ experts, futurists, and gurus to identify leading digital strategies and innovative technologies that will engage and win you more customers.

Introducing the ePharma 2016 Chairs...                                             
·         Judy Sewards
Head of Corporate Digital Strategy, Pfizer
·         Jack Barrette
CEO and Founder, Wego Health
·         Nuvan Dassanaike
Vice President - Lead Global Integrated Marketing, Mylan

Get a sneak peek at the Preliminary Agenda to see what your new Chairpeople have already assembled –– a fabulous 3-day line-up of innovation, multiple stakeholder perspectives, and hands-on interactive learning experiences! Download it here:

Use code EPHARMA16BL for an exclusive $100 off the current rate when you register:

Hope to see you in NYC!

The ePharma 2016 Team


Friday, November 13, 2015

ePharma News: TRENDING: Google's 50-million-dollars partnership and more!

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Google Life Sciences has partnered with the American Heart Association (AHA) in efforts to research coronary heart disease also known as atherosclerosis. The $50 million dollars collaboration, will unroll within the next five years according to the Wall Street Journal. Coronary artery disease (the cause of coronary heart disease) starts developing in childhood, therefore it's considered one of the most destructive diseases taking away 7 million lives each year. In the interview to the Huffington Post, Dr. Andrew Conrad, the CEO of Google Life Sciences division shared that both parties are open to bring on board new fresh ideas and people behind them. 

A woman is holding blue and white prescription drug pills
Sometimes even a color can become the point point in a law suit. An India-based pharmaceuticals manufacturer company Dr. Reddy's was stopped from selling a generic version of Nexium (AstraZeneca) in the US by the federal district court in Delaware. AstraZeneca argued that the color of the generic Dr. Reddy's drug is violating the trademarked purple color of Nexium. Its stated that over the years AstraZeneca spent billions of dollars branding Nexium as "the purple pill" and having its analog in purple circulating around would be misleading Nexium consumers. AstraZeneca's Nexium, who has been previously named as one of the Pharma's Biggest Drug Blockbusters by Forbes and Medscape, has made 3.655 billion of  dollars in revenue in 2014.

Under the guidance of mHealth researcher and activist from University of Michigan a group of students have created a smart phone health app called Diabeticons that helps children to visual communicate about diabetes. Just like any other emoticon app, Diabeticons customizes the mood and provides an easy way to describe how the person with diabetes feels at any given moment. Reportedly the app includes such emoticons as banana and a cupcake that both indicate low blood sugar. 

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton

Friday, November 6, 2015

ePharma News: STUDY:Pharma companies might be targeting the wrong audience with ads

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Health wearables: A woman is adjusting her Fitbit
FitBit is continuing its success in the market of health wearable devices. The company just reportedly tripled its revenue in the third quarter of this year resulting in $409.3 million. Also, as was revealed by MobileHealthNews, due to Fitbit' steady growth in the third quarter, the company added over 180 employees totaling 905. The Fitbit is planning to expand even more, and one of the brand's current efforts is FitStar Personal Trainer app, that Fitbit acquired earlier this year. FitStar mobile health app tracks in detail user's daily activity and customizes a workout routine for each user. When synced with FitStar, Fitbit tracks the overall progress more closely. The mobile app is currently available on Android devices only. The other Fitbit efforts include partnerships with Strava and Genuine Thermos®.

A doctor is looking at an electronic medical record on the computer
FoxNews just reported the results of the US medical study that suggested that many participants are OK with linking their social media accounts with their medical records and share access to it with the researchers. The study that is leaded by Raina Merchant, MD, Penn Medicine emergency medicine aims at building a digital health database that can potentially create parallels between certain symptoms and mood and help understand the nature of many health conditions as well as to predict the spread of diseases and come up with alternative treatments.

Another recent "2015 New Realities" study on pharmaceutical advertising conducted by ID Media made a suggestion that pharmaceutical companies choose a wrong target for their advertising efforts. The numbers pulled from the sample of population surveyed argue, that men are more interested in their health than it was originally thought, and therefore they are more likely to pay closer attention to the marketing of prescription drugs.

For example, the numbers pulled through the research reported that 68% of male participants of the study strongly agreed that that it was in their hands to learn about the prescription drugs they were suggested by their PC physician. In contrast, only 60% of female participants strongly agreed on the importance of self-education around prescription drugs available in the market.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton.

Friday, October 30, 2015

ePharma News: Walgreens to Acquire Ride Aid; Novartis To Pay $390 mln in settlement and more

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Walgreens Logo
One of the biggest news of this week is the finalizing the terms of  the acquisition deal between the two pharma giants - Walgreens and Ride Aid. As The New York Times reported, Stefano Pessina, the CEO, and the single largest shareholder of Walgreens Boots Alliance, has announced that "consolidation is close to an end” in the United States.

The problem that Mr. Pessina will be facing is the antitrust law, and the FTC regulators looking closely into the acquisition to make sure, the pharma giant is providing grounds for a fair competition. To fulfill the latter, Stefano Pessina might have to scale down on the number of stores in certain areas especially in the Northeast. And while the total number of the store locations for Walgreens to "lose"is unknown, the figure that was reported by the Boston Globe is 400. The merger deal between Walgreens Boots Alliance and Ride Aid will gain Walgreens 12,700 locations.

Another case of big pharmaceutical companies being caught making "deals with doctors" has involved Novartis. Bloomberg Business just reported, that the pharma giant Novartis has just agreed to pay $390 million dollars to settle the $3.35 billion dollars suit based on the claims made by one of the former Novartis sales manager. The pharmaceutical giant manufacturer was accused of pushing sales of its products in many specialty pharmacies in the U.S. by offering kickbacks to the pharmacies in the form of rebates. This is not the first time Novartis has to pay to settle a claim in court. According to Reuters, back in 2010 Novartis had to pay $422 million dollars.

Apple Watch with its health applicationsIBM and Apple create a partnership involving the IBM software and Apple Watch device as carrier. IBM Watson is adaptive artificial intelligence powered by IBM will be installed in Apple Watch to provide the next level of personalized health tech in the face of an app called CafeWell Concierge. WellTok, a Denver-based health management start-up behind the CafeWell Concierge application promises the app's ability to adapt to an individual user by learning about his interests and health status, and to bring up recommendations to optimize the user's health. The mission of the CafeWell Concierge app is to influence a positive behavioral change in the way people manage their health.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton.

Friday, October 23, 2015

ePharma News: Google Glass aims to treat Autism, and more!

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Hi and Welcome to our Weekly Pharma Marketing News Roundup!

A young woman is wearing a Google Glass device
This week again Google is surfacing on the digital health landscape with yet another way of using one of its products. TechCruch has reported that one of Google's products - Google Glass is being tested in a lab as a potential treatment for kids with Autism syndrome. According to the article, the scientists from Stanford University are conducting clinical trials with the device based on the emotion recognition app that was built for Google Glass earlier this year. This software is capable of reading and translating facial emotions in real time, the function that Stanford researchers are hoping to use to help children with Autism to interpret people's emotions and make the interactions with their surrounding easier.

Another New York-based startup is aiming to reshape the way healthcare works. Oscar start-up is a website and an app that promises to simplify the process of looking for the right doctor and make it lighter on the patient's pocket. The idea behind is a user can type up his or her symptoms and get a few suggestions on what it might be. Then, the user can look up a specialist in the area and get an approximate cost of his treatment. The app also offers a few other options such as reviews, and a free MisFit step tracker, through using which the users get rewards in Amazon gift cards if they hit the daily exercise goals. The Oscar start-up team themselves stated that their mission is "to reinvent how care is delivered. The goal is to have the happiest members paying the lowest costs for the healthiest outcomes."

Rock Health, a digital health accelerator, has recently conducted a survey among internet-connected adults in the US. The Digital Health Consumer Survey that involved 4000 respondents, has identified six major areas of digital health use: search online for health information, comparing results of the search online, tracking health with mobile apps, health wearable device, telemedicine, and usage of consumer-facing genetic services. The goal of the researchers was to indicate current trends in digital health industry and to uncover the attitudes of users toward the aspect that comes along with using internet for health information, such as data privacy. Here are some of the stats reported by the survey results:
• 71% of respondents search online for health information;
• 60% of the respondents searched the internet on information about the prescription drugs and its side effects, and 35% of the 60% survey participants asked their PC physicians to prescribe the drugs they thought were the most relevant to them. See the rest of the survey results here.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!
Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton.

Friday, October 16, 2015

ePharma news: Healthcare is becoming very desirable for the top creative experts!

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Klick: Healthcare industry attracts more and more top list creatives
Marketing jobs in healthcare attract more and more top list creatives from many industries including consumer brands. In the interview to Fierce Pharma Marketing, the chief creative officer of Klick, the digital marketing agency serving healthcare industry, stated, "A-list people are now attracted to healthcare marketing because it's more interesting and cooler than ever before." Today's marketers can create a gamifying experience for consumers by implementing many tools in their creative strategy including 3-D modeling, virtual reality (Oculus Rift) and others. It makes it more desirable for the leading marketing experts to move into healthcare marketing.

The study published by Crain's Detroit Business provides interesting statistics on how millennial population is shaping the way healthcare industry is marketing itself. It stated that if previously it was a one-way communication, where consumers - patients would ask for an advice from their physicians, nowadays consumers go online, and based on their findings make the shopping decisions themselves. Having an access to more information allows consumers to search through brands and compare prices. The shift in a consumers' purchasing decision journey is putting pressure on the pharmaceutical companies to come up with better and more effective marketing strategies to bring awareness about their products and build a loyal customer base in a very competitive healthcare landscape.

Citizen Health Platform of Shenzhen makes Westen medical assistance possible for wealthy local residents.A new trend is emerging on the Chinese healthcare market - medical tourism. Shenzhen, China now service called Citizen Health Platform of Shenzhen. Ran by a local government in partnership with many medical institutions in the U.S. including Mayo Clinic and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the platform targets local residents with disposable income. The idea behind the healthcare platform is to provide alternative opinion on the local patients' medical condition and an opportunity for a treatment using the latest medical technologies abroad.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!

Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at or on Twitter at @Ksenia_Newton.

Friday, October 9, 2015

ePharma news: 3-D Technology Saves the Life of a 4-year-old and potentially many lives in the future

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This week Miami doctors were able to successfully perform an open heart surgery on a 4-year-old patient previously believed to be inoperable due to a complicated heart condition. To facilitate the surgery, the surgeons printed a 3-D replica of the young patient's heart and instrumented the steps in the procedure on the 3-D printed model of the organ first. Doing so, the doctors said they were able to plan the surgery in details, which subsequently saved them two hours in the operating room and eliminated any doubts about the specific steps into the surgery that the doctors have previously had. The hope is, in the next 10-15 years 3-D printers will be able to print real organs for transplant surgeries using human cells.

BioDigital maps out human body in its new API 3D modeling startup
Image courtesy of BioDigital at
More on 3-D technology: a New York-based startup BioDigital released an API that 3-D models human body. The idea behind is to be able to map every part of human body to learn more in depth about the processes happening inside and use this knowledge toward prediction and prevention of injures and psychosomatic disorders, and to improve and perfect the healthcare. TechCrunch in its article "3-D Modeling Startup BioDigital Launches An API For The Human Body" of Oct. 1, called the BioDigital's initiative "Google Maps for the human body."

More and more pharma companies are looking into social media, and monitoring negative or positive mentions is not the only reason why. People progressively become deeper and deeper involved in social media potentially sharing valuable health insights, which can be used by companies in upgrading the medication experience. Just like that, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has done the social listening part on more than 1000 companies' drugs, and the results exceeded expectations. Besides being able to identify trends among drug users and learn about alternative competitive treatments, GSK touched upon never-seen before area - a purposeful misuse of drugs as narcotics. The GSK researchers came across a few websites, where users were sharing "best practices" of getting high on off-the-counter drugs. These experiments with drugs in a way present a version of the kind of clinical trial that could never see the light in the modern society due to the legal and moral aspects of it. Monitoring and taking
part in such conversations achieves two goals: one, it provides information to the researchers sufficient enough to make the drugs safer to use; two, it gives a way to unobtrusively communicate the risks of misusing the drugs to the community as a preventative measure.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!

Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Friday, October 2, 2015

ePharma News: New Hampshire | Pharma Companies Under Fire for Deceptive Marketing yet AGAIN!

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Pharma companies in New Hampshire are under investigation for opioid marketing practices

Several pharmaceutical companies in New Hampshire are under an investigation fire over opioid marketing - deceptive drug marketing practices that fail to warn patients about the side effects that can cause an addiction. As was stated in the press release by the New Hampshire Department of Justice Office of Attorney General, "The growing heroin and opioid crisis is the most pressing public health and safety challenge facing our state, and it stems in part from the overuse, misuse, and abuse of addictive prescription opioids." The Attorney General doesn't exclude the link between the marketing practices of the certain drugmakers and a recent increased usage of heroin in the state of New Hampshire. Through conducting an investigation the Department of Justice of New Hampshire is planning to determine whether the deceptive marketing strategies by the pharmaceutical companies under question have influenced the choices of doctors and patients.

FDA approves the combination Opdivo-Yervoy by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co as melanoma treatmentFor the first time in the U.S. history the combination of two drugs was approved by the FDA. The two drugs, Opdivo and Yervoy by Bristol-Myers Squibb Co, in combination, aim to help the immune system fight advanced melanoma. The price for this treatment is said to be as high as $250,000 a year. Tim Turnham, executive director of the nonprofit Melanoma Research Foundation expressed his concerns regarding the costs of the treatment to the Wall Street Journal stating that he is afraid that the cost can become a barrier between patients, and the kind of care they need to obtain to fight cancer. Another down side of using the combination of drugs is the side effects. As was reported, during the Optivo-Yervoy clinical trial the patients experienced stronger unpleasant side effects, which caused the dropout rate of 36% in patients.

Actions of another pharmaceutical company have caused similar to Martin Shkreli's outrage in public. According to Bloomberg BNA, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has received a letter urging the chair person to serve a subpoena to Valeant Pharmaceuticals in response to the rapid increase in prices for the Nitropress and Isuprel drugs, the rights to which the company acquired earlier this year. As voiced in the letter, the prices for the drugs were increased by 212% and 525% respectively the same day of purchase. The petitioners stated, that they "are fed up with drug companies putting profits before people," and that such increase in pricing on these two critical drugs has a negative impact on hospitals and other care providers.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!

Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Call for Speakers: ePharma 2016

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The 2016 ePharma conference – your industries most strategic digital pharma event -- has speaking slots open and we want to hear from YOU. The bar was set high this year, nine out of ten people learned something new at ePharma 2015, and now is your chance to inspire next year's attendees!

ePharma Summit 2016 is scheduled for February 29 – March 2 at the Sheraton Times Square, NYC. 

Moving beyond just digital marketing, ePharma covers business strategy in addition to case studies and tactical best practices. This year we will develop a unique mix of forward looking presentations on new opportunities and out of industry keynote speakers that will help drive the industry into the future.
ePharma continues to be the platform for sparking interesting conversation and providing  inspiration, giving attendees a 360 view on the industry. Our event is known to initiate thought provoking discussions sparking plans and strategies which attendees take back to the office to implement internally in order to grow, differentiate and thrive in today’s exceedingly digital environment. Learn more about the conference here:

Some of the topic categories are (but not limited to):

·         Data & Analytics
·         Mobile Marketing
·         Content Marketing
·         Social Media Marketing Strategies
·         Emails, Getting it Right
·         Patient Empowerment
·         Wearable Technology
·         Virtual Reality
·         Storytelling
·         Using biomarkers
·         Marketing and Medical Automation
·         Data, Security, and Privacy
·         Maximizing EHR Opportunities
·         Customer centric marketing
·         Customer engagement optimization
·         Physician marketing
·         Payer marketing
·         Digital Innovation

Additionally, if you have a different topic that you'd like to share with our audience, please let us know.

But hurry. Time's running out for you to enter your story for consideration. The window closes on Friday, October 23rd.

Email your proposal today to Sakina Hussain at

In your abstract, please provide the following:

·         Proposed Title of Session: Big Picture Topic
·         Challenge – Elaborate the challenge faced
·         Solution & Outcomes – How the challenge was solved and the results
Please note: All proposals are subject to review by the program Advisory Committee to ensure the overall quality of the conference program. Please note that due to limited speaking slots, preference is given to abstracts from those within pharmaceutical and biotech companies, regulators, and those from academic centers.

Additionally, a select number of vendors/consultants who provide products and services to these biopharmaceutical companies are offered opportunities for podium presentation slots based on a variety of Corporate Sponsorships.

Friday, September 25, 2015

This week in ePharma: Martin Shkreli - the new Most Hated Man in Pharma | NHS is under controversy over data security

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Medical data security glitch: The NHS Choices Health Apps remove many apps for their poor encription practices.
Another glitch in the security system could've caused damage by leaking users' data into the hands of perpetrators. After a study conducted by researchers in London, it was revealed that many health apps previously approved by the National Health Services (NHS), a publicly funded healthcare system in England, have, in fact, lacked the security measures to prevent the data from leaking. The health apps were included in the NHS England's Health Apps Library, the public resource of health information. The NHS Choices Health Apps website states as their mission "Safe and trusted apps to help you manage your health" and promises that "reviewed by the NHS" means "to ensure they are clinically safe." As the aftermath of the study, the health apps that were found exercising poor online encryption practices were removed from the library.

Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceutics, whom AdAge calls the new Most Hated Man in America, has made the headlines overnight by jacking up the price for the drug Pyrimethamine (trade name Daraprim) from $13.5 to $750 per pill just a little over a month after acquiring exclusive rights for the drug.

According to Wikipedia, Daraprim is commonly used as an antimalarial drug as well as in treatment of food-borne infections, (when combined with the sulfonamide antibiotic sulfadiazine) affecting people with weakened immune system (HIV-positive in particularly.) Daraprim is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medications needed in a basic health system.

FDA establishes the Patient Engagement Advisory Committee
FDA creates the first-ever Patient Engagement Advisory Committee. The purpose, as stated on the FDA website is to "provide advice to the Commissioner or designee, on complex issues relating to medical devices, the regulation of devices, and their use by patients." The committee will consist of nine board members who will be advising on establishing better communications and cooperation between drug and med device makers, patients, consumers' interests, and the FDA policy.
Some of the duties of the committee will include: benefits and risks, patient preference study design, medical device labeling, unmet clinical needs, available alternatives, and patient reported outcomes.

Stay tuned for our weekly news round up!

Subscribe to our Blog or follow us on Twitter: @epharma

About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Friday, September 18, 2015

This week in ePharma news: A Man Gains a Sense of Touch and Feel in His Robotic Hand | NIMH director to leave for Google Alphabet

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Big news in Life Sciences: Dr, Tom Insel, Director of National Institute of Mental Health is stepping down after 13 years in his position just to ... join the Google Life Sciences team under its new umbrella Alphabet. In our weekly ePharma news roundup of August 28th we talked a little bit about the reorganization that Google is currently undergoing, particularly about the life sciences team becoming its own entity with its own CEO - Andy Conrad, Ph. D.

In terms of the future plans, Dr. Tom Insel himself shared with NIMH, "I am certainly not planning to retire. I am currently working out the final details for a move to the life sciences team at Google (or rather, Alphabet, now!). The Google Life Sciences team is developing new technologies to transform healthcare, such as a contact lens with an embedded glucose monitor. The Google Life Sciences mission is about creating technology that can help with earlier detection, better prevention, and more effective management of serious health conditions. I am joining the team to explore how this mission can be applied to mental illness."  

Robotics and health tech: A man re-gained a sense of feel and touch through his prosthetic hand
A breakthrough surgery has been successfully performed on a young man who according to the Life Science journal, has been paralyzed for more than 10 years because of the spinal cord injury. A team of scientists from DARPA, Defense Advance Research Projects Agency, was able to attach electrodes to the man's brain the way that he gained a sense of touch and feel with his prosthetic hand.
The DARPA program manager Justin Sanchez has labeled this a success and declared, "This work shows the potential for seamless bio-technological restoration of near-natural function.”

Addyi, the "Viagra" for women pill that got approved by the FDA last month after being rejected twice is causing discrepancy between the users. The concerns are raised over the side effects of the drug when used with alcohol. It's known that one female patient died during the clinical trial of the flibanserin (the medical name for Addyi) because of alcohol intoxication. After the investigation the FDA representative concluded, that the role of the drug in the death case was not excluded.

As it was reported by Bloomberg Business, the conflict of interests comes down to weighting out the benefits of the first drug helping female sexual dysfunction against the risk of taking Addyi with alcohol, to measure which the clinical tests were performed almost exclusive on men.

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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Friday, September 11, 2015

This week in ePharma: The FDA is sued again over off-label marketing | BREAKING: 3D-printed rib cage saves a life

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The FDA is sued by Pacira over the off-label marketing rights.The FDA agency is being sued again over pharmaceutical marketing practices. Looks like the last month's precedent laid a cornerstone in the confrontation between the FDA and drugmakers in which the latter have a much higher chance to win the argument. Using The First Amendment "Freedom of Speech", the drugmaker Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. is taking the government agency to court to secure the rights to promote Pacira's pain drug Exparel.

As a reminder, last month the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the First Amendment protection for truthful and non-misleading off-label promotion.

The first patient just got enrolled into the Biogen Phase-III clinical trial for its Alzheimer's disease treatment aducanumab. This is the second time the Alzheimer's / Parkinson's disease cure research is making the news this month. The Phase-III program is planning to study 2,700 patients in the early-stage of Alzheimer's disease. Previously, Biogen's Phase 1b study showed small-scale but positive results in slowing cognitive decline in patients with mild or preexistent Alzheimer's.
A man from Spain got a surgery implanting 3D-printed rib cage and sternum into his body.

The first of its kind surgery involving 3D-printed body parts was performed on a man from Spain. Due to the cancer complications the patient had to have removed a part of his rib cage and a sternum. The surgical team from Salamanca University Hospital in Salamanca, Spainhas ordered a customized 3D-printed titanium implants.  

This is the second breakthrough surgery involving 3D-printed body parts that's revolutionizing modern medicine.
Walgreens Pharmacy talks digital health and telemedicine
In his recent interview with the Health Business Blog, the VP of Digital Health, Walgreens, Adam Pellegrini answered a few questions around Walgreens' involvement with digital health and telemedicine trends.

Specifically, Mr. Pellegrini mentioned the Balance Rewards for Healthy Choices program, an initiative that was recently integrated into the strategy of the company. Through this program customers can collect points for healthy actions and not for purchases. For example, users can get points for walking or quitting smoking.

Another important question that Mr. Pellegrini answered was about the role of a pharmacist in telehealth for Walgreens. Telehealth as defined by Health Resources and Services Administration, "is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration."

In his statement, the VP of Digital Health, Walgreens stated that he hopes telemedicine will enable and extend an area of medication management. It will be used to answer simple questions about medication. And as a good example, Pellegrini brought up the pharmacy's chat adding that they conduct

9,000 - 10,000 health chats weekly with Walgreens' customers. "That's free for everyone. If we can walk inside of a pharmacy and ask a question, we should be able to do this digitally as well," - concluded A. Pellegrini.

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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at

Friday, September 4, 2015

This week in ePharma: Google updates health search database | Viagra is Re-branding!

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Google search results for health symptoms search query
Here is another proof that Google is leading the digital health industry:
Yesterday Google made an announcement ("Now Google can help with updated health information") about the updates that the search engine is planning to integrate within the next five weeks as a follow up on the search explosion around the rare form of pneumonia outbreak that happened earlier last month. As part of the change, Google is planning to expand their medical conditions database and make it more accessible by taking a user straight to the conditions tab upon the search is performed. Over the next few weeks it is expected that Google's medical database will grow by almost 45% from 400 conditions to 900.

In the press release of September 2, the FDA announced that it has approved Varubi (rolapitant), the drug to soften the side effects from chemotherapy such as nausea and vomiting. These symptoms are common among patients undergoing chemical therapy. But aside from immediate side effects, Varubi aims to treat the delayed nausea and vomiting symptoms that tend to occur within 120 hours after the chemical treatment has been issued.
Pfizer's "blue pill" Viagra is now available in a single package
This is the second time Viagra is showing up in the news within the past few weeks, but this time Viagra is in a spotlight because of the re-branding efforts that Pfizer is implementing. The "Blue pill" is said to be soon available in a single package, which is supposed to make it more convenient to purchase and carry around. With the mission "A new way to take VIAGRA with you when you need it" the drug maker Pfizer is seizing an opportunity to present Viagra as a more portable and handy solution on the go.

The European Pharmaceutical Review Magazine has reported the results from the survey conducted by The Crown Records Management/Censuswide on data management. After surveying over 200 companies in the pharmaceutical sector, 60% of IT decision makers revealed that their company had lost important data. With the recent scandalous data breach of the Ashley Madison website, more and more key players in the pharma industry express their concerns over secure future of the doctor-patient data.

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About the author: Ksenia Newton, a Digital Marketing Assistant at IIR USA, Pharma Division, who works on various aspects of the industry including social media, marketing analysis and media. She can be reached at