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.

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 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.

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 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.

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

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Free Webinar: Connecting Insights to Improve the Customer Experience

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Technology has dramatically improved collaboration between sales and marketing, enabling companies to approach customers in a more consistent and impactful way across digital and personal channels.

Join the upcoming webinar hosted by Veeva entitled, “Connecting Insights to Improve the Customer Experience” to hear Biogen's case study about connecting insights across channels and data sources for more intelligent and personal engagement to fulfill its vision for true closed loop multichannel marketing. Register here:

The presenters for this webinar are Brian Cantwell, Associate Director, Marketing Technology and Paul Shawah Vice President, Product Marketing – Veeva Systems.

Brian Cantwell leads Biogen’s U.S. Marketing Technology team, where he is responsible for building and executing digital marketing capabilities that enable Biogen's U.S. brands to have more effective, efficient and engaging customer interactions through personal and non-personal channels.
Paul is responsible for global product marketing at Veeva Systems where he has held senior leadership roles since 2011. Before Veeva, Paul ran the Life Sciences business unit at SAP with responsibility for product strategy and solutions globally. Prior to SAP, Paul held product marketing leadership roles at Proscape and Siebe.

Space is limited, save your seat!

Want more on this topic? Attend ePharma 2016 taking place February 29-March 2 in NYC. ePharma facilitates the largest digital pharma marketing community to share the latest and greatest trends, marketplace needs, and evolving customer bases to reach our ultimate goal – harness new opportunities to build stronger, cost efficient marketing campaigns. For more information about the conference, visit the website:

The ePharma Team