Reprint List Special Supplement
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising
Volume Two: DTC in the New Era

DTC Vol 2 Supplement Cover

DTC advertising is set for major changes in light of public criticism, but also in reaction to the changing reality of the marketplace where there is less need for a one size fits all solution. DTC must evolve and marketers must pay more attention to measuring and improving its effectiveness. Otherwise, billions of dollars will continue to be wasted. This volume is devoted to DTC best practices with a focus on techniques for improving DTC efficacy and return on investment, which is generally considered to be declining.

  • Introduction: Not Your Father’s DTC
  • The Brand Marketing Mix: Balancing Impact versus Risk
  • Pharma Online Direct-to-Patient Spending
  • DTC Spending Set to Surpass DTP Spending
  • Is Your Product Ready for Consumers?
  • Medical Device DTC: Learning from Pharma’s Mistakes
  • Creating a Successful DTC Campaign on the Inside
  • The New Branding Model: From Blockbusters to Targeted Therapies
  • Emotions, Focus and Storytelling: How Cialis is Challenging Viagra
  • Optimizing DTC Performance
  • Maximize DTC Effectiveness: Understanding Drivers of Patient Behavior
  • Out-of-the-Box Marketing: Will It Work for Pharma?
  • PR: Advertising by Other Means
  • Ducks in the Henhouse: The Challenges of Integrating Direct and Brand Advertising
  • cDetailing: Addressing the DTC Education Gap

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Special Supplement
Direct-to-Consumer Advertising
Volume One: Emerging Issues

DTC Vol 1 Supplement Cover

The collection of articles and commentary in this first Pharma Marketing News Special Supplement chronicles the emerging issues of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and presents pro and con opinions from experts on how DTC needs to adapt in the post-Vioxx marketing era. Topics include: DTC Pros and Cons, Straight-Talking DTC, Communicating Risk, Biotech DTC, Print DTC, and more.

  • Pharma Trends to Watch
  • To Ban or Not to Ban DTC, That is the Question
  • DTC Pros and Cons
  • Marketing in the Post-Vioxx Era
  • Straight-Talking DTC
  • PhRMA’s DTC Principles
  • Communicating Risk
  • CHC Petition to FDA
  • Biotech DTC
  • Print DTC: How Does It Measure Up?

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A Few Things I Learned at FDA’s Social Media Hearing

What’s Next is What Counts

This article presents key takeaways from the FDA hearing, a synopsis of the presentations made by John Mack, Publisher, Pharma Marketing News, at the hearing, a review of Ignite Health’s study regarding effectiveness of sponsored links, and the next steps in the process of issuing guidance.

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A Call to Action: A Mea Non Culpa by Big Pharma

A review of the book “A Call to Action” by Pfizer CEO Dr. Hank McKinnell. This review focuses on the 10 action items McKinnell promulgates. Notwithstanding an review of the book written by Peter Rost — Pfizer’s whistleblowing head of endocrine care marketing unit — in which McKinnell is described as making “an impressive mea culpa,” this book is actually a mea non culpa! Find out why.

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The Absolute, Relative, and Incremental ROI of DTC e-Marketing

The debate surrounding the strategic and economic value of having an online DTC strategy rings loud and clear at most global pharmaceutical companies today. In general, the key questions are where and how the online strategy creates disproportionate and sustainable value for the brand. This article focuses on the power of the product Web site as a conversion tool and illustrates how the Web strategy fits into the overall marketing continuum – from initial engagement all the way to loyalty marketing.

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Accomplishing Adherence

This article reviews presentations made at the recent eyeforpharma Patient Adherence and Persistence Summit including a presentation by David Baker, VP & General Manager of Shire’s ADHD Business Unit, who presented on ‘Best Practices for Fostering Adherence.’ He used the ADHD market as a case study.

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Accountability for Pharma Content on Social Media Sites

A substantial portion of drug industry comments submitted to the FDA was devoted to how pharmaceutical companies should be held accountable for a communication about its product(s) and how much control they exert over activities on the Internet and social media.

Also see:

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Ad Dollars Follow Eyeballs to Web

Guesstimating Total Pharma Web Ad Spending

Internet advertising revenue in the United States totaled $26.0 billion for the full year of 2010. How much of this was spent by pharma? Best guesstimate: $1 billion, which accounts for about 11% of the total pharma physician and consumer ad spend. This article includes data and charts showing trends.

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Ad Execs Not Viewed as Innovative By Americans

Says AstraZeneca Survey

Sorry to break this to you, but Americans don’t think advertising executives are very innovative. The AZ survey shows that Americans think advertising executives are only as innovative as teachers, but much less innovative than doctors, artists, engineers, or scientists.

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Anti-DTC Resurgence

Physicians and Politicians Call for Bans, Moratoriums, & End to Tax Breaks

With the renewed focus on the high cost of drugs comes a new wave of attacks on Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA) of prescription drugs. But is there a causal link between DTC advertising and Rx drug prices and/or total spending? This article explores this issue.

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Applying FDA Marketing Regulations to Internet Promotions

Preeti Pinto, M.S., Senior Director Promotional Regulatory Affairs, AstraZeneca, provides insight on the regulatory actions taken by the FDA with respect to online DTC marketing by pharmaceutical companies. She summarizes the most commonly cited violations found on pharmaceutical company web pages.

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Are Some DTC Print Ads Too Educational and/or Persuasive?

FDA Plans to Do Two Studies to Find Out

Recently, two FDA studies were in the news: “Disease Information in Branded Promotional Material” and “Effect of Promotional Offers in Direct-to-Consumer Prescription Drug Print Advertisements on Consumer Product Perceptions.” The focus of both these studies will be on print ads.

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Becoming Woman Wise: Marketing Healthcare to Women

More than 80% of healthcare purchasing decisions are made by women. Women account for more than half of the population in the United States and it makes absolute sense to market to women where, when, and how they choose.

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Beyond DTC: Consumer Relationship Satisfaction

This article is a summary of a presentation by Lynn Benzing, President, The Patient Marketing Group in which she presented results from her company’s Consumer Relationship Satisfaction Survey, a ground breaking comparative study on how pharmaceutical marketers are handling key consumer touch-points that impact brand loyalty. This study profiles over 50 brands across all major therapeutic categories.

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Biotech DTC: Business Not As Usual

In 2005, sales of biotech products — i.e., biologics, including therapeutic serums, toxins, antitoxins, vaccines, blood components or derivatives, allergenic products, or analogous products, or derivatives — grew by 17.1 percent, far outstripping the 5.2 percent in sales growth of small molecules-products developed and marketed by Big Pharma. Although the overall total sales of biologics is still small in comparison to small molecules — about $52 billion vs. $600 billion — the biotech industry is poised to dramatically increase the number of products it adds to the market each year.

Whatever the numbers, there’s blood in the water and ad agencies are circling, trying to entice these innovative companies into transforming themselves into marketing machines. Some agency people suggest that biotech needs to engage in traditional direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising. Biotech, however, needs more than DTC as usual.

Topics covered include:

  • Definitions and FAQs: What is a biological product? How do biological products differ from conventional drugs?
  • Follow Big Pharma’s Footsteps?
  • Biotech Products Require More Education
  • The “Oprahsizing” of Advertising
  • Scientist Ambassadors
  • Cost of Biotech Products
  • Biotech Marketing Guideposts
  • Service vs. Product: Betaseron Case Study

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Blogs and the Pharmaceutical Industry

This article presents the basics of blogging and offers several examples of how pharmaceutical companies and marketers can use blogs effectively without shooting themselves in the foot!

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The Brand Marketing Mix

This article is a summary of a presentation made before a pharmaceutical brand team on marketing tactics that are viable now and in the future, how to avoid risk by balancing risk vs. impact, and what the marketing mix trends will be one to five years out.

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Breakthrough Cancer Therapy DTC

This article explores the trend in direct-to-consumer (DTC) ads for ‘breakthrough’ cancer therapies.

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Brits Beat FDA and PhRMA: Issue Social Media Guidance for Pharma

Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority Issues Social Media Guidance for Pharma.

The Brits have won the race to issue social media guidance for the drug industry! In April, 2011, the Prescription Medicines Code of Practice Authority (PMCPA), which oversees the self-regulatory code of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), published ‘informal guidance’ providing the drug industry advice on how to use online communications.

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cDetailing: Addressing the Consumer Education Gap

Steve Smith, Editor-in-Chief of Medsite has reengineered his company’s eDetailing line to create engaging interactions crafted around effective methods to engage, inform, and educate adults. Now he has tapped this experience to design the company’s first Consumer Detailing (“cDetailing”) product, which is a novel rich-media online consumer disease education and drug information program.

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The Changing Policy Landscape

Prepare Now for the Coming FDA and Pharmaceutical Marketing Reforms

The two traditional means by which pharmaceutical marketers have relied on for many, many years to encourage the uptake of newpharmaceutical products — direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising and physician marketing — are about to change. Prepare now for the coming FDA and pharmaceutical marketing reforms.

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Cholesterol Drug Users Discuss Their Medication

At breakfast recently in one of his favorite coffee shops, Jim Avery, professor of advertising at the University of Oklahoma, was talking with some friends who he knew had some health problems. Avery took the opportunity to turn the breakfast meeting into a little impromptu focus group. This article summarizes what he learned.

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The Coming Pharma Digital Depression

P&G Discovers It’s “Free” to Advertise on Facebook! Is Pharma Next?

A ‘recession’ in pharma marketing is likely considering the well-known ‘patent cliff’ that’s currently in progress; ie, blockbuster drugs with a combined $170 billion in annual sales will go off-patent by 2015. That means even less mass media advertising and more digital advertising. But ‘more digital advertising’ does not mean that much more money will be spent in the digital arena. That’s because of social media, where it’s virtually free to advertise!

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Congress vs. Pharma

Trouble Ahead?

Now that the 2006 midterm elections are over, the pharmaceutical industry is left to ponder what the new Congress has in store for it. This article is a summary of a Pharma Marketing Roundtable discussion of the Congressional agenda for pharma (real and feared). The article includes results from the online “What’s In Store From Congress” survey.

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Consequences of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising

Links to Higher Prices and Less Competition

This article focuses on a new study that suggests drug price increases are engineered to cover the costs of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising (DTCA). Drug price trend data from AARP, AHRQ, and prescription drug consumer price index (CPI) are presented. Also, what’s the link between DTCA and competition?

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The Consumer Brief Summary

FDA’s New Thinking Regarding Risk Communication

New FDA guidelines jettison the ‘traditional approach’ to fulfilling the brief summary requirement and replaces it with what the FDA calls the ‘Consumer Brief Summary.’ This article summarizes the new guidelines and reviews the need for additional guidelines that specifically address the fair balance section of DTC print ads.

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Creating a Successful DTC Campaign on the Inside

Carrie Nelson, Manager New Hope Parkinson Program, and Laura Virden, Market Development Manager, of Medtronic shared the story of their two-year journey tackling the problem of bringing more of DTC campaign work in-house.

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Crowd Sourced Creative Commons Drug Information

Pitfalls & Opportunities for Pharma

Whether or not it is “beneficial” for pharma company employees to edit Wikipedia information about their own company’s products is difficult to know for certain. This article summarizes the pros and cons of pharmaceutical companies editing Wikipedia articles to correct “misinformation” about their drugs.

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Cute & Creepy DTC Drug Ad Mascots

FDA Wants to Study How They Influence Consumers

Brand name drug mascots not only appear in TV and print ads, they also are plastered all over patient education brochures and other marketing pieces, on websites, and wherever else there are eyeballs! This article features our all-time favorite drug ad mascots.

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The Dark World of Disease Awareness Ads

This article describes recent dark and ominous “disease awareness” ads, the goal of which is to instill fear in the viewing public and motivate them to see the doctor.

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Data Mining in the Deep, Dark Social Networks of Patients

Advice for Pharma: Caveat Emptor

If pharma marketers wish to tap into closed online patient communities that are rich sources of information, they need to pay careful attention to the rules lest they suffer the consequences to their reputations.

Topics include:

  • The Dark Depths of “Closed” Patient Communities
  • Patient Information for Sale
  • Pharma Trolls Social Media
  • Transparency, Openness and Privacy
  • Beware of Stolen “Copper”
  • The ePatient Perspective
  • What Are Your Social Media Principles?
  • Aligning Your Message with Patient Needs

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Deconstructing Pitts’ Guiding Principles for Pharma Social Media

Taking a Closer Look

Peter Pitts, author of DrugWonks Blog, has put together 11 “principles that must serve as the basic substrate of regulated social media participation. This article takes a closer, critical look at “Pitts’ Principles” and discusses how successful the pharma industry has been at following these principles to date.

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Digitally-Feeble Pharma

Is Your Brand a Digital Genius or a Feeble-Minded Idiot?

When it comes to digital IQ, some brands are geniuses and some are feeble-minded idiots, according to the “L2 Digital IQ Index” for pharmaceutical brands, a first-of-its kind measurement of the digital competence of 51 pharma brands across eight therapeutic categories.

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Disease Mongering: When Is the Line Crossed?

Disease mongering is a term that was coined by the late journalist Lynn Payer to describe what she saw as the confluence of interests by some doctors, drug companies, patient advocacy groups and media in exaggerating the severity of illness and the ability of drugs to ‘cure’ them.

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Do TV DTC Ads Overstate Rx Drug Risks?

FDA Poised to Tip Balance in Favor of Benefits

Specifically, FDA intends to look for evidence that the “major statement” of drug risks as currently implemented in DTC TV ads is often too long and “may result in reduced consumer comprehension, minimization of important risk information and, potentially, therapeutic noncompliance due to fear of side effects.”

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Does Your Spouse Influence Your DTC Viewing Experience?: FDA Wants to Peek Into Your Bedroom

his article is a review of FDA’s proposed study titled ‘Spousal Influence on Consumer Understanding of and Response to Direct-To-Consumer Prescription Drug Advertisements’ (FDA-2014-N-1819)

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Drug Marketers Need More Than Demographic Data To Effectively Market To Consumers

Pharmaceutical firms should use not only demographic data but technological and health dimension data as well when developing direct-to-consumer marketing tools, suggested Michael J. Barrett, senior analyst at the marketing research firm Forrester Research Inc. Forrester Research has polled consumers to determine how these attitudes differ according to disease state. This additional technigraphic, attitudinal and psychographic data can help pharmaceutical companies to craft effective DTC marketing tools.

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Drug Risk Survey Results

Preliminary results from The Drug Risk Survey, which posed questions about the FDA’s proposed Drug Watch program as well as the Drug Risk Advisory System proposed independently.

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DTC Ad Spending Rises From the Grave: Pfizer Leads the Ghoulish Pack

This article presents the data and discusses Pfizer’s leading role in the DTC ad resurgence, especially in regard to TV advertising, which accounts for almost 70% of all DTC advertising dollars.

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DTC Pros and Cons Presented at FDA Hearing

This article summarizes the main points, both pro and con, made by presenters at recent FDA hearing on DTC and includes commentary from expert members of the Pharms Marketing Roundtable, which met to discuss the issues raised at this hearing.

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DTC Risk Communication

With all the new attention being paid to drug risks, it is time to take a look at the issues surrounding drug risk communication to consumers and patients. Pharmaceutical marketers need to understand these issues to better communicate risk and build trust in their brands.

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DTC User Fees Go PDUffft!

The drug industry was successful in getting a mandatory review by the FDA of broadcast DTC ads included in the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA). Somewhere along the way, PDUFA became FDAAA (FDA Amendments Act) and the program to preview DTC ads went up in smoke as in PDUffft!

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e-Inertia Plagues the Pharma Industry

To make sense of current estimates about pharma spending online and understand where it may be heading in the future, Pharma Marketing News recently hosted a Pharma Marketing Roundtable discussion of the issues. This article summarizes that discussion.

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Email Marketing Best Practices for Pharma

Several recent surveys indicate that pharmaceutical companies will spend more money on e-mail marketing to consumers in 2005 (see “DTC in 2005: Can You Teach Old Dogs New Tricks?“). Perhaps they should also spend some money and time to ensure that their e-mail campaigns adhere to emerging best practices with regard to privacy, HIPAA, SPAM, and permission-based marketing.

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Emotions, Focus and Storytelling: How Cialis is Challenging Viagra

So who wants to go head-to-head with Viagra? The ultimate pharmaceutical mega-brand: a blockbuster drug, with a superbly executed global campaign, an urban legend. According to Blair Waite, Brand Manager, Global Marketing for Eli Lilly and Co., Viagra is now the world’s 2nd most recognized brand name, after Coca Cola.

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The Empowered Patient

What It Means for Pharma Marketers

This article presents a case for the drug industry to adopt a patient-centric model in which pharma companies can develop unique expertise in decoding the behavior, needs, motivations of empowered patients and then use this knowledge as the basis for helping healthcare professionals and payers to put into place programs that achieve better patient outcomes.

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European Compliance Not Only Possible, But Leading Edge

As US pharmaceutical companies search for best practices to battle patient drop-off, their European counterparts have overcome Byzantine regulations and reduced margins to implement strikingly effective compliance programs directly to consumers.

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Evidence-based Direct-To-Consumer Advertising

Pharmaceutical advertising was historically directed toward health care professionals and mainly communicated through medical journals. Rigorous research is needed to evaluate and determine the most effective format for communicating benefit and risk information to consumers. New standards for drug advertising to consumers should be grounded in data derived from this type of research..

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The Evolving Impact of Anti-Spam Legislation on Online Marketers

In the last year the FTC has issued regulations that set forth additional requirements under the federal CAN-SPAM act that you should be aware of. Hilary M. Wandall, Esq., CIPP, Director, Corporate Legal/Merck Privacy Office, Merck & Co., Inc., summarized these regulations in a recent ePharma Summit presentation in Atlantic City, NJ.

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FDA Draft Guidance for Print DTCA: Less than Feared

On February 4, 2004, the FDA issued long-awaited draft guidance documents designed to improve communications to consumers and health care practitioners about health conditions and medical products. The most eagerly anticipated guidance concerns the acceptable alternatives to the lengthy, detailed, and technically-written brief summary of risk information for consumer-directed print advertisements for prescription drugs.

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FDA Drops Social Media from Its Guidance Agenda

Focuses Instead on Responsding to “Unsolicited” Off-Label Information Requests

FDA’s revised draft guidance calendar for year 2011 is missing ‘Promotion of Prescription Drug Products Using Social Media Tools,” which WAS on the 2010 Agenda. Included, however, is ‘Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Prescription Drug and Medical Device Information, Including Those Encountered on the Internet.’ FDA says this includes Internet requests. Why did the FDA put this issue at the TOP of its list of ‘issues related to Internet/social media promotion of FDA-regulated medical products’ for which it promised guidance? Where did that issue arise? It wasn’t mentioned in the Federal Register regarding social media guidance.

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FDA Guidance on Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information

The Social Media Guidelines Nobody Expected!

Two days after Christmas, on December 27, 2011, while most of us were still on vacation, the FDA quietly issued “Guidance for Industry Responding to Unsolicited Requests for Off-Label Information About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices.” Section VI. of this guidance addresses responding to unsolicited requests on public forums such as the Internet. This article takes a closer look at how the off-label guidelines apply to social media such as Youtube, Blogs, and Twitter.

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FDA Issues Long-Awaited Guidance for Mobile Medical Apps

Do Some Pharma Mobile Apps Require FDA Approval?

The Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH) and the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER); responsible for regulating medical devices, have issued guidance for mobile medical applications. The guidance focuses only on a select group of applications. Meanwhile, many pharmaceutical companies, such as Janssen, are developing mobile apps for the iPhone and iPad. Can some of these apps be considered medical devices requiring approval by the FDA?

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FDA Opens Window for Pharma to Correct Misinformation Online

Wikipedia is at the Top of the List

This article reviews the FDA’s guidance on how pharmaceutical companies can respond to misinformation related to a firm’s own FDA-approved or -cleared products when that information is created or disseminated by independent third parties on the Internet or through social media, regardless of whether that misinformation appears on a firm’s own forum or an independent third-party forum or website.

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FDA To Study DTC Promotion Directed at Adolescents

Focus is on Immediate Benefits vs. Deferred Risks

This article is a review of the proposed FDA ‘Experimental Study of Direct-to-Consumer Promotion Directed at Adolescents’ (FR # FDA-2013-N-1151), which aims to assess how adolescents interpret drug risk in DTC advertising.

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FDA Sets Up a Roadblock for Branded Rx Promotional Tweets

Are There Any Useful Detours or Workarounds?

This article reviews the FDA’s guidance on how pharma marketers must present both benefit and risk information within a “promotion” of FDA-regulated medical products via electronic/digital platforms that are associated with character space limitations: i.e., specifically through social media such as Twitter and through online paid search (e.g., “sponsored links” on search engines such as Google and Yahoo). The review also includes some ideas on how pharma marketers may be able to use Twitter for branded Rx messages and still be compliant with the new FDA guidelines.

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FDA Social Media Guidelines May Be Moot…

If This Court Decision Holds Up

Drugmakers dissatisfied with the FDA’s use of guidances as a form of policymaking — including long-awaited guidance for use of social media by the pharmaceutical industry — could find legal ammunition against the practice. This article presents the relevant case information.

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Finding the Consumer Within the Patient

Insights Into How Healthcare Decisions are Made

Self Care Catalysts’ Patient Intelligence Insights Guide™ on Diabetes is the only integrated patient-and consumer-centric report that explores how people suffering from an invisible condition such as diabetes actually circumnavigate their health condition, using the unique Self Care Health Decision Making Dynamics framework™. It is an example of what Grace Soyao, Founder & Chief Strategy Officer of Self Care Catalysts Inc., a health research and strategy company, means by “Finding the Consumer within the Patient.”

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Focus on Drug Safety Communication & TV DTC Advertising

A Review of Two New FDA Guidance Documents

This article reviews two recently published and important guidances from the FDA that concern the dissemination of drug information to consumers.

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The Future of DTC Advertising

Is a Perfect Storm Brewing?

Experts don’t know if it’s the economy, lack of new drugs in pharma’s pipeline, or the new pro-regulation political climate, but 2009 is shaping up to be the year that direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising will suffer a round of budget cuts and setbacks not seen in a long time. We poll readers and experts to help predict the immediate future of DTC advertising and to get some insights from experts.

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Generation Rx: A History and Critique of Pharma “Tribal Marketing”

This article reviews the book Generation Rx and focuses on the roles of several key pharmaceutical marketing pioneers as described in the book. Includes sections:

  • AMA Weighs In
  • Doctors are Targets Too

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Google’s OneBox Drug “Ads” Steal Clicks Away from Rx Brands

A Search Ad Format That Has All FDA Could Want… But Pharma Can’t Use It!

Data suggest that Google’s OneBox NIH Rx ads effectively reduce organic search visitation driven to pharma sites pushing the traffic to NIH content instead. Is it logical to conclude that Google stands to gain paid ad revenue when pharma marketers have to compete with OneBox ads by buying more paid search placements to make up for the loss of organic search visits?

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Got Game? Online Pharma Advergaming

While advergaming seems to work for the consumer package goods industry, will it also work for pharmaceuticals?

Topics covered include:

  • The Game: Give Your Legs a Rest
  • Not Medical Advice; Also Not Educational!
  • It May Fly in Battlecreek, But Not in Raritan!
  • Rx Drugs Require More Than Branding

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Guerilla Pharma Marketing

Guerrilla marketing has been known to close down a whole city (Boston) and thereby draw tremendous media attention to the brand being promoted. But is this a tactic that is appropriate for pharmaceutcal products?

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Here Come the Pharma Wikipedians

The Pros and Cons of Pharma Employees Editing Wikipedia Articles

Should pharmaceutical companies appoint employees as Wikipedia ‘spokespeople’ to perform all edits to Wikipedia articles on behalf of the company?

That is the opinion of Bertalan Meskó, MD, founder and managing director of, who, in a June 13, 2012, open letter to pharmaceutical companies, invited them to “employ a Wikipedia editor if you want to make sure only evidence-based information is included in entries about your own products.”

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High Impact Content in Support of Rx Brands

Case Study: Alli – the Book!

In this article, PLG Health CEO Philip Lief describes how his company developed and marketed ‘The alli Diet Plan’ book for GlaxoSmithKline in order to increase the visibility, brand recognition, and sales of the over-the-counter (OTC) alli® weight-loss product.

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How Should Pharma Engage in Social Networks?

Thoughts on Best Practices

Each pharmaceutical company should have its own guidelines for best practices in the social media space. To assist in that discussion, Pharma Marketing News hosted a survey to explores issue relating to pharma advertising and engagement in social networks. This article summarizes the results of that survey.

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How to Host a Successful Pharma TweetChat

Tips from Boehringer Ingelheim

This article reviews BI’s “playbook” — titled “How pharma TweetChats can drive healthcare innovation” — which provides detailed insights for planning and delivering successful pharma TweetChats. The authors of the playbook — Patricia Alves, Social Media Community Manager, and Jaclyn Fonteyne, Social Media Specialist, at BI — were also interviewed for this article.

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How to Manage the Online Conversation

This article presents a summary of a conversation with Jenna Woodul, LiveWorld’s EVP and Chief Community Officer, about how pharma companies can manage their social media interactions using technology and credentialed participants.

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Implications of Facebook’s Page Commenting Changes

A discussion with Jonathan Richman, Group Director, Insights and Planning at Possible Worldwide about Facebook’s changes to its commenting policies and his recommendations for pharma marketers who wish to develop Facebook pages.

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Industry and Consumer Advocates Square Off Regarding Social Media

This article presents an overview of the types of organizations that submitted comments versus those that made presentations at the November 2009 public hearing. It also includes general comments from the pharma industry regarding the process by which the FDA should regulate the Internet and social media. Also presented in this article are the comments submitted by consumer advocates and individuals who generally supported more strict regulation across the board.

Also see:

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The First Disease Awareness Documentary Film

Innerstate is a disease awareness full-length documentary film produced by Centocor. This review is based on a private screening.

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Is Pharma Marketing a Lot of BS?

Recently a “60 Minutes” show featured a story on a book titled “On Bullshit.” The commentary noted that some of the most notorious sources of bullshit includes marketing. The author, who is well-known in academic philosophy circles but probably unknown to you, makes a distinction between liars and bullshitters. In which category are marketers? What are some noteworthy examples of pharmaceutical marketing bullshit? How does marketing bullshit hurt the industry?

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Is There a Cure for Mediocre Pharma Mobile Apps?

Listen Up, New Marketing Grads!

Mobile is the new ‘shiny thing’ of interest to pharmaceutical marketers. However, most pharma mobile apps that I have seen are pretty mundane as far as marketing/advertising is concerned. What’s it going to take to make these apps more interesting and useful?

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Is Your Medical Device Ready for Consumers?

Amy Siegel, Vice President, Health Advances, LLC, a healthcare strategy consulting company located in Weston, MA, offered some clear advice on how to determine if DTC is appropriate for a medical device. Siegel shares strategies for evaluating whether your product is ready for a DTC campaign based on characteristics of the disease, the patient population, the payment vehicles, the clinical specialty and the nature of the therapy.

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Key Issues Facing DTC Marketers

This article focuses on what marketers need to do to face the tough 2004 DTC environment. It summarizes a presentation made by Robert Ehrlich, CEO, DTC Perspectives Inc. at the Achieving DTC Success Conference in October, 2003. Ehrlich talked about TV ad creativity, government regulations, the issue of brand retention, DTC ROI, and the challenges of a consumer-centric approach.

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Lipitor Holds Key to DTC Ad Spending in 2012

As reported by Nielsen, direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising spending by the pharmaceutical industry was down by 1% compared to 2010. I did a little exercise to predict that DTC spending in 2012 will see a further 3% decrease compared to 2011 solely due to an expected drop in Lipitor advertising. Here’s how I came up with that estimate.

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Mapping New Paths through the DTC Marketing Mix Maze

In this article, David Kweskin, Senior Vice President and Practice Area Leader, Brand and Communications Division, TNS, explains how his company helps marketers look across the full spectrum of media — traditional media like radio, TV, print — and and gives them a common way of measuring them against new media like blogs and word of mouth. Meanwhile, Morgan Lozier, Director, Web Evaluation Brand and Communications Division, TNS, presents a review of 3 erectile dysfunction product websites to illustrate what the online DTC experience should look like. He finds one winner among the contenders

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Marketing in the Post-Vioxx Era

At a recent Pharmaceutical Executive Annual Marketing Summit in Philadelphia, a panel of experts moderated by Patrick Clinton, Editor-in-Chief of PE Magazine, discussed pharmaceutical marketing in the “post-Vioxx” Era. The panel, titled “The Post-Vioxx Era: Shedding New Light on Drug Safety, Risk Communications, and Advertising,” examined shortcomings in the current regulatory system and discussed opportunities for improvement. This article summarizes the discussion

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Marketing the Pharma Industry: The Empire Strikes Back

There are some things in life that money can’t buy, like trust. But getting over 60 sharp marketing minds together for a couple days attempting to address the industry’s most baffling issues — priceless!

This article is a spirited review of the Pharmaceutical Marketers Knowledgeshare Forum, which was held recently in Philadelphia. The event was sponsored by PharmaVOICE magazine. The article provides a composite overview of the action plan developed by attendees.

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Maximizing the DTC Message

How are DTC activities integrated as key components throughout the marketing mix, including advertising, advocacy and public relations? What are the risks and rewards associated with launching a DTC campaign? How have top pharmaceutical marketers managed to address sensitive health issues and drive awareness and sales through DTC? Is every drug really a viable candidate for a Direct-to-Consumer campaign? These were some of the questions discussed during an evening Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association seminar entitled DTC Sweeps: The Impact and Evolving Role of Direct-to-Consumer Marketing.

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Measuring Consumer Sentiment About Prescription Drugs

At a recent Pharma Marketing Talk podcast, John Mack spoke with Mark DePaoli, life sciences analyst at BrandIntel, an online information service, about mining CGC to evaluate consumer sentiment about pharmaceuticals. This article summarizes that discussion and presents a case study analysis comparing consumer sentiment of Botox vs. Restalyne.

Topics covered include:

  • The CGC/UGC Landscape – some statistics
  • Case Study: Botox vs. Restalyne
  • Impact of Advertising on CGC
  • Monitoring Adverse Events in Conversations

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Medical Device Marketing: Worlds Apart from Rx Drug Marketing

Medical device marketing is different than Rx drug marketing, which is something attendees of the recent PharmaMed Marketing & Media Conference hosted by Med Ad News learned.

This article summarizes a presentation from that conference and discusses how medical device marketing to consumers and physicians is different than Rx drug marketing. While some device marketing campaigns take a page from the Rx arena, there are difficulties and roadblocks ahead and these are also summarized in this article.

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Midwestern eMarketing Values

On the Internet it’s still about content, content, content. Some may consider this old-fashioned. But Siren Interactive, a midwestern interactive eMarketing firm, believes that valuable Internet content is a prime component to an effective eMarketing strategy for pharmaceutical companies.

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Mining Mobile Health App User Data

Liberating Health Data While Protecting Privacy

A conversation with Jacqueline Thong, co-founder and CEO of Ubiqi Health, about disease management mobile applications and how pharma marketers can leverage mobile health apps to engage with and learn from patients.

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Mobile Pharma Marketing: What’s the 411?

Mobile devices — especially cell phones — are becoming ubiquitous in the U.S. How can pharmaceutical companies use this technology for consumer acquisition and retention? To get some ideas, we interviewed Robert Flynn, President of Pulse Media Response, LLC, and summarize that discussion in this article.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • Mobile Text Messaging
  • Shortcodes: Ubiquitous as URLs?
  • Immediate Response
  • Mobile Marketing for Customer Acquisition
  • Mobile Dialog for Compliance
  • Text Messaging Best Practices

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Moderation Best Practices for Pharma Social Networks

Pre, Post, or No Moderation… Whatever. You Must Have a Plan!

This article presents a summary of results from a recent survey of readers and other experts regarding pharma social media moderation best practices.

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Most Credible Bad Ad Complaints are Submitted by Pharma

Why Now?

According to a Bad Ad Program 2010-2011 Year End Report just issued by the FDA, the program is a success despite the fact that ONLY 125 complaints were deemed worthy of “comprehensive review.” The remaining 203 Bad Ad complaints were presumably filed away in DDMAC’s circular file. Those 125 complaints worthy enough for review lead to 5 enforcement actions.

FDA received complaints from three sources: Healthcare Professionals (HCPs), Consumers, and “representatives of regulated industry” (ie, pharma companies ratting out their competitors). The “pharma” group of complaints was the most credible.

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Moving the Needle on Adherence

When patients fail to take their medicine as prescribed, the financial impact on the pharmaceutical industry is substantial. Even more distressing is the damage that is done to a patient’s health and well being.

Both the financial and social implications of non-compliance were the subjects of the recent 7th Annual Forum on Patient Compliance, Adherence and Persistency held in Philadelphia.

This article presents highlights and case studies from this forum..

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New Media Privacy Issues & Online Health Marketing

Privacy Groups Focus on the Pharmaceutical Industry

Recently, online privacy issues have been in the news as Congress exams whether it should enact legislation requiring a do-not-track function in Web browsers to allow consumers to opt out of the extensive data collection by Internet companies. This article is a summary of A Center for Digital Democracy complaint filed with the FTC and a review of the issues. The article also includes a compilation of more than two dozen ‘innovative” online marketing products/solutions mentioned in the complaint.

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New Privacy Rules in Economic Stimulus Law

Will They Restrict Certain Pharmaceutical Marketing Practices?

This article reviews the medical privacy restrictions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which President Obama signed into law on Feb. 17, 2009, and discusses the impact these restrictions might have on pharmaceutical marketing.

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New Social Media Regulatory Framework

A Critical Analysis

Envision Solutions and TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony teamed up to write a white paper, which summarized a new social media monitoring and marketing regulatory framework for pharmaceutical companies. This article takes a critical look at the Framework and offers further insights into the regulatory issues it raises.

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Novo Nordisk Defends Choice of Paula Deen as Diabetes Spokesperson

The Celebrity is the Message

Unless you are living under a rock on the Moon, you’ve probably heard that Novo Nordisk has teamed up with celebrity Southern-style chef Paula Deen as a paid spokesperson. Ambre Morley, Associate Director, Product Communications, Novo Nordisk, answers questions about why her company teamed up with Deen as a diabetes spokesperson.

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Off-Label DTC Advertising: Will FDA Be Forced to Allow It?

This article summarizes the First Amendment assault on FDA’s ability to regulate off-label communications.

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Online and Offline Professional and Consumer Marketing

Short summaries from the Pharmaceutical Marketing Global Summit provides information about how pharma marketing practices need to evolve.

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Optimizing DTC Performance

How TNS Healthcare Helps Clients Build a Lifetime Connection Between Consumers and Brands

DTC spending is up 6.6% in the first half of 2006. What is the pharmaceutical industry getting in return for this increase? However you look at the numbers, typical DTC approaches often don’t deliver the impact they should for the dollars invested, according to TNSfyi, a product forecasting and healthcare/pharmaceutical modeling division of TNS Healthcare.

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Out-of-the-Box Marketing: Will It Work for Pharma?

Current in-the-box marketing techniques such as DTC TV and magazine ads are “inefficient because of their scattershot nature. The vast majority of viewers of such ads are not sufferers of the condition the drug is indicated for.” As more specific disease mechanisms are identified, fewer and fewer people will be eligible to be treated for approved indications. This will have “a significant impact on DTC,” suggested Dr. Richard Vanderveer, Chairman and CEO of V2, Inc. These crises demand out-of-the-box marketing solutions, which are described in this article.

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Overcoming Space Limitations in Social Media

This article presents a summary of comments to FDA from the drug industry addressing regulatory concerns when using social media tools associated with space limitations or tools that allow for real-time communications to present product information.

Also see:

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Patient Detailing at the Point of Care

Return on DTC investment is decreasing and in the post-Vioxx marketing environment in which pharma marketers find themselves, there is a call for less advertising and more education. There are several new strategies and solutions available to pharmaceutical marketers that are designed to increase the education quotient of pharma marketing communications. One such solution is wireless Webpad developed by Phreesia for deployment in doctors’ offices.

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Pfizer Battles to Protect Lipitor Cash Cow

Lipitor Won’t Go Gentle Into that Good Generic Night. Pfizer is taking a number of steps to protect it’s Lipitor franchise and it hopes that many patients currently taking Lipitor will remain loyal to the brand.

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Pfizer’s Short-lived LIPITOR Branded Mobile App

Was It a “Bad Ad” or Just a Bad Idea?

On May 22, 2012, Pfizer and Eating Well Media Group, publisher of Eating Well magazine, announced the launch of Pfizer’s Lipitor For You “Recipes 2 Go” mobile application, marking the first time Pfizer has released a consumer mobile app for a prescription product in the U.S. Was It a ‘Bad Ad’ or Just a Bad Idea?

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Pfizer Throws In the Lipitor Marketing Towel

Meanwhile AstraZeneca Promotes Crestor on Its Corporate Blog

Despite Pfizer’s heroic and unprecedented effort to maintain Lipitor’s market share after expiry last November and after spending more than $87 million promoting the medicine, the world’s biggest drug company is quietly giving up on its once-great cash cow for good because more generic versions will soon be going on sale. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca promoted Crestor on its corporate blog. It’s unusual for a pharmaceutical company to mention a product by brand name on its corporate blog. It’s even more unusual to mention BOTH the product AND its indication — because that would be promotion regulated by the FDA. But AstraZeneca has done just that on its ‘AZ Health Connections’ corporate blog. Why now? Can it be a purely opportunistic cheap shot?

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Pharma Brand Personality Traits

Imbuing Brands With Human Characteristics Can Boost Sales

According to Lea Katsanis, PhD, Marketing Professor at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business, developing a strong brand personality is an important way that pharmaceutical marketers can increase brand loyalty, brand trust, and ultimately brand equity.

Dr. Katsanis authored a study that investigated the existence of prescription drug brand personalities as perceived by consumers in the Journal of Consumer Marketing. She was a guest on Pharma Marketing Talk on February 14, 2014, where she discussed the results of that study.

This article summarizes the results of the study.

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Pharma Content Marketing Strategies

Insights from Industry Experts

This article includes insights on content marketing from pharma experts including Thibaud Guymard, Digital Marketing Manager at MSD France. Guymard has broad experience with pharma content marketing, including roles as co-creator of the Digital Health Think Tank and as an Advertising Manager at Saatchi & Saatchi Health. Guymard also assisted in developing the Pharma Content Marketing Webinar organized by Kakushin Webinars.

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Pharma Promotional Spending in 2013

Professional Detailing, eDetailing, DTC Advertising, Professional Meetings, Journal Advertising

According to the latest Cegedim Strategic Data (CSD) Audit, the 20 pharma companies that spent the most on total promotion — which includes traditional professional detailing, eDetailing, Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) advertising, professional meetings, and journal advertising — spent a total of $14,784 Bn in 2013.

How representative is this of the entire industry? It’s difficult to say. According to CSD, the Top 20 pharma companies spent $10.1 Bn on professional detailing in 2013, which is about 70% of the $14.9 Bn CSD estimated the entire industry spent on professional detailing in 2012. On the DTC side, the Top 20 spent $3.2 Bn, which is about 85% of the total of the $3.8 Bn total 2013 DTC spend according to Nielsen data. Based on these numbers, it seems fair to say the allocation of the promotional spend — i.e., the portion of the spending pie devoted to each category — of the Top 20 spenders is representative of the industry as a whole.

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A Pharma Social Media Conspiracy Theory

Were Guidelines Held Hostage as Part if FDA’s and DOJ’s Criminal Investigation of Google?

Were FDA’s infamous 14 warning letters to pharma a ploy to force Google into a $500M DOJ settlement regarding illegal online pharmacy ads? In addition, could FDA have been holding back issuing pharma social media guidelines — which would include guidelines for displayig compliant information in space-limited applications such as Twitter AND Google Adwords — until Google settled its case with the DOJ?

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Pharma Marketers Dive Deeper Into Social Media

This article focuses in some detail on three interesting pharma social media initiatives: (1) Procter & Gamble’s Asacol Community for Ulcerative Colitis Patients; (2) Novo Nordisk’s Levemir-branded Race With Insulin Twitter account; and (3) UCB’s sponsored epilepsy community on the PatientsLikeMe website. One of these is a good example of how pharma marketers can leverage social media, one is bad, and the other is just plain ugly! In baseball, one hit out of three at-bats isn’t bad, but for marriages and social pharmaceutical marketing it’s not that good.

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Pharma Marketing Stuck in Web 1.5

In this guest article, author Richard Meyer, Senior eMarketing Manager, Medtronic, summarizes some of the key findings of the recent eMarketer report ‘Pharmaceutical Marketing Online: Stuck in Web 1.5.’

Topics covered include:

  • The CGC/UGC Landscape – some statistics
  • Case Study: Botox vs. Restalyne
  • Impact of Advertising on CGC
  • Monitoring Adverse Events in Conversations

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Pharma Responds to FDA’s Draft DTC Guidelines

PhRMA, Sanofi, Shire, and Others Submit Comments to Docket

FDA has received several comments from the pharmaceutical industry regarding the agency’s ‘Draft Guidance for Industry Direct-to-Consumer Television Advertisements.’ This article reviews the comments submitted by PhRMA, Sanofi, and Shire. Comments from other pharma companies addressed similar issues to the ones reviewed here.

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Pharma’s Plodding Approach to eMarketing

Mind-Boggling Communications Vs. Mind-Numbing Resistance

This article, written by health communications veteran, Harry Sweeney, is a frank assessment of the pharmaceutical industy’s plodding approach to e-communication and e-marketing based on a review of a recent industry conference.

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Pharma Trends to Watch in 2006

This is the time of the year when we all look into our crystal balls and try to come up with predictions for the new year. This article summarizes the collective wisdom from respondents of the 2006 Pharma Trend Survey and participants of the Pharma Marketihng Roundtable. Includes sections:

  • FDA Regulation of DTC: To Be or Not To Be?
  • Risk: I Say Relative, You Say Absolute
  • New Directions Part 1: Alternative Media
  • New Directions Part 2: Unbranded DTC

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Pharma’s Image Conundrum

Building Brand Loyalty and Consumer Confidence

In this guest article, Carla Stratfold, CEO at OnRequest Images, presents several key learnings and best practices that pharmas can follow when building brand and consumer loyalty.

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Pharma Paid Celebrity Best Practices

Should Pharma Disclose Payments to Celebrity Spokespeople?

Pharma marketers in the U.S. sometimes use celebrities as spokespeople for their branded drugs or for non-branded campaigns. Such celebrities include TV personalities, athletes, movie stars and others who have thousands or millions of fans, Twitter followers, etc. Should Pharma Disclose Payments to Celebrity Spokespeople? This is just one of the issues explored in a recent survey of Pharma Marketing News readers.

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Pharma’s Social Media Working Group

Who It Consists of, How It Formed, and Its Role in Driving FDA Guidance

This article reviews the Who, What, and Why of Pharma’s Social Media Working Group (SMWG) based on a conversation with Mark Gaydos, Senior Director, U.S. Regulatory Affairs Marketed Products at sanofi-aventis, and Cynthia Phillips, Sr Dir Labeling and Promotional Compliance at Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Also covered is an analysis of comments the SMWG submitted to the FDA on how pharmaceutical companies should handle off-label and adverse event posts made on social media sites owned or sponsored by them.

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The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline™

A Record of Social Media Events Impacting the Pharmaceutical Industry

The long-awaited social media guidance from the FDA — whenever it arrives — may turn out to be nothing more than a stamp of approval on activities in which the industry is currently engaged. Practically every issue that FDA guidance is expected to address has already been handled independently by a few pioneering pharmaceutical companies. Rather than waiting for FDA’s anti climatic guidelines, Pharmaguy decided to publish The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline™ now, at a time when the industry already has set precedents in every social media application.

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The Phil Mickelson Enbrel Campaign

From the Audition in the Press to TV, Web, and Print Advertising.

Pfizer and Amgen demonstrate how to launch a branded spokesperson campaign starting from a bit of over-the-top unregulated press relations to fully regulated TV, print, and Web advertising. It must be costing a mint!

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Predicting the Future of the Drug Industry

This article reviews the results of the ‘Predicting the Future of the Drug Industry: 2010 & Beyond!’ survey and provides background on future trends.

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Prescription Drugs and the Health 2.0 Opportunity

The Community

eDrugSearch has expanded its mission by unveiling its own Health 2.0 venture: the Community, which is a new social network for prescription drug consumers. The Community hopes to help members make choices that save them money, and keep them safe, when buying drugs online.

This articles reviews some of the features of this new Health 2.0 Web site.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • Health 2.0 Defined
  • Strangers Sharing Stories
  • Drug Ratings & Reviews Section
  • Should Pharma Marketers Participate?

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Print DTC: How Does It Measure Up?

Over 60 drug ads that appeared in several major consumer magazines were analyzed. In each, the space allocated to images, benefit statements, risk information, and the brief summary was measured. This article summarizes the findings.

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A Proposal for a Drug Risk Advisory System

Recently the FDA published guidelines for a Drug Watch program to provide emerging drug safety information to the public. While it is laudable that the FDA intends to make this kind of information available on its web site, the public may not be aware that a drug has been added to the list unless they proactively visit the web site.It is essential that the information from the FDA about drug risks and side effects get out to consumers as quickly as possible and that the risks are communicated effectively.

Taking a page from the Homeland Security Advisory system, the author proposes a color-coded system for notifying the public about drug risks and links the levels of risk with levels of restrictions on DTC advertising.

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Protecting Your Brand with Anti-Counterfeiting Solutions

This article reviews Cardinal Health’s portfolio of brand security technologies.

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Quality of Pharma-sponsored Health Information on the Internet

With all the bad press recently about marketing directly to consumers and privacy concerns, perhaps it is time for the pharmaceutical industry to self-regulate marketing to consumers as well, especially via the Internet. What is the attitude of pharmaceutical professionals regarding the quality of pharma-sponsored health information on the Net? Does the industry perceive a problem in this area? To help answer this question, an online survey – Quality of Pharma-Sponsored Health Information on the Internet – was performed during the month of January, 2003. The results are summarized in this article.

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Real Patient Testimonials

An Effective Social Media Marketing Strategy

Drug companies have long used celebrities to endorse their products. However, according to a recent Wall Street Journal article, market research shows that the sick are relying more on the recommendations of fellow patients, and less on the reputations of companies and endorsers, in deciding whether to seek treatment and what drugs to ask for. Exploiting that trend, pharma marketers are beginning to use real patients in their direct-to-consumer TV and print ads and are soliciting real patient stories on their web sites, YouTube channels and Facebook pages.

This article discusses the potential pitfalls, regulatory issues, and best practices regarding the use of real patient testimonials based on comments collected from a recent survey of readers and other experts.

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Real Patients Star in Pharma Youtube Videos

Pharma marketers save a bundle repurposing videos for Youtube.

They save even more money by hiring real patients to play themselves in these videos! Patients are natural method actors, having actually experienced what they portray. But they are prone to over emote!

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Relationship Marketing via eNutrition

Review of ForMyDiet Platform

“Pharmaceutical companies that market treatments for conditions requiring diet management can provide educational and value added tools as a featured aspect of their marketing campaigns,” said Ami Assayag, CEO, Specialty Diets, Inc., developer of the web-based medical diet management platform ForMyDiet™.

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Report from the Social Pharmer “Unconference”

Sowing Seeds of Social Media Change?

This article summarizes key presentations made at the April 21, 2009, Social Pharmer ‘unconference’ where leading pahram social media proponents presnted ideas on how the industry can overcome the barriers.

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Sales Effectiveness Meets eMarketing

Steve Woodruff, Founder and Principal Consultant of Impactiviti, and John Mack team up to review eyeforpharma’s Sales Effectiveness conference, which was co-located with the eCommunication & Online Marketing Conference.

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Search Advertising Options for Pharma

In this article, Julie Batten, eMarketing Manager at Klick Pharma discusses pharma’s options for search marketing in this period between the FDA public hearing and when the much anticipated draft and final guidance on the issue is published.

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Searching for Answers on Search Engine Marketing?

Yahoo’s record earnings and Google’s IPO announcement are hot financial stories, but they also herald an important trend that is changing the way marketers think about the interactive channel. Search Engine Marketing, also known as SEM or Search, is one of the fastest-growing e-marketing strategies today. The author covers SEM techniques such as Paid Search, Paid Inclusion, and Natural Search, and suggests that to stay ahead, companies must develop sophisticated content strategies to win the war of visibility.

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Social Communications in Healthcare: Summary of Roundtable Discussions

At the Social Communications in Healthcare conference hosted by the Business Development Institute in NYC on July 23, 2009, there were so many people live Tweeting the case study presentations that it’s hardly worth the effort to summarize these presentations after the fact. You can find a good summary–if only in dozens of 140-character packets–on Twitter.

An excellent gauge of the state of social communications in healthcare may be had from summaries of the round table discussions moderated by experts after the case study presentations. After a short introduction, this article provides several summaries written by the roundtable discussion leaders themselves

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Social Media Adverse Event Reporting Safe Harbors

This article presents ideas for regulatory ‘safe harbors’ under which pharmaceutical companies would be relieved of the responsibility of monitoring social media for adverse events. Includes a detailed summary of responses to the survey ‘FDA Regulation of Drug & Device Promotion via the Internet & Social Media’ regarding social media adverse event monitoring, processing, challenges, and uncertainties.

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Solving the Social Media Adverse Event Reporting Problem

Many presenters at FDA’s November 2009 public hearing on the Promotion of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools addressed this problem and offered solutions. Comments submitted to the FDA after the meeting offer more details, which are reviewed in this article.

Also see:

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Stop Wasting $Millions on Ineffective DTC Ads!

Testing Technology Can Help Improve Ads and Engage Viewers. This article highlights PreTesting’s ad measurement technology and reveals interesting insights about the major mistakes that pharmaceutical advertisers make with regard to measuring the effectiveness of their ads.

Topics covered include:

  • Three Common Mistakes Made by Most Advertisers
  • PreTesing Technology
  • Case Study: Sleep Aid Ads
  • Testing TV Ads in a TiVO World
  • How to Create an Effective Drug Ad — 17 learnings from PreTesting

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Return to top…

Straight-Talking DTC: Survey Results

Johnson & Johnson Chief Executive William Weldon said in an address to PhRMA: “I believe we should start by recognizing that the framework we call ‘DTC advertising’ may inadvertently minimize the importance and power of medicines and their risks. If our industry is to retain the important right to talk directly to consumers, each of our companies in its own way must work to make DTC what it very definitely can be — a way to educate and counsel consumers in improving their health.” To that end, Johnson & Johnson is unveiling a new approach to TV and print campaigns that deals head-on with safety, putting drug risks on more-equal footing with drug benefits. Pharma Marketing News recently hosted a survey of pharmaceutical professionals to determine what they think of this approach to DTC and whether or not the rest of the pharma industry should follow J&J’s lead. The results of this survey are summarized in this article.

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Super Bowl DTC Debut: Was It Good for You?

The Super Bowl debut of DTC advertising was tainted by all the brouhaha over the half-time show. Perhaps as many people complained about the erectile dysfunction (ED) ads of Cialis as complained about the half-time show. Was it appropriate to run these ED drug ads during the SuperBowl? Which DTC campaign-including Viagra, which did not run and ad during the game-is most effective and why? These questions and others were included in a survey of PHARMA-MKTING listserv members. The results are summarized in this article.

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Supporting Patients via Twitter and Beyond

Boehringer Ingelheim Shows How It’s Done

Although nearly two-thirds of respondents to a 2009/2010 Pharma Marketing News survey thought that using Twitter for patient support activities would be somewhat or very effective, relatively few pharmaceutical companies are doing this on a regular basis. From time to time, however, it does happen.

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Surviving the Election Wars

The pharmaceutical industry must take a pro-active stance if it is to counter all the negative publicity the 2008 presidential campaign will generate. With the billions of dollars that the industry spends on DTC advertising, there is an opportunity to use DTC to focus more on humanitarian goals of the industry.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • The Permanent Campaign
  • Emerging Issues
  • 2008 Election Outlook
  • Building Trust with DTC
  • Summary of the Roadmap to Surviving the Election Wars

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Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks

An interview with Professor Jim Avery at University of Oklahoma’s Gaylord College of Mass Communication about preparing graduate students for a career in health advertising.

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To Ban or Not to Ban DTC? That Was the Question!

The pharmaceutical industry must be reeling from the blow just recently delivered by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) who called upon the drug industry to impose “a two-year moratorium on advertising for new drugs and a government audit to determine how drug ads have affected the way Americans are treated for illness.”

This article takes a critical look at Frist’s proposal and other emerging DTC reform ideas. We’ll include reaction to the Frist proposal from PhRMA, AMA, advertising trade associations, and especially from members of the PHARMA-MKTING online discussion group who weighed in with their expert opinions.

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Top Companies, Classes, and Products in the DTC Space

This article provides an overview of DTC spending YTD 2002 compared with YTD 2001. The sources the data are Verispan’s Source Prescription Audit and other market research.

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Translate Industry Trends into the Optimal Promotional Strategy

This is a summary of a recent presentation by David L. Stern, Vice President of Marketing for Metabolic and Endocrinology at Serono, Inc. Stern spoke from a marketer’s perspective about recent trends in the pharmaceutical industry and how to address them by developing better marketing programs.

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TV DTC Advertising Is Not Dead Yet!

But Lawmakers, Politicians, & FDA are Aiming for the Head

The big jump in DTC advertising & high cost of drugs have resulted in calls for a total ban of DTC advertising or the elimination of tax deductions for DTC advertising. And the FDA is planning a bevy of studies, which may lead to new guidelines.

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Understanding Drivers of Patient Behavior to Maximize DTC Effectiveness

This article summarizes the findings of the Market Measures/Cozint 2002 DTC Monitor study. While the study showed increased awareness of DTC ads by consumers, awareness varied considerably depending upon the medium. The study also measured perceptions of DTC advertising by consumers and segmented the results according to medical condition.

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Use of Behavioral Targeting by Pharma Marketers

When Is It Appropriate?

This article summarizes the results of a survey designed to answer the questions: Should the pharmaceutical industry adopt similar self-regulatory principles that were established by media and marketing trade associations to protect consumer privacy when employing behavioral targeting, Should pharma marketers use behavioral targeting at all?, If they do use it, when is it appropriate?

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Use of Celebrities for PR and DTC Advertising

“Break a Leg,” But Avoid Pratfalls!

If you have questions about the ‘dos & don’ts’ and ‘pros & cons’ of using medical and non-medical mouthpieces for pharma PR and DTC advertising, this article provides some answers and opinions based on interviews of experts with years of experience in this area.

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Web 2.0 Pharma Marketing Tricks for Dummies

Pharmaceutical marketers are having a field day pushing the envelope on the Internet and especially in the social networking, Web 2.0 arena — the new WILD, WILD WEST of the Internet. Many, however, are getting caught trying to perform the ‘tricks of the trade.’ With just a little bit of guidance and tips from the masters, you can perform these tricks WITHOUT getting caught!

Topics and issues covered include:

  • Consumer-Generated Content – some data
  • Why Neither the FDA nor PhRMA Will Be the Wiser
  • HealthTrain, the Open Healthcare Manifesto
  • The So-called “One-Click Rule”

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What Americans Think About Drug Advertising

“Ask Your Doctor” Call to Action Works, Yet Ads Get No Respect!

The 2008 USA Today/Kaiser Family Foundation/Harvard School of Public Health Survey has some nuggets of information that give marketers further insight into the public’s attitude towards drug industry advertising. This article summarize these insights.

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What’s Your Infographics Strategy?

Pharma Ponders Pinterest

“Just when we are overrun with the need for content & media strategies of every type from search to email to website to video to social to mobile, now we have the opportunity to contemplate an infographics strategy,” said Craig DeLarge, former Director, Healthcare Professional Relationship Marketing at Novo Nordisk. Infographics have found a home on Pinterest, a content sharing, social media service that allows members to ‘pin’ images, videos and other objects to thematic pin boards.

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Why Pharmaceutical Marketers Ignore ROI

You Want ROI? You’re Not Ready for ROI!

There are many reasons why pharmaceutical marketers may not be effectively measuring ROI. This article discusses several of these reasons and includes feedback and opinions from several experts who agree that all marketers – and pharma marketers in particular – have a problem with traditional ROI analysis.

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Will COX-2 Inhibitors Crash and Burn?

This article documents the effect of the withdrawal of Vioxx and other COX-2 revelations on physicians’ prescribing behavior using data from ImpactRx. Also included are results from a recent survey we conducted of Pharma Marketing News susbcribers regarding the wisdom of Pfizer’s decision to test Celebrex to see if it is able to prevent heart attacks and strokes in patients with serious cardiovascular disease.

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The Year 2013 in Images

Pharmaguy’s Favorites from Pharma Marketing Blog

Every year Pharmaguy reviews the images that appeared on Pharma Marketing Blog and picks his favorites. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words! But rather than just presenting images out of context, Pharmaguy presents the images WITH context and comments, plus links, should you care to delve deeper.

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Your Pharma Marketing Sucks

According to Mark Stevens, author of the current Business Week Best Seller “Your Marketing Sucks,” in the world of marketing today, people and companies are relying on the notion that a blend of “proven” or “traditional” marketing combined with slick new creative will yield results. The problem, says Stevens, is the creative ends up being the quantifying metric regarding how successful the marketing is rather than the achievement of the intended goal-driving sales.

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