Consumer/Patient Education

Reprint List Adherence: Do We Really Need an App for That?

Do the Benefits Outweigh the Risks?

Lots of patients — even patients taking life-saving medication — are not as “adherent” as they should be, which means that the treatment does not work as advertised and drug companies lose money. There have been many attempts by the drug industry to improve medication adherence, but it has been a tough challenge. The industry, however, has not given up. The new battleground for combating non-adherence is the mobile smartphone and the smartphone app is the weapon of choice. Are the benefits worth the risk?

Read the article

Americans Skeptical of Pharma Cause Marketing

A new survey by Envision Solutions, LLC, a healthcare marketing communications company, suggests that many Americans are deeply skeptical of pharmaceutical companies’ motives for supporting non-profit patient advocacy groups.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

AstraZeneca Hosts First-Ever Twitter Chat

World Does Not End!

Despite dire predictions of ‘PR failure,’ the #rxsave Twitter chat hosted by @AstraZenecaUS on 15 February 2011 was a great success, which is pharma social media speak for ‘did not crash and burn.’ It was proof that a pharmaceutical company can indeed host meaningful Twitter chats.

Access Full Article Here

Beyond Patient Education: Influencing Behavior Change

This article reviews how tailored behavior change programs can increase acquisition, compliance, persistency or brand loyalty. A smoking cessation program is presented as a case study.

Access Full Article Here

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

Access Full Article Here

Breakthrough Cancer Therapy DTC

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

Access Full Article Here

Can Health Web Sites Improve Compliance?

For various reasons, it is hard to find a conclusively documented answer to a seemingly simple question: do interactive health education media improve patients’ health practices? In fact, a recent high-profile report attempted to answer that question and got it wrong: procedural flaws led them to an unjustified conclusion.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Closed-Loop Patient Education: MedTera and HealthPrize Team Up to Improve Medication Adherence & Health Outcomes

MedTera and HealthPrize Team Up to Improve Medication Adherence & Health Outcomes

MedTera recently partnered with HealthPrize Technologies, a web-based software company that motivates people to fill and stay on prescription medications, to bring together MedTera’s online and offline educational resources and HealthPrize’s online, interactive platform to educate people about their chronic diseases and incentivize them for taking their medications as prescribed.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Develop Effective Online Compliance Programs: Leverage Health Beliefs

According to a Jupiter survey, consumers don’t manage their health online because they have low confidence in their ability to use online health resources to improve their health. Pharmaceutical marketers must leverage health beliefs and models to design comparatively more effective adherence-related online marketing programs.

Topics covered include:

  • Learn how self-efficacy predicts online consumers’ health-related behavior
  • Define your online strategy and prioritize spending on online marketing tactics

Access Full Article Here

Digital Pharma Is Alive and Well in Europe!

Report from DigiPharm Europe 2010

These highlights from the 2010 DigiPharm EU conference summarizes presentations made by marketing specialists from Lundbeck, Janssen, GSK, Schering Plough, Boehringer Ingelheim, Pfizer, Genzyme and Merck Serono. It’s a summary of the best current practices and a glimpse at how EU pharma companies are driving digital marketing and communications forward.

Access Full Article Here

Do Drug Copay Coupons Drive Up Healthcare Costs?

Union Health Plans Say “Yes”

Coupons for drug co-payments are illegal and drive up long-term health-care costs for all, a consumer group and four trade-union health-insurance plans said in announcing lawsuits against eight pharmaceutical companies. The lawsuits claim that although coupons reduce the consumer’s out-of-pocket cost, the health insurer still pays the previously negotiated price to the drug company. With no savings from generics, health plans will need to charge patients more to keep up with rising costs, the lawsuits say.

Access Full Article Here

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.”

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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..

Access Full Article Here

The Evolving Pharma-Physician Relationship

New Power Players & New Technology Force Changes

In this review of presentations made at the the PharmaMarketing Summit 2012, the common thread throughout is the evolving nature of the pharma-physician relationship, which is being transformed by the power of patients and payers, particularly aided and abetted by new emerging technologies.

Access Full Article Here

Exploring the 2.0 Doctor-Patient Relationship

The Impact of New Technologies on Healthcare

This article summarizes results of the ‘Technology Impact on Healthcare’ online survey. This article summarizes the survey results. The survey asked respondents to rate the importance internet tools and services in improving healthcare today and five years from now. Respondents also were asked to evaluate the impact of new technologies on public health problems such as obesity, vaccination, and smoking and which areas of the world are most active in developing and using health-related social media, mobile apps, and online communities. Finally, respondents were asked to identify which stakeholders — government, technology companies, health-care professionals, patients, payors — will be the major players online in 5 years.

Access Full Article Here

Eyes on the Adherence Prize: How HealthPrize Uses Financial Incentives and Fun to Change Patient Behavior

This article provides details about the HealthPrize’s innovative, compelling approach to solving one of pharma’s most perplexing puzzle: how to improve medication adherence. Included is a summary of a Pharma Marketing Talk podcast interview of Tom Kottler, CEO, and Katrina S. Firlik, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, HealthPrize.

Access Full Article Here

FDA to Test New Standard for Easy to Understand Drug Labels

Patients also need more effective counseling about their medications.

In an effort to make drug package inserts easier to read and understand — and perhaps to save money on printing costs — the FDA is planning to test single-page consumer information sheets that would replace the multi-page package inserts and medication guides widely used in retail pharmacies. However ‘dumbed down’ the label gets, it is still important that physicians and pharmacists take a more pro-active role in educating consumers about the drugs they are taking.

Access Full Article Here

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.”

Access Full Article Here

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?

Access Full Article Here

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

Access Full Article Here

HCP Marketing Beyond the Physician

NPs, PAs, and even RNs are for the most part overlooked by the pharmaceutical industry, according to David Mittman, PA, president of Clinician 1. This article reviews the issue and includes tips for marketing to NPs and PAs.

Access Full Article Here

HealthPrize Teams Up with RealAge to Improve Adherence

High Engagement in Reward Program Among Asthma/COPD Patients

Unless taken, medicines don’t work. Lack of medication adherence is a major issue contributing to poor health outcomes and higher costs. HealthPrize Technologies believes it has at least part of the solution, which is to provide an innovative approach with an online and mobile-based program that is fun, engaging and educational. This article summarizes the results of a six-month asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) pilot study in which HealthPrize partnered with RealAge to test patient engagement with the HealthPrize online and mobile platform.

Access Full Article Here

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.”

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here


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.

Access Full Article Here

Integration of Custom Media into the Marketing Mix

The American Diabetes Association Makes It Easy!

This article summarizes a discussion with Abraham Ogden, the Director of Book Publications for the American Diabetes Association, about integrating ADA’s custom publications into the pharma marketing mix.

Access Full Article Here

The iPad as a Pharma Marketing Platform

Is It a Game-Changer for Consumer & Physician Access?

This article summarizes how the iPad is currently being used by the pharmaceutical industry, how it is being adopted by physicians, and what the roadblocks are to using it for eDetailing.

Topics include:

  • iPad – What’s It Good For?
  • The iPad as a Pharma Marketing Platform
  • GoMeals
  • More Consumer Apps
  • Opening Doors to Physicians
  • Many Physicians Plan to Buy It

  • iPad for eDetailing
  • Featured on Pharma Marketing Talk Radio
  • Is It Just Another Tablet Device?
  • Does No Flash Mean No eDetailing?
  • iAds for Pharma?
  • Is Pharma Blocking or Supporting iPad Use by Sales Reps?

Access Full Article Here

The iPad in the Doctor’s Office

Understanding What Physicians and Patients Desire from mHealth Applications

The Apple iPad has also become a “must have” for pharmaceutical sales reps, but how are physicians and their patients using the iPad within the clinical setting? That was the focus of a study done by a team consisting of healthcare professionals in an NYU Langone Medical Center department, led by Douglas Elwood, MD, MBA, who is currently Director, GMI Strategy and Innovation at Bristol-Myers Squibb. This article reviews the latest results of that study.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Mobile Regulatory Fears

PhRMA Raises an Alarm

In a blog post provocatively titled ‘An App for That, But For How Much Longer?’, PhRMA’s Kate Connors agreed with a Washington Times op-ed piece that suggested the FDA will soon require apps such as medication prescription renewal reminders and blood glucose level tracking functions to be regulated as medical devices. The op-ed author, Joel White, executive director of the Health IT Now Coalition, suggests that this effort would lead to increased costs as well as constraints on user access to these apps, which ‘may cause developers to move on to other, less burdensome endeavors.’ ‘In the end, this could hinder the way that patients can actively improve their own care,’ said Conners. Is this fear warranted? Are there apps that SHOULD be regulated by the FDA? Read this article and find out.

Read the article

Moving the Needle on Adherence

Both the financial and social implications of non-compliance were the subjects of the recent 7th Annual Forum on Patient Compliance, Adherence and Persistency. This article presents highlights and case studies from this forum..

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Optimizing Brand Equity

Pre-Launch through Patent Expiry and Beyond!

There are few new blockbusters on the horizon and many profitable drugs are coming off patent. If pharmaceutical marketers want seats at the table, then they must show how marketing can contribute to long-term company financial performance.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • Don’t Leave Money on the Table
  • Realizing Brand Value After Expiry
  • Brand Architecture Models
  • Understanding Equity Flows
  • The Role of Communications
  • Best Communication Management Practices
  • Optimize the Franchise

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Read the article

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?

Access Full Article Here

Real Patient Testimonials

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.

Access Full Article Here

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™.

Access Full Article Here

Right & Wrong Ways for Pharma to Correct Misinformation on Wikipedia

Some Guidelines for Pharma

In a recent report, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics noted that Wikipedia articles on health issues are “in flux” and that there is a need for “knowledgeable editors” to keep the information as current and unbiased as possible.

Should the pharmaceutical industry or agents of the industry step up and edit content on Wikipedia?

This article discusses both the right and wrongs ways for pharma to do this using real-life examples.

Access Full Article Here

Risk Mitigation and Its Impact on Pharma Marketing

Appropriate Use Benefits After Launch

Risk management, REMS, danger management of your product’s life cycle, whatever you call it, all are crucial to brand managers and marketing executives. In this article, Jeff Fetterman, President and CEO of ParagonRx, summarizes his ideas about how to develop a REMS that can be a win-win-win situation for you, your product, and the patient.

Access Full Article Here

The Sorry State of Pharma Mobile Health Apps

Lack of Security, Continuity and Platform Standardization, Distribution Challenges, Poor ROI

At a recent eyeforpharma Philadelphia 2014 Summit, Carolyn Gauntlett, Senior Innovation Consultant with IMS Health, gave an interesting presentation titled “How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Most Out of Your mHealth App Development.”

This article summarizes some major points made in that presentation as well as data from the report “Patient Apps for Improved Healthcare: From Novelty to Mainstream” published by IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Targeted Faith-based Disease Awareness Marketing

A Multi-cultural Outreach Initiative

This article describes a new health awareness initiative intended to reach African Americans via churches and health ministries in an effort to alert this community to their heightened risk for life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and much more.

Access Full Article Here

US Drug Shortage & Supply Chain Crisis

Pharma’s Missed Opportunity to Support Patients via Social Media

Although many pharmaceutical companies actively use Twitter and other social media tools to push out positive news about their companies and products, very few use these tools for systematic support of patients who depend upon their drugs, which may be short supply.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

A Web-based Therapy Management Program

A Review of Advoy

Disease management is a complex process for pharmaceutical manufacturers, but Internet-based programs can help drive market share, sales growth, and patient compliance.

Cedric Tuck-Sherman, director of eBusiness for Baxter BioScience, discussed his company’s experience with creating and managing a web-based therapy management program for chronic diseases during a recent Patient Persistence, Compliance and Education seminar sponsored by EyeforPharma.

The article includes the following sections:

  • Rapid Communication
  • Personal, One-to-One Interaction
  • Mutual Trust

Access Full Article Here