Pharma Industry News Update: 18 October 2016
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SaaD and SaMD are Poised to be the Next Big Thing in mHealth
A relatively new mHealth platform known as digital therapeutics is poised to take healthcare by storm. Known as software-as-a-drug (SaaD), the industry currently consists of a few dozen startups and about $500 million in business.
Meanwhile, the FDA has entered into the federal register a new draft guidance pertaining to “software as a medical device” (SaMD). The guidance is presented as representing the FDA’s current thinking on establishing clinical evaluation guidelines for SaMD – i.,e, mHealth platforms incorporating both apps and devices.
More about that here: “#FDA Publishes New Draft Guidance on Software as a Medical Device (SaMD)”
Mobile App Versions of Merck Manual Keep Both Patients & Physicians Informed
Merck recently re-launched app versions of its entire Merck Manuals reference guide, which is available in versions both for medical professionals and consumers.
Mobile apps are changing the relationship between doctors and patients. While actual doctor-patient interaction time is still short, the time they do spend together is becoming more meaningful and efficient because of mobile devices. More than half of physicians surveyed by Merck said they are more likely to review medical information together, with their patients, and 29 percent of physicians said appointments are more efficient because of mobile medical information. About 60 percent of doctors are using mobile information to explain and further illustrate information to patients, and 28 percent said they send information directly to patients.
Related article: “Infographic: Cardiologists Use of Digital. Which #Pharma Delivers Best?“.
Novartis Tries Celebrity Disease Awareness Social Media Campaign to Boost Entresto Sales
Actress and singer Queen Latifah recently took her passion for heart disease awareness live on social media, leading a “Rise Above Heart Failure” panel discussion on Facebook Live on World Heart Day. Novartis sponsored the American Heart Association’s effort.
Novartis has struggled to gain share with its heart failure med Entresto because of the treatment’s high price tag, despite strong endorsements from leading cardiac groups and published research advising physicians to switch to the drug. And using a softer-style disease awareness campaign with a very likable celebrity is a contrast to its harder-hitting Entresto DTC marketing (read “Tomorrow, Tomorrow, After DTC, Sales Will Come for Entresto, Bet Your Bottom Dollar!“).
Latifah was added to Pharmaguy’s all-time favorite celebrity appearances in direct-to consumer advertising SlideShare presentation. View/download it here.
Will eDetailing Spell the Death of Traditional In-person #Pharma Sales Details?
Big pharmaceutical companies have found replacements for the army of sales representatives they’ve laid off in recent years: digital sales tools that seek to sell doctors on drugs without the intrusion of an office visit
“You can’t eat the orange and throw the peel away – a man is not a piece of fruit,” says Willy Loman in Act 2 of Death of a Salesman. Today, many pharma sales reps may be feeling like tossed peeled fruit.
eDetailing in one form or another seems to be making a comeback since the recession hit the drug industry in 2007 and 2008. I’m not really sure which is the “chicken” and which is the “egg”; ie, whether an uptick in adoption of eDetailing technology lead to the recent layoff of pharma reps or if reps were laid off because of the economy and subsequently replaced by machines.