Pharma’s Use of Medical Conference Twitter Hashtags Is It “Backchannel” Promotion That Needs to be Curbed?
Backchannel Twitter ChatTwitter is becoming a common adjunct to major medical conferences around the world. Health-care professional (HCP) attendees and outside observers (including media and patients) can follow the medical society sanctioned online discus-sion via the official conference hashtag such as the #ERS2014 hashtag for the 2014 European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress.

This is a concern for medical societies that depend on the income generated by these events. Related to that is the concern that commercial entities can “hijack” the official conference hashtag to exert their commercial influence over physical and virtual attendees before, during, and after the conference. A study by a group of academic physicians (the #MICEproject) examined the use of Twitter by commercial entities and proposed safeguards to limit pharmaceutical “detailing” and to “bring the medical community closer to establishing guidelines for third party activities in Twitter back-channels.”

This article discusses the pros and cons of those proposed safeguards.

Topics (partial list):

  • Pharma Has Its Own Hashtags
  • The #MICEproject
  • Why Exclude Patients from Medically-focused Chats?
  • Proposed Safeguards
  • Should It Be Regulated?
  • Chart: Preliminary Results from the PMN Medical Conference Hashtag Survey

Download the full article (PDF file) here:

Issue: Vol. 14, No. 6: September 2015

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