Social Media Pharma Marketing Damned If You Do, Damned If You Don’t?
Social Media Pharma Marketing CoverIt is generally agreed that the return on investments (ROI) for traditional media like print and TV is declining. A new approach to the way forward in pharma marketing is needed and is actively being pursued by pharmaceutical marketers and their ad agencies.

Is it time for the pharmaceutical industry to take the advice of some of its critics and use the new “social media” tools available to it and extricate itself from its moribund situation of declining ROI?

These new tools — lumped under the heading “social networking” or “Web 2.0 — are big topics of discussion at many pharmaceutical marketing conferences. The question is, will pharma marketers embrace them, learn how to use them, and will they see benefits?

Is your company ready to engage in social media marketing? If so, what’s your social media marketing strategy?

By filling out the Pharma Marketing News Rate Your Social Media Marketing Readiness questionnaire, you will discover where you may need to augment your knowledge about social media and the hurdles you may need to overcome within your organization to implement a social media marketing program.

When you complete the questionnaire, you’ll be able to see the average of all responses to date and get a better idea of how you and your company compare to that average. You then can return here to purchase the supplement.

This collection of Pharma Marketing News articles, blog posts, and survey results provides you with an excellent introduction to the many issues involved in social media pharma marketing.

Download this collection now. It’s FREE…

Access Full Article Here

ePharma Marketing Volume 1
ePharma Supplement CovereMarketing is a challenge for the pharmaceutical industry. It is widely known that the percent of the pharmaceutical marketing budget spent in the “e” space has remained below 5% since the dawn of the commercial Internet!

Many experts, however, believe that pharma eMarketing is at a tipping point and that pharmaceutical companies are poised to shift substantial ad spending from TV and other media to the Internet.

The selection of articles in this Special Supplement to Pharma Marketing News was chosen to give you a better perspective on pharma eMarketing. Included are real world case studies that illustrate the advantages of eMarketing such as depth of information, interaction, relationship building and superior customer engagement.

approx. 45 pages.


    Regulations, Laws, Best Practices, Trends:

  • Applying FDA Marketing Regulations to Internet Promotions… pg. 2
  • Immutable Laws of DTC Domain Naming… pg. 2
  • Table: Selected Pharmaceutical Website Marketing Violations… pg. 3
  • E-mail Marketing Best Practices for Pharma… pg. 4
  • Some State and Federal Laws Impacting E-mail Marketing… pg. 6
  • Physician-focused eMarketing:

  • eDetailing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow… pg. 9
  • The Role of Tablet PCs in Pharma Sales and Marketing… pg. 13
  • DocCheck: Das Portal… pg. 16
  • How European Physicians use the Internet… pg. 17
  • The European eMarketing Scene… pg. 20
  • European Online Marketing and eDetailing Survey Results… pg. 24
  • ePrescribing: What Role Should Pharma Play?… pg. 25
  • Consumer-focused eMarketing:

  • Searching for Answers on Search Engine Marketing?… pg. 28
  • The Absolute, Relative, and Incremental ROI of DTC eMarketing… pg. 31
  • cDetailing: Addressing the Consumer Education Gap… pg. 33
  • Blogs and the Pharmaceutical Industry… pg. 36
  • Paid Inclusion: Too Hot for Pharma Marketing?… pg. 39
  • Online Health-Related Stats Cited by Google… pg. 40
  • Can Health Web Sites Improve Compliance?… pg. 44

Download this collection now. It’s FREE…

Access Full Article Here

Reprint List 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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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:

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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?

Access Full Article Here

Adobe Connect for eDetailing

Making Physician Communications More Effective

This article focuses on Adobe Connect for eDetailing, a specific collaboration between Adobe and ConnectSolutions, a leading provider of private cloud deployments of web conferencing and collaboration solutions.

Access Full Article Here.

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.

Access Full Article Here

Are Pharma Bloggers Biased Against the Industry?

How supportive or critical are individual blogs in the pharma blogosphere and is there an overall bias one way or the other?

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

British Pharma Digital Update

Insider Reactions to Social Media Guidelines from Industry Regulators

This article reports the results of an informal Weber Shandwick survey regarding social media guidelines recently published by the British pharmaceutical industry regulators. It includes advice for how to innovate online without waiting for more specific guidelines from regulators.

Access Full Article Here.

The British Pharmaceutical Industry Issues Social Media Guidance for Adverse Event Reporting

Once again the Brits have beaten the US in issuing useful guidelines for social media use by the pharmaceutical industry! As I reported back 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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

A Case for Pharmaceutical Web Site Accreditation

There are thousands of health Web sites on the Internet. Accreditation is not an appropriate path for all these sites to take, but for those sites that can afford it and that meet rigorous standards for quality and accountability, accreditation can help distinguish them from their competitors and increase consumer trust. Pharmaceutical sites focusing on consumers, in particular, stand to benefit.

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. The problem lies in seeking a broad general picture. More appropriate is to focus on the specific patient population, the distinct behaviors to be changed, and the particular tactics employed.

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

Challenges of Regulating Mobile Medical Apps

Legal and Regulatory Issues You Should Know About

A conversation with Joseph Kim, MD, MPH, VP of Medical Affairs and Technology at Medical Communications Media, Inc., about the rapid development of mobile medical applications and the legal and regulatory issues that physicians, patients, and pharma developers/sponsors should be aware of.

Access Full Article Here

The Changing Pharma eDetailing Landscape

The Three Main Ways of Detailing Physicians Online

A conversation with Monique Levy, VP Research at Manhattan Research, about the changing pharma eDetailing landscape.

Ms. Levy discusses how the online pharma promotion landscape has changed, and which types of programs garner the largest audience as well as how the rep relationship is evolving and the role of new technologies such as tablets.

Access Full Article Here

The Changing Landscape of Physician Interactions

Pharmaceutical companies are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, speed the time-to-market for new products and ensure that physicians are informed and educated about their products.

MERGE Rx recognizes this need and offers a new generation of Web-enabled software that helps pharmaceutical companies manage physician interactions — including key opinion leader (KOL) management, phaseIV trials, and eDetailing — from a single, secure and scalable access point.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • Eight Great Ways to Improve Interactions
  • Multi-Channel Non Personal Interactions
  • Personalization
  • Key Opinion Leader Management

Access Full Article Here.

Checking Under the Hood of Pharma Mobile Apps

Be Aware of What’s Behind the App: Disclaimers Tell Only Part of the Story

Let’s look ‘under the hoods’ of two pharma-sponsored mobile apps and compare disclaimers. We’ll compare Janssen’s PASI calculator, which has an update disclaimer, with the new AFib Educator 2.0 app developed by Sanofi-Aventis.

Access Full Article Here

Citizen Petition Likely to Delay FDA Social Media Guidance

Why Now?

Allergan, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Novartis, Pfizer, Novo, and Sanofi-Aventis filed a ‘citizen petition’ with the FDA, urging the agency to ‘establish comprehensive, clear and binding regulations to guide the industry’ in communicating off-label drug information to physicians and payers. Although the words ‘Internet’ and ‘Social Media’ are not mentioned in the petition, it is likely to hold up social media guidelines regarding ‘unsolicited requests’ that were promised as the first in a series of FDA guidelines.

Access Full Article Here

Closed-Loop Marketing

This article is a review of an industry conference presentation that focused focused on leveraging eDetailing for effective closed-loop marketing campaigns.

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

Collaborating with Online Physician Communities

Pharma-Physician Peer-to-Peer Dialog via Sermo

Pfizer and Sermo — a Web-based community where physicians share observations from daily practice, discuss emerging trends and provide new insights into medications, devices and treatments — recently announced a “strategic collaboration designed to redefine the way physicians in the U.S. and the healthcare industry work together to improve patient care.”

To answer the many questions raised by this collaboration — including concerns about off-label communications — Pharma Marketing News invited Daniel Palestrant, M.D., founder and CEO of Sermo, to be a guest on a recent Pharma Marketing Talk podcast.

This article is based partly on that interview as well as other sources.

Topics and issues covered include:

  • The Story of Sermo
  • Doctors Are Lonely
  • Sermo’s Secret Sauce
  • Sermo’s Business Model
  • From Contention to Collaboration
  • Mining the Wisdom of the Sermo Crowd
  • Guidelines
  • The Off-Label Promotion Issue
  • Key Opinion Leaders

Access Full Article Here

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!

Access Full Article Here

The Coming Pharma Marketing Recession

Tips for Surviving the Slump!

This article presents opinions and evidence that there is a slump in pharma marketing spending and provides some tips to vendors and ad agencies to help them the slump.

Access Full Article Here

Consequences of eDetailing Technology

The Death of the Traditional Pharma Salesman and the Birth of the “Sales Cyborg.”

eDetailing in one form or another seems to be making a comeback since the recession hit the drug industry in 2007 and 2008. Which is the “chicken” and which is the “egg”? Did the uptick in adoption of eDetailing technology lead to the recent layoff of pharma reps or were reps laid off because of the economy and subsequently replaced by machines?

Access Full Article Here

Consumer Use of the Internet for Health: Whose Numbers Do You Believe?

This article includes DATA and an analysis of methodologies of various online consumer market research studies to help you understand how to apply these data to your online marketing campaigns.

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

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

Access Full Article Here

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.

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

The Digital Health Coalition

Solving Pharma’s Social Media Problems — Mission Possible?

A conversation with Mark Bard, founder of the Digital Health Coalition, regarding the mission of the Coalition and what companies and individuals are involved.

Access Full Article Here

The Digital Life of Doctors

While primary care physicians in general are frequent users of the Internet, oncologists see online sources of information as more important than PCPs and therefore may need less personal contact to learn about products. That was just one of the results from the 2011 Digital Life survey of 1,454 physicians summarized is this article.

Access Full Article Here.

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.

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

DocCheck: Das Portal

This article describes the services offered by DocCheck and specifically focuses on the portal’s market research and physician-targeting capabilities, which any pharmaceutical marketer wishing to do professional marketing in Germany should know more about. Includes sections:

  • Day of the Portals
  • Universal Physician Password
  • eDetailing in Europe

Access Full Article Here

eDetailing Strategies for a Higher Physician Response

Most pharmaceutical firms have piloted eDetailing programs and scaled them successfully. However, although Traditional eDetailing has been around for at least 5 years, marketers must expand the definition of eDetailing. To this end Croom offers a Best Practice Guide for eDetailing to help pharma marketers optimize the reach and impact of eDetailing.

Access Full Article Here

eDetailing: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

eDetailing proponents, inside pharma companies and outside, use survey data to justify their arguments for greater spending on eDetails. In some cases, however, the numbers seem to show confusing trends and even may suggest that eDetailing may not be all that it’s cracked up to be.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

e-Marketing at the Point of Care

Pharmaceutical marketing strategies are evolving more rapidly than any other time in history. The traditional detail-based marketing model is being challenged by physicians’ ever-growing time pressures and lack of time for sales reps.

Given these challenges, most pharmaceutical companies are committing some level of marketing resources to e-promotion, including e-detailing and e-CME initiatives. This article reviews e-prescribing offerings of vendors like Allscripts Healthcare Solutions and ScriptRx, Inc.

Access Full Article Here

ePrescribing: What Role Should Pharma Play?

A panel entitled What Role Should Pharma Play in ePrescribing and the Point-of-Care? at a recent ePharma Summit conference held in Philadelphia, PA, discussed the issues facing pharmaceutical companies as electronic prescribing (ePrescribing or eRx) threatens to upset the “balance of power” between physicians, pharma companies, and payers at the point-of-care.

Access Full Article Here

ePrints NRx for Physician Detailing

Reprints Desk’s Solution to the Medical Marketing Blues

This article describes and summarizes the features and benefits of the Reprints Desk’s ePrints NRx solution — a new scientific article collection service that simplifies the re-use of PDFs by medical marketers, brand managers, and sales professionals.

Topics include:

  • Physicians Value Support Services
  • Journal Articles Highly Valued by Docs
  • ePrints NRx Solution
  • Managing Digital Rights
  • Solving Persistent eChallenges
  • Good Reprint Practices
  • ePrints NRx & Closed-Loop Marketing
  • Case Study: Web Portal Integration for Immediate Article ePrint Downloads

Access Full Article Here

Ethical Online Practices Build Consumer Trust

Although pharmaceutical firms claim they are not required to comply with regulations enacted under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, using HIPAA as a model for online policy may help drug companies improve their public images, build trust with consumers and, ultimately, sell more products

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

The European eMarketing Scene: Desperately Seeking Strategy

The pharmaceutical industry is struggling to develop an eMarketing strategy in Europe, which is comprised of many relatively small markets (the member countries of the EU) having significant cultural and language differences.

Access Full Article Here.

European Online Marketing Survey Results

This article presents selected results from a survey of pharmaceutical experts on eDetailing and Online Marketing conducted in 2005 by eyeforpharma, MediQuality, and PharmiWeb Solutions.

Access Full Article Here

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.

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

Fair Social Media Practice Principles

Rules for Third-Party Engagement in Patient/Physician Social Networks

A Social Media Policy is not just an agreement that users must abide by. More importantly, it is a PROMISE to users from site owners/sponsors concerning how they will protect or attempt to protect user-generated content, personal conversations, interactions, and engagements with third-parties on the site. These policies should comply with as-yet-to-be-determined, universally accepted “fair social media practice principles.”

Read the Article

Fast Start to Customized ePromotion and eLearning Physician Programs

There is a broad spectrum of online promotional and educational opportunities that pharmaceutical companies have at their disposal to interact with, inform, and influence physicians. Lathian Systems, a provider of online marketing and sales solutions, offers these and more in its Spectrum of Solutions for life science companies.

Access Full Article Here

FDA’s Use of Social Media

Peanuts Today, Drugs Tomorrow!

n the future, will the FDA also be pulled into social media by a major Rx drug recall? What can the drug industry learn from the FDA’s use of social media and will FDA’s example help guide the industry toward best practices in this area? This article describes FDA’s social networking initiatives in context of these questions.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

FDA Publishes First Piece of Long-Awaited Social Media Guidance

Focus is on Accountability

On January 14, 2014, the FDA published “Guidance for Industry Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics” in the Federal Register (Docket No. FDA-2013-N-1430).

Although the guidance is focused on when and how pharma companies should submit forms to the FDA to fulfill regulatory requirements for postmarketing submissions, it does offer some insights regarding FDA’s thinking on regulating “interactive media.”

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Four Useful Lessons Pharma Can Learn from the Pfizer Facebook Hack

Pfizer’s US corporate Facebook page was “hacked” by some ‘Kiddies.’ What should the industry learn from this experience?

Read It Online Here

The Future of eDetailing

This article reviews a presentation made by David Ormesher, CEO of closerlook, inc. at the recent CBI eDetailing Conference in which he said, The future of eDetailing is physician relationship management. The benefits of creating long-term relationships include brand loyalty, detailed customer intelligence and sales integration with the field force.

Access Full Article Here

Four Useful Lessons Pharma Can Learn from the Pfizer Facebook Hack

Pfizer’s US corporate Facebook page was hacked by some “Kiddies.”

Some biased observers (ie, consultants who currently work for Pfizer or may wish to work for Pfizer in the future) are reluctant to blame Pfizer and tend to shift the blame to Facebook. However, others believe Pfizer is to blame, not Facebook. As the hackers themselves said, it was easy for them to guess Pfizer’s Facebook password.

What are the lessons should Pfizer and other pharma companies learn from this?

Access Full Article Here


Now and Then

There’s a lot of brouhaha these days in pharma circles about ‘gamification’ as if it were the newest thing since sliced bread. These days, however, it may be easier for a pharma company to create a real-life museum educational gaming experience than a virtual world game on Facebook. Way back in 1984, gamification was much simpler.

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

Helping Pharma eMarketing “Grow up”

comScore’s eMarketing Benchmarks

Pharmaceutical marketers are continually challenged by their superiors to quantitatively measure the return on investment (ROI) of their campaigns. This is especially true for their eMarketing initiatives.

So, how do you know which online tactics are giving you the best return on your investment? To get started it is helpful to compare and contrast your own online strategy’s performance against competitive and perceived “best-of-class” tactics to evaluate the effectiveness of online programs, emulate effective strategies, and establish best practices. In other words, you need some eMarketing benchmarks.

This article summarizes a Pharma Marketing Talk conversation with Carolina Petrini, SVP, Marketing Solutions, comScore, regarding her company’s consumer e-marketing effectiveness benchmarks for the pharmaceutical industry.

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

How Readable, Credible & Useful are Pharma Blogs?

This article presents the compllete results from the first ever survey of The Pharma Blogosphere in which blog readers evaluate 22 different pharma-related blogs on the basis of readability, credibility, usefulness, and bias.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

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 Impact of eDetailing: Will it Complement, Replace, or Become Integrated with the Sales Force?

The number of pharmaceutical sales representatives has increased sharply in recent years. More than 90,000 representatives compete for the attention of 650,000 practicing physicians, only 125,000 of whom are top-tier prescribers. Some people, maybe physicians most of all, hope that online detailing (eDetailing) will reduce the number of office visits from all these pharmaceutical sales representatives chasing after the same docs. This article reviews a presentation on this provocative topic made by David Hauben, Director of eBusiness at Aventis Pharmaceuticals.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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:

Access Full Article Here

Integrating Online & Offline Marketing: Challenges for Pharma

Many pharmaceutical companies are currently absorbing their e-business units and personnel back into the brand teams. This may be a glass is half-empty versus half-full situation. Someone who looks upon the glass as half-full is Bruce W. Bunyan, Senior Director & General Manager at Aventis Behring, the therapeutic proteins business of Aventis. This article includes a case study based on Bunyan’s experience on how Aventis Behring brought together the online and offline marketing mix within his company. He frankly discussed the obstacles he faced and claimed “he learns more from his mistakes than from his successes.” It is obvious, however, that Aventis Behring is on the right track in overcoming the challenges.

Access Full Article Here

Intelligent Online Sampling Strategies

New online strategies have made eSampling a tool for significantly expanding targeted physician and sample coverage. Applications include accelerating new product uptake, efficiently maintaining physician coverage for mature brands, covering hard to reach physicians and driving patient demand.

Access Full Article Here

The Internet and CME

Despite the fact that physician usage of the Internet has increased over the past few years, solid evidence for the reasons they access the Internet or, more importantly, if the knowledge they gained from online CME presentations has any impact on their practice is still largely unknown.

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

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?

Access Full Article Here

Let’s Respond to FDA’s Questions Regarding Its Regulation of Social Media

On Monday, September 21, 2009, the FDA published a notice in the Federal Register calling for a public hearing on the Promotion of Food and Drug Administration-Regulated Medical Products Using the Internet and Social Media Tools.

The FDA is requesting the public to submit comments to a series of specific questions, which are included in a new survey created by Pharma Marketing Network/News. Let’s use this survey to help educate the FDA on the issues.

Access Full Article Here

Leveraging Infographics and Search for Better Health Communications

Epilepsy Foundation/Lundbeck Case Study

One example of how pharma companies can use infographics to educate their stakeholders is the Epilepsy Foundation/Lundbeck nationwide initiative to bring information about managing seizures to people living with epilepsy and their families. This article discusses how Centric Infographics worked with the Foundation to create the infographic system at the center of this successful campaign.

Access Full Article Here

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

Access Full Article Here

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

Access Full Article Here

Measuring & Communicating eSuccess

Strategy First, YouTube Later… Maybe

This article is a review of a presentation by Aaron Uydess, Senior eMarketing Manager at Novo Nordisk, made at Eye for Pharma’s 3rd eCommunication and Online Marketing Summit held October 23-24, 2008, in Boston, Massachusetts. Uydess presents a best-in-class approach to developing online plans that align with strategy, reduce silos, and measure and merchandise digital strategies across a pharmaceutical marketing organization.

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.

Merck Rejiggers Its Marketing Mix

Adam Schechter, President of Merck US Human Health, made this statement not long ago at a Goldman Sachs healthcare conference: ‘Industry must embrace new ways of engaging physicians on their terms.’

Topics covered include:

  • Merck to Slash Field Force?
  • Consumer Media Consumption Habits vs. Media Spend (Google chart)
  • Customer Focus Means More Technology
  • Engaging Customers on Their Terms
  • Impact vs. Risk Analysis of Physician Marketing Channels (chart)

Access Full Article Here.

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Multichannel Marketing

Easy to Brag About, but Difficult to Do

Multichannel pharma marketing is conceptually relatively simple to understand, but incredibly difficult in practice, says Len Starnes, former Head of Digital Marketing & Sales, General Medicine at Bayer Schering Pharma. That said, multichannel is not a transient phenomenon, it’s here to stay. Starnes hosted a survey on LinkedIn to answer the question: When will pharma marketing become de facto multichannel marketing in future?

Access Full Article Here

Multichannel Marketing & Medical Reprints

Putting Science on iPads, Apps, and HCP Websites

The distribution of medical reprints to healthcare professionals (HCPs) by sales reps is not only a logistical problem but a channel problem as well. Reprints Desk helps pharmaceutical companies to deploy copyrighted e-prints and other marketing materials via iPads and other tablets, or via their own apps and websites in a controlled manner as part of a multichannel marketing campaign.

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

The New Rules of Marketing & PR

Book Review and Insights for Pharma

The pharmaceutical industry must find ways to utilize the new media tools that other industries use while ensuring compliance with FDA regulations. The good news is we can! The author summaries the content of the book and offers practical guidelines for the pharma marketers.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Online CME – A Glass Half-Full or Half-Empty?

This article looks at data regarding online CME – number of physicians doing CME online, etc. It also includes a case study of a popular pharma-sponsored online CME program, which highlights the necessary ingredients for success.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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:

Access Full Article Here

Paid Inclusion: Too Hot for Pharma Marketing?

The significance of search marketing in the overall pharmaceutical marketing mix cannot be overstated. Search is one of the fastest-growing categories of online advertising and pharmaceutical marketers need to have a good search strategy. The question is, should paid inclusion be part of that strategy? This article summarizes the issue of paid inclusion and presents results of the recent online Pharma Search Engine Marketing Survey, which was conducted by Pharma Marketing News between March 2, 2006 and March 25, 2006.

Topics covered include:

  • Importance of Search Marketing
  • Natural/Organic Listings vs. Paid Search
  • Online Health-Related Stats Cited by Google
  • Can Paid Inclusion be Misleading?
  • A Higher Standard?
  • It’s Not Rocket Science
  • Level the Playing Field
  • Do the Right Thing
  • FTC Weighs In

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

Personalized e-Marketing – How can you create and profit from a customer’s lifetime experience?

Instead of talking about CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Philippe Barzin, former Director of Connectivity at Johnson & Johnson, focused on HRM or “Healthcare Relationship Management.” While CRM focuses on a single customer at any one point in time, HRM focuses on supporting the customer across multiple channels – Web, email, call center, field visits – and over a lifetime. Considering the physician customer first, Barzin cited research showing that physicians value many sources of contact with pharma companies and actually find online sources less valuable than offline! To demonstrate the effectiveness of “customer-oriented surround marketing” and personalization, Barzin used BabyCenter, a J&J consumer-focused web site, as a case study.

Access Full Article Here

Pfizer, Show Us Your Social Media “Playbook”

Has It Been Found? What Does It Reveal About Pfizer’s Social Media Implementation Plan?

Ray Kerins (@raykerins), Vice President of Worldwide Communications at Pfizer, talks about Pfizer’s ‘groundbreaking internal Social Media Playbook’ but won’t show it to us. What can be in the playbook? How many people does Pfizer dedicate to social media? This article discusses those questions and offers a peek into a playbook contender.

Access Full Article Here

Pfizer’s SamplesDirect eSampling Program

Sales Reps Have 48 Hours to Beat It or Join It!

Pfizer has become the latest drug company to offer doctors the option of using the Internet to order free samples of its drugs, a trend illustrating the diminished role of sales representatives, whose ranks continue to decrease. The service is called SamplesDirect.

Access Full Article Here

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?

Access Full Article Here

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?

Access Full Article Here

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?

Access Full Article Here

The Pharmaguy Next Door

John Mack, a.k.a. pharmaguy on Twitter, answers questions about his background and provides his opinions on how pharmaceutical companies will use social media in the future.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Pharmaguy’s Twitter Followers: What Do They Want and How Is It Relevant to You?

Pharmaguy (aka John Mack) now has over 4,900 (as of November, 2009) followers and these followers are probably the same followers you’d like to have if and when you get involved in Twitter. But hurry! Breaking in as a power user may be difficult. Research shows a virtuous cycle may exist, making popular users ever more popular.

This article summarizes the findings of a survey of over 400 of @pharmaguy’s followers. The results will give you a better idea why people interested in the pharmaceutical industry use Twitter and what they expect to get out of it.

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 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

Access Full Article Here

Pharma Online Spending

An Interview with eMarketer Senior Analyst Lisa Phillips.

eMarketer, a company that analyses trends related to e-business, projects pharmaceutical companies will increase their Internet spending by about 25% this year, to $780 million, as marketers shift from consumer mass marketing to more targeted opportunities on the Internet. By 2008, online spending will rise to $1.3 billion, according to eMarketer’s new report, “Pharmaceuticals Online: Direct-to-Patient Becomes a Reality.”

To better understand these numbers and other information presented in the eMarketer report, PMN interviewed Lisa Phillips, eMarketer Senior Analyst and author of the report.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Pharma, Physicians, and Sermo: A Social Media Win-Win-Win!

A Social Media Win-Win-Win!

This article provides an overview of Sermo’s new Client Center and summarizes a Pharma Marketing Talk podcast interview of with Daniel Palestrant, Sermo’s Founder and Chief Executive Officer.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Pharma’s Social Media Marketing Readiness Score

Benchmarks You Can Use

This article summarizes the aggregate findings of the Rate Your Social Media Marketing Readiness survey and presents the average scores against which you can compare your own score.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Pharma Finds Little to Like in Recent FDA Social Media Guidance

Delete, Limit, & Clarify Says Industry

The comments are in! As usual, the pharma industry waited until the last minute to submit comments to FDA Docket 2013-N-1430 regarding “Guidance for Industry: Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.”

This article provides highlights from submissions by Novartis, Shire, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Klick Health, the Social Media Compliance Council (SMCC), the Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC), and the Digital Health Coalition (DHC), and other interested parties.

Access Full Article Here

Pharma Twitter Pioneers Recognized

More and more pharmaceutical company employees are using Twitter. Pharmaguy is looking at pharma employees who have personal Twitter accounts, how they use these accounts, who follows them and whom they follow, and how influential they are. This article is an introduction to the first round of members of this group.

Access Full Article Here

The Pharmaguy Social Media Timeline™

Volume 2: June 14, 2011 through January 31, 2014

Since June, 2011, when Pharmaguy published the first iteration (Volume One) of the Timeline there have been many noteworthy pharma social media events, trials, and tribulations that deserve to be added to the Timeline. Volume Two includes 23 new items/events from June, 2011 through January, 2014

Access Full Article Here – PLUS the latest SlideShare version!

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.

Access Full Article Here

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!

Access Full Article Here

Physician-Generated Content on Social Media Sites

Survey of DocCheck Members

This article highlights results of a survey of physician members of DocCheck, a leading European physician online social network and portal site. The survey assessed the type of networks used, the frequency of posting, motivation for posting, estimation of network usage, relevance of content posted and an evaluation of the importance of online physician-generated content in the future.

Access Full Article Here

Physician Participation in Peer-to-Peer Social Media Sites

This article summaries research data exploring why physicians interested in using online peer-to-peer social communities outnumber by 2 to 1 physicians who are actually using them. Includes suggestions for what these communities must do in order to provide more value to physicians.

Access Full Article Here.

PR & Interactive Agencies Vie for Pharma Social Media Campaign Crumbs

Should a PR firm or an interactive marketing agency be in charge of pharma social media campaigns?

Access Full Article Here

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

Proactive e-Marketing Plan

Pharmaceutical companies can effectively implement e-marketing programs through strategic planning and by simply augmenting their traditional sales force, suggests Devin Paullin, vice president of operations at Physicians Interactive. Paullin outlines a 12-month strategy in which firms can proactively target physicians using electronic tools, or e-tools. He recommends that firms use traditional promotion solutions and modify those solutions using e-initiatives.

Access Full Article Here

Product Branding, e-Marketing May Be Underutilized

Strengthened pharmaceutical branding and increased utilization of online marketing tools can have a significant impact on the revenue and market value of pharmaceutical firms, according to a presentation by Bill Trombetta, professor of pharmaceutical strategy and marketing at The Erivan K. Haub School of Business at St. Joseph’s University.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Ramifications of FDA Regulatory Actions

Helping FDA Find a New Media Regulatory Pathway

Arnold Friede, counsel to the law firm McDermott Will & Emery LLP, and former Senior Counsel at Pfizer, believes that there is an opportunity now to make a strong and compelling argument for the adoption of rational regulatory policies by the FDA that address the unique features not only of sponsored links, but of other kinds of new communication tools, such as social media.

Access Full Article Here

Ready or Not: Gearing Up for the Expansion of ePrescribing

In a keynote address at a recent ePharma Summit conference held in Philadelphia, PA, Kevin Hutchinson, CEO and President of SureScripts, a company founded by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) and the National Community Pharmacists Association, looked at the changing landscape and inevitability of electronic prescribing (ePrescribing or eRx) and the implications and opportunities for the pharmaceutical industry.

SPECIAL! Includes: Pfizer’s Principles for Assuring Quality of Care by Electronic Prescribing Systems

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

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!

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

The Role of Tablet PCs in Pharma Sales and Marketing

This article summarizes different aspects of this latest innovation in portability and performance and how they could be used to increase sales force effectiveness in both the primary care and hospital-based environments.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Sanofi Launches Diabetapedia

“Google” for Diabetes

Laura Kolodjeski (@lkolodjeski), Community Manager for Sanofi US Diabetes, sent me a Twitter DM announcing the launch of Diabetapedia (di-ah-bee-tah-pee-dee-ah), a new site ‘to help meet educational needs of diabetes community.’ According to Laura, the goal is to create ‘a single, comprehensive place where anyone can find and share definitions of diabetes-related terms and phrases.’ The site’s tag line is ‘Diabetes doesn’t define you… so define diabetes.’

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

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

Access Full Article Here

Social Media Leaders Wanted

This article reviews the results of Pharma Marketing News’ ‘What’s Your Social Media Implementation Plan?’ survey and announces the details of the Pharmaguy Social Media Pioneer Award.

Access Full Article Here

Social Media & the Truncated News Pyramid

PR people are used to issuing press releases to a few journalists at the top of the traditional news pyramid. When the top was blown off by the social media revolution, these professionals had no proven mechanism by which to reach the many thousands of bloggers at the BOTTOM of the pyramid — until now.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Socially Challenged Pharma

How Ready is Pharma to Engage In Social Media?

This article summarizes the recent Digital Pharma Europe congress where it was the time right to see that European pharma marketers are also interested in new/social/digital media in pharma, but may be more constrained by regulators than their brethern in the US.

Access Full Article Here

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:

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

Pharma Finds Little to Like in Recent FDA Social Media Guidance

Delete, Limit, & Clarify Says Industry

The comments are in! As usual, the pharma industry waited until the last minute to submit comments to FDA Docket 2013-N-1430 regarding “Guidance for Industry: Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics.”

This article provides highlights from submissions by Novartis, Shire, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), which represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Klick Health, the Social Media Compliance Council (SMCC), the Coalition for Healthcare Communication (CHC), and the Digital Health Coalition (DHC), and other interested parties.

Access Full Article Here

Social Media, Latent Spokespersons & Native Advertising

Questions Raised by FDA Guidelines with Answers, Sort Of

FDA’s “Guidance for Industry Fulfilling Regulatory Requirements for Postmarketing Submissions of Interactive Promotional Media for Prescription Human and Animal Drugs and Biologics” has left many questions unanswered.

Proving deep interest in the topic, more than 400 people attended the “Green light or go slow: What FDA’s new draft guidance means for social media in pharma” webcast on March 13, 2014 during which over 40 questions were asked.

This article focuses on a few of the issues, gray areas, and questions mentioned during this webcast and also in comments submitted to the FDA.

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

Translate Industry Trends into the Optimal Promotional Strategy

Get Out from Behind the Desk, Listen to the Customer

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.

Access Full Article Here

The Twelve Steps of Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous

Welcome to Pharma Social Marketers Anonymous (PSMA)! You are among friends. Soon, you will take important steps on the path to overcoming your fear of social media. The first step is to admit you are powerless over social media and that your online life has become unmanageable. Are you ready to take ALL 12 steps toward recovery?

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 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?

Access Full Article Here

Use of Social Media for Health Purposes in the EU

This article is a summary of the EPG Health Media (part of the IMR International Group) market research report ‘Social Media and Healthcare,’ which examines how European doctors, patients/consumers and pharma engage (and seek to engage) with each other.

Access Full Article Here

Use of Twitter for Patient Support

Should Pharma Fill the HCP-to-Patient Social Media Vacuum?

Twitter has often been hyped as a great way to support customers. The customers of pharma are physicians and patients. But pharma Twitter accounts offer very little in terms of patient support. This article summarizes a survey that asked respondents to evaluate several ways in which Twitter could be used to improve patient support.

Access Full Article Here

The View From ePharma Summit: Practicing What Was Being Preached!

This article is a compilation of summaries of presentations made at the 2009 ePharma Summit. Included are highlights posted to the ePharma Summit and other blogs during the conference and insights on epharma marketing issues provided by several conference speakers and attendees.

Access Full Article Here

The Virtual Sales Rep

It’s Not About eDetailing!

A growing number of doctors prefer digital communications and the pharmaceutical industry is currently in the process of moving its sales force to a smaller structure that is more directly aligned with this new reality. One aspect of that change is the deployment of “virtual” sales reps. This article presents a Wockhardt USA case, which employed the vRep virtual sales rep platform.

Access Full Article Here

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”

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

What If There Were No Rules in Pharma Marketing?

Be Sure Not to Cut Off the Ends of Your Ham

What If There Were No Rules in Pharma Marketing? There’s no FDA, no DDMAC, no FTC. Your company guidelines and rules don’t exist and your regulatory and legal teams have been disbanded. It’s a free-for-all and there are no rules. The question is: what would you do?

Access Full Article Here

What You Need to Know About the “CAN-SPAM” Law

Although the CAN-SPAM law is often portrayed as a white knight that will save us from dastardly e-mail spammers and pornographers, many of its provisions cover all commercial e-mail, even permission-based, opt-in e-mail. It is also applicable to B2B e-mail communications and one-to-one commercial e-mail messages such as e-mail from sales representatives to physicians.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

Who Owns Your Social Media?

Health Is Social, But Privately Owned and Operated

Twitter’s new rules change the playing field for third party developers, establish caps on number of users, and shift guidelines to requirements across four categories of businesses. Will the new rules ruin the spirit of social media and are they bad for healthcare?

Access Full Article Here

Why Pharma Can’t Ignore eDetailers

This article reviews a presentation by Elizabeth W. Boehm, Forrester Research Analyst in which she presented multiple data sets, including results from Forrester’s Technographics Benchmark Study and eDetailing Survey.

Access Full Article Here

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.

Access Full Article Here

YouPharma: New Rules for Pharma Marketing and Social Media

Highlights from a Pharma Roundtable discussion and comments from several bloggers in the Pharma Blogosphere about pharma use of social media.

Access Full Article Here.