Vol. 10, Issue No. 4: 23 FEBRUARY 2011 – EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

(Click on titles to see a summary and link to each article)

Article Summaries Up Front
Will Critics Kill Pharma’s Social Media Golden Egg Laying Goose?

Golden Egg GooseLately, we’ve seen social media initiatives by AstraZeneca and other pharmaceutical companies roundly criticized by bloggers like me and “disgruntled patients.” Many of my Twitter friends and other colleagues often cringe when they see us critics cutting up the goose that they believe is laying social media “golden eggs;” i.e, projects that improve their bottom lines.

The fear is that if these first steps by pharma are too harshly scrutinized and criticized, the drug industry will shy away from getting more involved in social media.

Read this entire OpEd piece by John Mack here:

HCP Marketing Beyond the Physician
Plugging Into NPs and PAs

NP/PA BadgesNurse Practitioners (NPs) and Physician Assistants (PAs) comprise the most rapidly expanding group of Healthcare Providers (HCPs) in the United States. But NPs, PAs, and even RNs are for the most part overlooked by the pharmaceutical industry, according to David Mittman, PA, president of Clinician 1.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Managed Care, however, suggests that pharma has gotten the message and is actively targeting at least NPs.

This article reviews the issue and includes tips for marketing to NPs and PAs.

Topics include:

  • Growing Influence of NPs and PAs
  • Chart: Number of NPs and PAs Practicing in the U.S. (trend)
  • Take the Blinders Off!
  • Chart: Number of Prescriptions Written in an Average Week by NPs and PAs
  • Nurse Practitioner Survey
  • Chart: Prescribing Practices and Behaviors and Interface With Industry of NPs
  • Reaching NPs and PAs Digitally
  • Successful NP/PA Selling Do’s and Don’ts

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Google’s New OneBox Rx “Ads” Steal Clicks from Organic Branded Rx Search Results
Google OneBox GraphData 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?

Read more & see the data here: http://bit.ly/GOGLoneboxOMG! AstraZeneca Hosts Twitter Chat & World Does NOT End!
AZ TweeterDespite 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.

There were a few attempts by two or three “malcontents” to “hijack” the conversation, but these attempts were mostly ignored by the other 140 or so people who contributed comments.

Unfortunately, the way influence is measured in social media such as Twitter, those people who make the most posts — even if those posts are irrelevant to the discussion and ignored — get the highest ratings.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/rxsavechatAstraZeneca Hosts “Take on Depression” Facebook Discussion – Seroquel Lurks Behind the Scenes
SM DetecetiveIn an ongoing investigation by “Pharma SM Detective” (@pharmadetective; “Pharma SM Detective investigates pharma’s social media campaigns to discover open, honest, transparent, & ethical SM practices, wherever they may be hiding!”), AstraZeneca’s “Take on Depression” FaceBook unbranded discussion application was found to include the “seroquel” brand name in its URL.

Further investigation disclosed other interesting aspects of AZ’s #TakeonDepression campaign, including a mysterious Edelman PR “office” in a Brooklyn Heights townhouse and a locked @FaceDepression Twitter account.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Andrzejewski, AZ’s Director, Brand Corporate Affairs, responded that SEROQUEL was “inadvertently included in coding in the Take on Depression Facebook page.”

There are several issues here worthy of further discussion.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/AZTODpost
Phil Mickelson “Opens Up” to Arthritis Today Magazine
Mickelson CoverTop pro golfer Phil Mickelson is featured on the cover and inside story of the Mar-April 2011 issue of Arthritis Today magazine.

In the story, Mickelson remarks are more balanced now that he is a paid ENBREL spokesperson. But not only does Amgen-Pfizer hav to pay Phil as a spokesperson, they also have to pay the Arthritis Foundation to get his story published! No wonder AMGEN has blown its marketing budget.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/PhilAT