This week I was a guest moderator for a graduate class at Johns Hopkins University: “Marketing in a Regulated Environment”.

The students are 90% scientists, working at places like NIH, Amgen, Medimmune, etc. They had a few questions they want me to answer, including these:

“Recently, companies appear to be using more patient testimonials in their DTC advertising. I am thinking in particular of Pfizer’s Chantix commercials. Could you comment on the forces driving the industry in this direction and whether there are any FDA regulatory hurdles or guidances that must be considered in using patient testimonials? As a follow-up, I have not yet noticed any attempt to integrate patient testimonials in DTC advertising with internet social media (e.g. “You can follow Bob’s success with quitting smoking using Chantix on his face book page or receive tweets from him.”). Do you think this will emerge, and if so, what would be the implications? Will Pfizer have its own mini version of The Truman Show?”


“There is a growing desire to allow patients who have been on a particular therapy to interact with potential new patients considering their treatment options. What are some of the potential pitfalls that a company may face if they choose to provide a forum for this type of interaction? What do you consider to be some of the competitive advantages this strategy may convey?”

Can you help me answer these questions? Please take this survey:

SURVEY: Use of Patient Testimonials in DTC & Social Media Advertising

Use of Patient Testimonials in DTC & Social Media Advertising