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Vol. 8, Issue No. 4: APRIL 2009 - EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Welcome to Volume 8, Issue #4 (APRIL 2009) of Pharma Marketing News. See the featured article summaries below.

John Mack, Publisher & Editor
Social Media: Opportunity or Nightmare?
Upfront Commentary

JudgementMichaelangelo's nightmarish painting Last Judgement includes the image of a poor soul being dragged down to Hell by the devil's agents. That image often comes to mind when I hear proponents of social media trying to persuade pharma marketers to just "dip their toe" in the social media waters. The other image I see is a shark lurking just below the water's surface!

The April 2009 issue of Pharma Marketing News is focused on social media, patient empowerment (which is powered by social media), and the constraints of regulation.

I present some background on social media usage and discuss how the articles in this issue are related.

Read this entire OpEd piece by John Mack here:

Developing Guidelines for Pharma's Use of the Internet & Social Media
Whatever! A Call for a Public Hearing at FDA

Clear GuidancePharmaceutical companies and their agencies are "mulling" over amongst themselves how the drug industry should engage consumers and physicians via social media without violating FDA regulations. They are struggling because the FDA has never issued clear guidelines for how it may regulate the industry use of social media in the future. Many have called upon the FDA to issue such guidelines.

Shouldn't we make sure that when it comes time for the FDA to actually create a guidance document on social media that it does it with input from ALL stakeholders?

This article will present a review of this issue based upon input received from experts and respondents to the "Should FDA Convene a Public Hearing on Use of Social Media by Pharma?" survey hosted by Pharma Marketing News starting on April 2, 2009. Also included in a review of an ePharma Pioneer Club roundtable discussion on what it's going to take to enable pharmaceutical marketers to engage in social networks without fear of adverse event reporting and other regulatory, corporate, and cultural roadblocks.

Topic headings include:
  • The 14 Letters were No April Fools' Joke!
  • An Unmet Need for Regulatory Guidance
  • FDA, Tear Down This Wall!
  • Call for Public Hearing
  • Lessons Learned from the "One-Click Rule"
  • Lack of Knowledge is No Excuse
  • There is a Precedent
  • A Clear Path Needed
  • Survey Results
  • A Moving Target
  • The Views of Skeptics
  • What Good Can Come from a Public FDA Hearing on Social Media?
  • Alternatives to a Public Hearing

Read this article now. It's FREE...

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The Empowered Patient
What It Means for Pharma Marketers

Selecting the appropriate pharmaceutical product is one of the choices that empowered patients can make. But according to Reinhard Angelmar, the Salmon and Rameau Fellow in Healthcare Management and Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, empowered patients are involved before a drug even makes it to the market.

This article will review a presentation made by Angelmar at the recent eyeforpharma SFE Europe 2009 conference held in Barcelona, Spain. Angelmar makes a case for the drug industry to adopt a patient-centric model in which pharma companies can develop unique expertise in decoding the behavior, needs, motivations of patients and then use this knowledge as the basis for helping healthcare professionals and payers to put into place programs that achieve better patient outcomes.

Topic headings include:
  • The Power of Patient Empowerment
  • It Starts with Research
  • Degrees of Patient Empowerment
  • European Patients are Online
  • Influence Over Prescribing
  • Patients Determine Compliance
  • Patient-Centric Pharma
  • Relevance of Social Media
  • European Union Barriers
  • Relaxed Constraints on Horizon

Read this article now. It's FREE...

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Socially Challenged Pharma
How Ready is Pharma to Engage In Social Media?

Toe in WaterDigital Pharma Europe was ExL Pharma's first entry into the 'Old World' hosting an event already well established in the States. It seems they have found the time right to see whether the Europeans are like-minded in the exciting area of new/social/digital media in pharma.

In this article Erik van der Zijden -- entrepeneur, marketing professional, new media evangelist and self-styled "autodidactic techno-nerd" -- presents highlights of this conference and his personal point of view..

Topic headings include:

  • More Focus on Social Media at Conferences
  • Old School Digital?
  • Pharma Going Social, Slowly
  • Best Practices
  • Online Physician Communities Will Radically Change Pharma Marketing
  • When It Comes to Social Media, Pharma Marketers Inside Pharma are Not Keeping Up with Their Agency Colleagues (Survey Results)
  • Enterprise 2.0 and Pharma
  • YouTube Genius
  • The Future of Digital Pharma
  • Will doctors' social networks radically change pharma marketing & sales? (poll results)

Read this article now. It's FREE...

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Report from the Social Pharmer "Unconference"
Sowing Seeds of Social Media Change?

The SowerOne only has to recall the 7-Up "Uncola" campaigns to understand the limitations of defining something by the absence of certain qualities. But the Social Pharmer Unconference was more refreshing than a fizzy soda exactly because it lacked what causes so many industry conferences to fall flat: marginally relevant speakers, boring PowerPoint presentations and silent participants. In this article, Amber Benson, Group Strategy Director for IMC2's Health & Wellness practice, summarizes key presentations made at the April 21, 2009, Social Pharmer "unconference."

Topic headings include:

  • Openness, Transparency and Authenticity
  • Developing a Framework
  • Final Social Pharmer Thoughts: Coming Back To Transparency
  • FDA Regulation: Be Careful What You Wish For
  • No Matter How Risk Adverse, You Can Do Something
  • How to do it Without Getting Fired
  • What Do Patients Want from Pharma Engagement?
  • Next Steps

Read this article now. It's FREE...

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Vol 8, #4 Contents

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