Using Social Media To Improve Pharma Clinical Recruitment and More

Why Dr. Younes Uses Social Media (Bunny Ellerin) offers a great example of the broader potential of social media beyond simply a pharma marketer’s focus on building patient dialogue and retention or to keep current with old and new friends.

The story begins with Dr. Younes from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center with his recent blog Medicine and Social Media: Why do I tweet?

“Two years ago, I decided to experiment with social media. I have a strong interest in the treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a rare type of human cancer that affects approximately 8,600 patients per year in the United States. With a cure rate of 75%, it was very challenging to get pharmaceutical companies interested in developing new therapies for this small patient population. Furthermore, because of the limited pool of patients who are eligible for experimental therapy, these trials traditionally never enrolled patients in a timely manner.”

Then Dr Younes secured four IRB approved trials, and needed to enroll patients and tried many recruiting methods…  Continue reading

Are Pharma’s Hands Tied with New FDA Draft Guidance for DTC?

This week, the FDA issued a 24 page Draft Guidance for Industry presenting risk information in prescription drug and medical device promotion. The draft guidance provides numerous examples of print/tv/video to illustrate FDA’s thinking on presenting risk information, and is equally applicable to presenting benefit claims.

However, the draft guidance does not address the unique features of sponsored links, banner ads, the subject line of e-mails to physicians or patients, or any other  social media or internet communications more generally. FDA  says in the Draft Guidance that the agency applies the same principles about risk disclosure in prescription drug advertising  to all promotional pieces, regardless of the medium used.

Overall, the draft guidance is  very consistent with prior guidelines and current industry practices.  Coming on the heels of  recent warning letters, the FDA has taken a ‘more vs less’ approach, providing concrete examples, but not in the area of web and social media that many of us were hoping for! Continue reading