Here are but a few of the many thoughtful blogs and predictions written in 2011 covering pharma marketing, social media and ePatient happenings...
“It wouldn’t be New Year’s if I didn’t have regrets.” -William Thomas
What did you learn this year?
What will you do differently in 2012?
Enjoy...and wishing you all a most joyous, healthy and prosperous new year!
Pharma Marketing and #fdasm
AZ Heatlh Connections: FDA Issues Social Media Guidance, Real World Challenges to Communicating Real World Experience
Back of the Book: Is Your Brand Healthy and Thriving? Complementary eBook
ePharma Rx: Social Media Posts That Keep Pharma Up at Night
exl Digital Pharma Blog: Transform or Be Transformed: Digital Pharma East Day 2 Wrap-up
GSK: First In Health: The Medical Home Approach to Disease Management
Health Affairs Blog: Patient Medication Aderence: The Next Act
Healthy Conversations: New Insights for Healthcare Marketers: IBM Global CMO Study
Ignite Health: The Ticket Store Game Launches Online
Impactivity: How Can We...?, Doc Driven or Rep Driven?
Med 2.0: The 6 P's of Social Health- Reflections on SXSH 2011
Pew Internet & American Life Project: Pew Internet Health, The Social Life of Health Information 2011
Pharma Marketing Blog: Social Media Guidelines May be Moot if This Court Decision Holds Up
Pharma Executive Blog: Should the US Gamble with Risk Sharing?, 10 Emergency Brand Building Questions
Pixels and Pills: Adapt or Die: Why Pharma Needs To Get In Line, The Tyranny of Tech: Can Your Business Work Unplugged?
Science Roll: 12 Predictions for Healthcare, Technology and Innovation in 2012, Top Medical Social Media Stories of 2011
Siren Song and PharmPhorum: Rare Disease Patients are the Power Users of Social Media
Wall Street Health Blog: Best of the Health Blog 2011: CDC’s Zombie Warnings, Lipitor and Steve Jobs
ePharma and Social Media
Back of the Book: Pharma: Are you Ready to Optimize Your Digital Strategy Now?
Dose of Digital: Digital marketing Lessons From 2011's Top Memes , The Right Way to Use the Facebook Like Button
Eye on FDA: A Pharms Social Media Overview, Will Pharma Embrace Google+?
Edleman Health Barometer: Must Reads: Digital Innovation Opportunity in Health
Health is Social: X% Body + Y% Words + Z% Pheremones = The Enigma of Social Media
PharmaPhorum and Social Moon: 6 of the Best: Digital Predictions for 2012 Part 2, Part 1
Mayo Clinic: Kidney Donor Found Via Social Media
Why Dot Pharma: Why Pharma Engagement on Twitter Matters
World of DTC Marketing: Some New Fundamental Features Every Health Site Should Have
exl Digital Pharma: Think Mobile. Think Small- 14 Mobile Musts From the Mobile Experts
Intouch Solutions: Looking Forward to 2012: Mobile is Everywhere
mHealth Insight: Telecare Aware Provocative mHealth Presentation
Path of the Blue Eye: Mobile Health: Hype or Hope
PharmaPhorum and Ignite Health: mHealth- The Challenges and Opportunities Facing Mobile Electronic Health Records
Pharma Marketing Blog: Games vs. Mobile Health Monitoring Devices- Which is a Better Motivator?
ePatients and Physicians
ePatient Dave: 2010, 11,12: Patient Engagement Rising, Right into the Media Lab's Hackathon
ePatients.net: Nancy Finn: Personalized Medicine and Participatory Medicine Intersect, Ellen Hoenig Carlson: Patients Beware: 1 out of 3 Subject to Hospital Error
DC Patient: The 5 Myths of Patient Engagement With HIT
Diabetes Mine: The Best Of the Diabetes Bogosphere, Diabetes Advocacy Orgs: 2011 Milestones and What To Expect in 2012
Digital Medicine: Infographic: Rise of the Digital Doctor
Healthcare Blog: How Doctors Die
Kevin MD: The Rise of Citizen Scientists and Patient Initiated Research, Patients Who Bill Their Doctor For Being Late, I Eat Lunch With Drug Company Representatives and I'm Proud Of It
Not Running A Hospital: Really The Most Significant?
Nurse Loretta: Diabetes Doesn't Have to Slow You Down- Get Tested- Especially Young Adults and Teens!
Patient POV: Patient POV's Best of 2011
Pharma Strategy blog: Making a Difference in the Lives of Cancer Patients: An Interview with Dr. Charles Sawyers
Siren Song: The Social Media Sites Physicians Use
Six Until Me: We're More Than Our Numbers, 30 Things About My Invisible Illness 2011, e-Patient Connections: A Patient Checks In
The Well Blog: The Provider Will See You Now
33 Charts: Distracted Doctoring
I'm sure that I missed many a good post. Feel free to add ones that you particularly like in the comments section! Cheers!
Image source: Traveling Content's Blog
Here are six themes that I took away from this year’s DTC National Conference, which took place in Boston April 6-8, 2011. You can also read the tweets from #DTCN2011, Wendy Blackburn’s recap of Day 1, or take in the video interviews by Pixels & Pills.
1. Everybody has a story…Major life ‘events’ are what catapult a person, patient or caregiver to step into an active e-patient and patient advocate role. Myrtle Potter’s near tragic medical event is leading her down the patient advocate path and focusing her efforts behind improving patient literacy and engagement.
At WEGO Health , they say that each health activist has a unique story. However, they become a health activist when they are talking about health every day and offering support and advice to others online—to the tune of an average online audience of more than 15,000 every month.
2. It’s not one tool or media platform that is the answer, but the right mix of media and relevant content delivered real-time. In other words… TV isn’t dead and social media is currently over-hyped... This was illustrated by a number of presenters:
- Jamie Turner, Chief Content Officer of the 60 Second Marketer echoed that as marketers our job is to create preference. While social media is over-hyped, it can still be a great tool in the marketer’s tool chest, but it is only one! He outlined six ways that companies can make 'money' with social media: branding (@oldspice), eCommerce (@delloutlet), customer feedback (@starbucks), customer retention @delta and lead generation (drive to website)—I would also suggest a seventh: customer service (@zappos).
- Leading Social Media Won’t Wait: Health Activists Speak out, Industry Speaks Up, Jack Barrette @healthyjack , CEO of WEGO Health, kicked off making the point that “Social Media is not a tool--its a fundamental way to engage and respond to our customers!" Jack shared the WEGO 2011 survey update to the original 2009 survey presented at DDMAC for #fdasm. Some of the key points: Health activists want Pharma in the conversations; they also want Pharma to help correct misinformation about their products (a lofty and challenging goal for sure). You can read Jack’s presentation here. [Jack led a great panel with strong pharma representation, but it likely would have been better with live health activist participation too.] [presentation]
- IMS Health presented data showing that TV and Print can still deliver healthy ROI’s (north of 200%). While overall Pharma promotional spending is down, DTC media spending has held constant at approximately 17% of total pharma spending. Additionally, the top 25 DTC spenders are actually spending more in DTC and professional promotion.
- Fariba Zamaniyan of TRA Global presented a new product offering for Pharma – a partnership with SDI, a HIPAA-compliant leader in anonymized patient level data and analysis, making them the first media and research company to electronically match a television audience of 1.2 million households with prescription behavior from more than 1.6 billion prescription claims to provide a single-source sample of 620,000 households called TV-HealthRatings™ powered by TRA.
3. It’s not enough to provide useful, helpful information; content must also be:
- Served up in a way that is fun and intriguing to break through and make a difference—‘Infoentertainment’ –the way to get important information and messages out there. –The Doctors.
- Delivered with a human touch-- Jack Barrette of WEGO Health warned Pharma, "whatever you do, please use real people from your company"...
- Curated and reduced to its most important, simple elements—Jamie Turner, The Doctors
- Wrapped around strategy and context; “Content is King” was the unwritten theme of the Optimizing Website panel at the pre-conference workshop as outlined by Buddy Scalera.
4. Viral is near impossible to predict—So why do many companies think that they can? Tara Parker-Pope, writer of the health blog, “Well” on NYTimes.com shared her interesting perspective on what blogs generate the greatest engagement (hint: dogs pull better than cats!) and how she manages comments on the Well blog.
5. The DTC ROI discussion is alive and well…and there are some interesting new technologies and tools that may spur DTC learning, efficiency and effectiveness. 'The Great DTC Debate' panel was a lively conversation. While STM predictive models weren't really discussed, the panel recommended pre-testing when possible and real-time learning once in-market.
- Asaf Evenhaim, CEO of Crossix, an innovator in using Rx-based analytics to allow real-time optimization of marketing budgets and calculation of ROI, based on actual Rx information.
- Scott Reese, CEO of Wool Labs, a leader in business intelligence through social cognition provided insights to crowd- sourced learning.
6. There is Continued Risk ahead for Pharma and DTC Marketers…
- Mike Sauers, Team Leader DTC Group 1, DDMAC outlined recent FDA organizational changes and the addition of a 4th reviewing group to keep up with pharma communications—In 2010, over 78,000 2253’s were submitted to DDMAC. These additional resources will increase focus on DTC web and off line advertising…And mean more DDMAC letters?
FDA is proud of ‘The Bad Ad Program’-- recruiting doctors to help blow the whistle on 'bad' DTC and Professional pieces-- 28% have been for DTC ads to date. [Derma-Smoothe website warning letter was the first from DDMAC's Bad Ad program http://bit.ly/hHHqa2 via Wendy Blackburn]
Sauers reviewed four recent FDA letters, many of which, it is not surprising that DDMAC issued letters…same ol, same ol…use of testimonials… overstatement of efficacy...minimization of risk...indication creep… Sauers’ advice to Pharma: if you wouldn’t feel good about substituting the amount of risk for the amount of benefits in your ad, then the ad is probably not well balanced!
Mike Sauers also presented a ‘one page’ update regarding timing for DDMAC’s Social Media Guidelines coming out of the November 2009 advisory meeting ( #fdasm) . The FDA script: While Social Media and web communications are among our highest priorities, social media is complex and we don’t want to act hastily to put out a guidance that will quickly be out of date when a new technology or platform is introduced…. “It is very difficult to provide a timeline for a well thought- out, useful guideline…"[Presentation]
Or is this just what Jack Barrette tweeted: GGP = godawful government procrastination?
Pharma’s dilemma: With consumer trust still very low, waiting for SM guidelines and doing nothing may not be a wise decision either…And this may be a case of be careful for what you wish for…DDMAC SM guidelines may not make our lives easier…or improve patient engagement.
- Amie O’Donaghue, a social science analyst at DDMAC, provided an overview of the many research studies that are in place, including a topline of their Distraction study (TV Only) that has been underway since 2007! Some of the takeaways seem to be that Supers facilitate risk communication, but don’t necessarily negatively impact benefit communication or attitude towards the drug. Brand logos may have a neutral to negative impact on consumers…
- Jim Davidson gave his annual update of the Washington regulatory and legislative landscape:
1) DTC advertising is once again at risk in the upcoming Washington debate given our sizeable budget issues---comes down to ad spending deductibility and the potential dollars this represents to government.[$37 Billion to be exact—Or is this just an old scare tactic as John Mack tweeted? ]
2) It's time to refocus the message of DTC. Patients need to see the value, what it's capable of; understand potential safety issues…[Is that possible for branded DTC ads? Or is he really suggesting that DTC ads only be unbranded and condition educational?] [presentation]
What was your take on this year’s conference now that it is behind us? Did I miss any key points?
Lastly, congratulations to all those agencies, clients and consultants whose communications won a DTC National Advertising Award. [At Advance MarketWoRx, we too, were honored to have received one for best new drug launch.]
Latest link to all presentations online- here.
Last week, I and a few hundred other SM-aniacs, spent 2-days in the #FDASM 'bunker'-so nick-named for its lack of windows and web/cell phone coverage. (Many more also attended via a free webcast and live twitter.)
Shortly after the program began, I heard a faint voice in the back of my mind. At first I couldn't place the voice or make out the words. But it grew louder with each presentation. On the train home, I recognized the voice as JFK's, and the words as his inaugural speech "Ask Not What Your Country Can Do".
If you haven't read JFK's short but powerful speech, do yourself a favor and read now. I think you may be struck by the parallels between the challenges he faced and the vision he articulated to meet them, and the challenges we must rise to as pharmaceutical and social media professionals trying to keep up with empowered e-patients in a web 2.0 world, soon to be web 3.0.
Here are some of the challenges JFK articulated in his speech that seem particularly relevant to our challenges of engaging and educating patients and doctors using rapidly evolving technologies and strategies. I'll also do my best to link back to the many speakers and presentations from #fdasm.
"The world is very different now..."
- Fact after fact, presentation after presentation, reinforced the exponential growth of the web as a critical information source for healthcare education and community building...Some of my favorite factoids:
- Google pointed out that during just the last 3 months of 2007 there were 4.6 billion searches using healthcare terms made by 111 million people and that healthcare searches are growing exponentially. They also provided examples of how access to information on the Internet can be a public health plus (Read Senak's eyeonfda blog)
- Pew's survey reports that 61% of Americans look online for health information-these are the e-Patients of today. And 37% of adults- or 60% of e-patients- have accessed user-generated health information.
- Manhattan Research: 35% of adults use social media for medical information which equates to 80 million health 2.0 consumers. Mark Bard also presented data on physician web 2.0 use
- In addition to the sheer volume of online health activity, consumers are searching and interacting with one another in highly specific targeted ways. For example, Health Central's quick review of various social media sources last month, found: there are more than 100,000 people on Facebook diabetes groups, there were recently nearly 500 posts on ADHD in a 24- hour period on Twitter, and more than 201,000 searches on "Concerta" in September on Google, more than 40,500 searches for "Cymbalta side effects" in September on Google etc
- However, I hope this means that Pharma can now put all the 'web selling' and 'can you top this fact' finding behind us in favor of identifying and exploring solutions to more effectively engage web 2.0 platforms.
- Web 2.0 and social media platforms have engendered new consumer expectations. 'Selling' is not always welcome in the web 2.0 and 3.0 world. Patients are looking for value-added knowledge- when and howthey want it-notwhen and how the pharma co. (or FDA)wants topresentit. To many e-Patients, selling clearly comes after information and value exchange, but pharmacos should be part of the conversations. Jack Barrette of WEGO Health presented survey data from their patient advocates to this effect. (Q1,2, 3, Q5) (I also suggest reading Patient DC's blog for another e-patient perspective.) Interestingly, physicians also demand a different voice and engagement when they are using social media sites, as presented by both Sermo and Pfizer's Freda Lewis-Hall.
- New information sources, including wikipedia, blogs, chat rooms, and sites like WEGO are establishing new influencers and thought leaders that Pharma and FDA need to consider and engage. However, while Wikipedia is a vastsource of information for consumers, its contentis not 'controlled' by FDA or pharma. Nor are the many e-patient/caregiver blogs and community sites. This means that user generated content (UGC) is inconsistent at best and often incorrect or biased. Importantly, however, the patient advocates at WEGO Health reported that they expect pharma to make their ‘best effort' to monitor and correct ‘incorrect or biased' third party UGC and to monitor adverse events, despite their rational knowledge that monitoring the entire web is impossible.
"But neither can two great and powerful groups take comfort from our present course - both sides overburdened..."
- Neither Pharma/device marketers or the FDA can move forward without developing guidelines or 'guard rails' to enable faster and more effective uptake of social media platforms and tools. (Michele Sharp of Lilly) However, many speakers, including Liz Forminard and Philomena McArthurx at J&J made the case that guidelines must remain flexible. (Read Marc Monseau's blog at JNJBTW)
- Moreover, current communications are often burdened with so much technical and legal language that the average consumer cannot understand or be sufficiently motivated to make the effort to read and comprehend risk and safety information. Cadient highlighted the fact that 30 million Americans are health illiterate. Research has shown that education levels required to understand and comprehend the average ISI and PI is some college education and post-graduate education, respectively.
- This is a case where ‘more is not necessarily better'. More work is clearly needed to "radically simplify" risk language so that it's more consumer friendly, and to better educate the public for the need to report adverse events. Many speakers recommended the urgent need for new and simplified consumer risk language, and/or an easy to use ‘FDA approved' patient symbol to signal quality accurate content, and/or an easier to use and more patient-friendly MedWatch initiative to insure higher levels of AE reporting, including PhRMA, Fard Johnmar, Wendy Blackburn RxRisk icon, Jonathan Richmond, John Mack, Bill Drummy, and Dr. Diana Zuckerman of the National Research Center for Women and Families. (You may also want to read my summary and presentation from the prior FDA Patient Risk Communications Advisory Meeting earlier this year.)
"So let us begin anew - remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity (and transparency) is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. (Or worse yet, adopt a strategy of avoidance out of fear) But let us never fear to negotiate."
- Transparency and the establishment of guidelines are needed to stop pharma from avoiding social media platforms out of fear of FDA. (Lilly, Global Prairie, J&J, Pfizer)
- Many expressed that the internet is a complex and different medium than TV and Print, and likewise requires unique adequate provision policy similar to how FDA approached DTC TV advertising back in 1997. Given the many different platforms and roles that the web plays, from search to advertising to 2-way interactions and UGC, specific web 2.0 guidelines need to be created and continuously updated. While for the most part, the message must stay the course across different media, there seemed to be recognition that the web's uniqueness requires some new thought and guidelines.
- New ways of looking at benefit and risk tradeoffs are required if we are to support and educate the consumer. Digitas presented research that showed that more risk information does not always result in greater risk comprehension if less consumers read it.
- On the accountability front, Oglivy 360 Digital Influence presented their 3 C's approach to help guide responsible marketing in the web 2.0 age: creation, collaboration and compensation. If the answer is yes to any of these three C's, then the pharmaco is responsible for its content.
"Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us"...
- We need to design ways to put the patient first. Both Google, Ignite Health and Intouch Solutions presented data that showed that the drop in paid search advertising has meant a huge drop in patient searches or click-thrus to higher quality FDA approved pharma.com sites and more...So while on the surface, the 14 letters may have seemed like a prudent idea, the result may be actually something less than preferred with less scrupulous and lower quality content filling the void.
- While FDA and pharmacos may differ on how they might approach the balance of benefit and risk information, they can unite behind the need to "radically" change the way that risk/benefit information is presented to improve comprehension, to provide consumers with a way to better know that risk information they are reading is accurate (many consumers don't check the source), and to encourage consumers to report AE's-as very few are ever reported.
Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors. Together let us explore...
- There was much recognition for the continuous exploration of how to best conquer the fast evolving technology to help educate and instill more responsibility for patient health. Many speakers recommended that on-going committees be formed...
- Great quote by Peter Pitts, Center for Medicine for the Public Interest, "Social media is too important to hide in a cave. It is communication at THE speed of life." (via Roska Digital)
- Wrapping up the two-days, Tom Abrams, Presiding officer for the FDA hearing, reinforced not only the importance of the web to current and future healthcare policy, but that its complexity requires a very thoughtful exploration by FDA. (Watch Pixel and Pills exclusive interview with Thomas Abrams at the conclusion of the advisory meeting.)
And so, my fellow Pharma and Healthcare Marketers:
Ask not what Social Media can do for you - ask what your Social Media can do for patients... Ask what together we can do for the improvement of patient health...
e-Patients of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice, education and responsibility, which we ask of you...
Thoughts? Comments? Feedback? While no meeting can solve the problems of the world, all and all, I think it was an excellent start. My sincere appreciation to all the presenters.
There are also many terrific blogs and summaries on the 2-day FDA Advisory Meeting: Shwen's Live from DC extensive list of #fdasm blogs, Pixels & Pills EXCLUSIVE Interview with Thomas Abrams at the FDA Hearing and others (Rohit Bhargava of Ogilvy PR 360, Peter Pitts, Jack Barrette of WEGO Health), A Patient Perspective by DCPatient, John Mack, Mark Senak's EyeOnFDA, Roska Digital's numerous updates, and Chris Truelove's wrap-up which also includes some good links-Yet more blogs and speaker presentations can be found at Fabio Gratton's fdasm.com. And for a list of good blogs leading up to the meeting, read my post: Twas the night before #fdasm.