14 Responses

  1. Pharma Companies & Social Media: How and When? | Pro Health News

    [...] original post here: Pharma Companies & Social Media: How and When?  Mail this post Tagged as: Diabetes, diabetes treatments, diabetic, food, Health, patient [...]

  2. Jonathan Richman
    Jonathan Richman February 9, 2009 at 7:59 am | | Reply

    Great post and overall good summary.

    I agree with the fact that many companies shy away from social media because of the potential for adverse events. However, I believe that this is almost always used as a convenient excuse. If you look at the real number of REPORTABLE adverse events online, the number is extremely low. Nielsen found this to be 1 in 500 posts or 0.2%.

    I call this the Myth of Adverse Event Reporting. You can read more about it here:

  3. tmana
    tmana February 9, 2009 at 8:34 am | | Reply

    >>J&J also had a unique approach to getting close to social networks: buy one. As many of you know, they acquired the ChildrenwithDiabetes community last year.

    J&J also sponsors the Diabetes Hands Foundation, under which the TuDiabetes and EsTuDiabetes social networks are run.

    Some online pharmacies, such as American Diabetes Wholesale, are also adding social networking elements into their sites. ADW has discussion fora, expert columns, and recipes.

    One issue with Big Pharma getting directly involved in social media is that they are a priori NOT vendor-neutral. J&J has promised CWD that that community will remain vendor-neutral, but if Big Pharma is to become more actively involved in social networking, its sponsored communities will have to become less vendor-neutral, and more our-product-is-the-best-and-only-product. This is not helpful to a patient who may require pharmaceuticals from multiple laboratories, often because one or more of the required drugs is unique to one pharmaceutical company (e.g. Byetta, Symlin) and the rest of the patient’s drugs may not be manufactured by that company (especially where cancer drugs and “orphan drugs” are concerned).

    What I am seeing useful are cases where someone from the manufacturer (often a sales rep or a support rep) joins a social network, answers questions on his company’s products when they come up in the network, note the availability of those products where it is appropriate to do so, and explicitly states his professional/fiduciary interest in each post related to his employer’s products. This allows a company to provide additional channels through which to provide support and customer service (though at a less-specific level than through the manufacturer’s direct support channels), though not necessarily a way through which to capture the information to an individual customer’s account.

  4. Jill
    Jill February 9, 2009 at 2:36 pm | | Reply

    Great Web site!!

  5. e-Patient Dave
    e-Patient Dave February 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm | | Reply

    Pretty deep post, Amy! I’m impressed.

    Have you seen the excellent write-up by Forrester Research of the famous Motrin Moms debacle? If not I’ll try to dig it out. Forrester (and the like) can be hopelessly abstract at times, but their post on that episode nailed it, as far as I can tell.

  6. Sunil S Chiplunkar
    Sunil S Chiplunkar February 10, 2009 at 5:19 am | | Reply

    Social media is an important medium of the 21st century. Pharma companies have not warmed up to this idea because business comes from prescriptions, where social media is yet to become very influential. As such, in coming months, it is inevitable that conversations will dominate on pharma products in the digital world. And companies will be forced to pay greater attention to conversations on the web/social media/twitter/microblog and what have you. An interesting and relevant post also available at

  7. ShrinkRapRoy
    ShrinkRapRoy February 10, 2009 at 6:06 pm | | Reply

    Very interesting post. Hadn’t thought about the adverse events reporting issue. I agree with Sunil… the collective voice will only get louder and louder. They better start listening.

  8. Don Hannaford
    Don Hannaford February 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm | | Reply

    I agree; great post. I also ran across the following, which adds a little to the discussion about what pharma is doing (at least from a Tweeting sense):

  9. Alexis Pollak
    Alexis Pollak February 12, 2009 at 10:59 am | | Reply

    Pharma spends a lot of money every year on market research, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – that it would be ridiculous to not leverage the blogging and web community for insight. When I was pump shopping, I didn’t call up the pump companies, I went online to get the facts from real people who had really used them. The bottom line is that the evolution of the market shape has changed completely, and in a very short period of time. Newpaper and other print dominated for decades, only to be trumped in mere years by podcasts, digital medial, social networking, and the general internet explosion. Pharma has operated on the same business model for years, but will have to change the way it reaches the market to embrace technology. With all of the latest laws placed on pharmaceutical sales persons: restricting access and pulling away from any interaction with physicians, digital media might be the next frontier in getting physicians info on new drugs available for their patients. We might see the whole healthcare industry online before we know it. The challenge will be maintaining the integrity of the information in a very unregulated environment.

  10. Pharma and twitter - who is doing it and why? - whydot pharma

    [...] be a channel of interest for pharma, correct? Well, as Amy from Diabetesmine points out in this post, pharma is not quite ready yet to embrace twitter (and social media in general for this [...]

  11. Brad
    Brad February 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm | | Reply

    Great article! Got to know many things about pharmaceutical Companies. They hit the customers where they live .It’s game is to make customers believe they deserve immediate relief.

  12. Raising awareness online- why pharma can learn from patients - whydot pharma

    [...] a similar analysis for diabetes, comparing dlife (one of the major diabetes online communities), diabetesmine (one of the main diabetes patient blogs) and goinsulin, a very intelligent and well done diabetes [...]

  13. July 24, 2014 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    Remarkable issues here. I am very glad to peer your post. Thanks
    a lot and I’m tzking a look forward to touch you. Will yoou please drop me a e-mail?

  14. mercadolibre
    mercadolibre August 7, 2014 at 7:06 am | | Reply

    And, of course, if you suffer from power at your “home base” you can plug your Mac laptop
    in and work all shift. MacBook Air does have a completely recyclable aluminum case
    and all its circuit boards are BFR and PVC totally.

Leave a Reply