Social Media Pharma

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These slides provide an overview of a white paper - “Connecting with Patients, Overcoming Uncertainty” white paper was produced by Envision Solutions, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony and law firm …

These slides provide an overview of a white paper - “Connecting with Patients, Overcoming Uncertainty” white paper was produced by Envision Solutions, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony and law firm Seyfarth Shaw.

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  • 1. An Overview on “ Connecting with Patients, Overcoming Uncertainty” White Paper Implications on Pharmaceutical Communication with Patients using Social Media
  • 2. Background Info
    • What is Social Media? Social media includes search engines, social networks, blogs, vlogs, message boards, podcasts, interactive websites, webcasts, and other online venues that allows for community interaction.
    • The public’s use of social media has become a mainstream norm.
    • With the availability of social media, patients and their loved ones can easily search for health related information.
    • According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, nearly 113 million Americans have used online resources for seeking health information.
    • The pharmaceutical utilization of social media can help increase awareness of diseases and drive patients to use their medications.
  • 3. Introduction on Source:
    • “ Connecting with Patients, Overcoming Uncertainty” white paper was produced by Envision Solutions, TNS Media Intelligence/Cymfony and law firm Seyfarth Shaw
    • It can be accessed at:
  • 4. What does this mean for pharmaceutical companies?
    • According to Jupiter Research, nearly 80% of those who have used the Internet to “connect to others” trust peer-created health information “to some degree”.
    • However, pharmaceutical companies have not fully jumped into using social media for their marketing their products. Why?
      • 1. Lack of knowledge on how to integrate social media in their marketing campaigned
      • 2. Uncharted FDA territory. FDA has not created detailed guidelines regarding advertising on social media. Thus, pharmaceutical companies are hesitant to violate future guidelines.
  • 5. Part 1: Social Media, Healthcare and the Pharmaceutical Industry
    • A shift on health information has occurred. Before social media became popular, patients relied on their physicians for health information. Now, patients rely on social media for their health information.
    • Patients are now more assertive in their health decision making. Decisions on treatments and drugs are more patient driven then physician driven.
    • Though millions of Americans are obtaining health related information, questions that arise are:
      • 1. Is this information trust-worthy?
      • 2. Who is providing this information?
      • 3. What is the quality of this information?
      • 4. What is the overall impact of this information in the seeker’s health related behavior?
  • 6. Trust - worthy
    • One factor to keep in mind is that with social media, patients easily share their health experiences, treatment stories, and provide a support community for others.
    • With patients sharing their negative experiences and with drug recalls like Vioxx and OxyContin, there has been an increase in the public distrust of the pharmaceutical industry and consumer skepticism.
    Most Peer-Peer Medium Non-profit established medical org. Least Pharmaceutical Company Public trust level Who created information on the social media?
  • 7. Overcoming this distrust
    • 1. By abiding with FDA’s established guidelines for DTC, pharmaceutical companies will stay within compliance regulations.
    • 2. Pharmaceutical companies need to understand that by increasing social media communication, there are few potential risks to keep in mind:
      • Off-label promotion – even if the company did not write the content, the slight mention can put the company in trouble with the FDA.
      • Adverse event reporting – due to the anonymous nature of social media, companies are unclear if they have to abide the adverse event reporting.
  • 8. Factors to keep in mind
    • Different Seekers, Different Needs –
    • Health information seekers have different agendas, therefore, it is important to keep this in mind in creating appropriate health information.
    • Side effects and risks need to be prominently mentioned in every page to avoid FDA complaint.
    • There are different patients’ expectations while searching a product driven site and a health information/disease awareness site.
  • 9. Potential Risks
    • Social media forums create risks for drug companies in hosting or sponsoring web sites because visitors can mention off-label uses of the products.
    • Even if the company exercises editorial control, they are perceived as “implicitly” endorsing it.
  • 10. Four Types of Social Media Content that Impact Pharmaceutical Companies
    • Whistleblowers – one person impacting many
    • Drug Company Employees & Advisors – “Behind the Scenes”
    • Industry Opponent – Critics
    • Patients – social community – patients sharing their experiences
  • 11. Learning from Pharmaceutical Pioneers on Social Media (Not that many)
    • 1. For patients - .
      • Cephalon developed series of blogs from a multi-disciplinary approach. (Vicki worked on this project)
    • 2. Corporate –
    • J&J created a corporate blog.
    • 3.GSK created one for patients – and a corporate one –
  • 12. Challenges Social Media Presents
      • 1. Timeliness – Real time, almost immediate posted information
      • 2. Two-way dialogue
      • 3. Consumer-Consumer communication - unknown risks?
  • 13. Type of Plugging on Social Media
    • Product-claim Ad
    • Health seeking Ad – more flexibility to include patient discussion and interaction.
  • 14. Evaluation of Various Social Media Low Moderate Branded Advertising on Social Media (one-way) Low Low Developing Branded Content for Distribution on Video-Sharing Websites (You Tube) Moderate High Branded wiki High High Non-branded participation (leaving comments, postings in forums) Low Low Non-branded advertising on social media Low Low Branded Pod cast Risk Level of FDA violation Off-Label Promotion Social Media Activity
  • 15. Comments on Previous Slide
    • Incorporating two-way communication on any social media venue can increase various risks.
    • Though, two-way social media venues may increase frequent hits on the site.
    • One needs to be cognizant of the patient’s expectation of normally visiting those social media venues. Possible under-fulfilling those expectations may cause patients’ dissatisfaction.
  • 16. Overall
    • Pharmaceutical Industry have taken a conservative approach in taking advantage of Social Media capabilities.
    • Health information seekers are receiving information that may not be reliable.
    • There is a certain sense of trust of web-based information, though, there is a certain level of distrust for pharmaceutical industry in general.
  • 17. Overall - Part 2
    • Peer-to-Peer information sharing seems not only to provide first hand information on a particular condition or treatment, but it is trusted the most.
    • If companies adopt peer-to-peer or a 2 way information exchange, chances of violating FDA regulations increases.
    • Keeping in mind future FDA regulations on pharmaceutical Social Media marketing, playing by the established guidelines seem best.
  • 18. About Insights Digital
    • Insights Digital specializes in finding "hidden gems" for you through research and digital data mining.
    • Insights Digital is an independent research and strategy firm specializing in: behavioral based consumer insights; digital intelligence; and interactive strategy.
    • Each and every project is spearheaded by a Social Scientist and Expert Technology Leader.
  • 19. Contact Us
    • Insights Digital, Inc.
    • 917-570-5683