Big Pharma's Big Fines - http://www.propublica.org/special/big-pharmas-big-fines On Monday, the Department of Justice announced that drug company GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay a $3 billion fine, the largest health care fraud fine in the history of the United States. This fine is just the latest in a string of drug company penalties for improper promotion of drugs for “off-label,” or unapproved, uses. Here we take a look at six recent multi-million dollar fines that drug companies have agreed to pay for inappropriately, and in some cases illegally, promoting prescription drugs.FINE (billions of dollars) ............Eli Lilly JAN 2009 $1.42Eli Lilly was fined $1.42 billion to resolve a government investigation into the off-label promotion of the anti-psychotic Zyprexa. Zyprexa had been approved for the treatment of certain psychotic disorders, but Lilly admitted to promoting the drug in elderly populations to treat dementia. The government also alleged that Lilly targeted primary care physicians to promote Zyprexa for unapproved uses and “trained its sales force to disregard the law.”Pfizer SEPT 2009 $2.3Pfizer was fined $2.3 billion, then the largest health care fraud settlement and the largest criminal fine ever imposed in the United States. Pfizer pled guilty to misbranding the painkiller Bextra with "the intent to defraud or mislead", promoting the drug to treat acute pain at dosages the FDA had previously deemed dangerously high. Bextra was pulled from the market in 2005 due to safety concerns. The government alleged that Pfizer also promoted three other drugs illegally: the anti-psychotic Geodon, an antibiotic Zyvox, and the anti-epileptic drug Lyrica.AstraZeneca APRIL 2010 $.52AstraZeneca was fined $520 million to resolve allegations that it illegally promoted the anti-psychotic drug Seroquel. The drug was approved for treating schizophrenia and later for bipolar mania, but the government alleged that AstraZeneca promoted Seroquel for a variety of unapproved uses, such as aggression, sleeplessness, anxiety, and depression. AstraZeneca denied the charges but agreed to pay the fine to end the investigation.Merck NOV 2011 $.95Merck agreed to pay a fine of $950 million related to the illegal promotion of the painkiller Vioxx, which was withdrawn from the market in 2004 after studies found the drug increased the risk of heart attacks. The company pled guilty to having promoted Vioxx as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis before it had been approved for that use. The settlement also resolved allegations that Merck made false or misleading statements about the drug's heart safety to increase sales.Abbott MAY 2012 $1.5Abbott was fined $1.5 billion in connection to the illegal promotion of the anticonvulsant drug Depakote. Abbott admitted to having trained a special sales force to target nursing homes, marketing the drug for the control of aggression and agitation in elderly dementia patients. Depakote had never been approved for that purpose, and Abbott lacked evidence that the drug was safe or effective for those uses. The company also admitted to marketing Depakote to treat schizophrenia, even though no study had found it effective for that purpose.GlaxoSmithKline JULY 2012 $3GlaxoSmith Kline agreed to pay a fine of $3 billionto resolve civil and criminal liabilities regarding its promotion of drugs, as well as its failure to report safety data. This is the largest health care fraud settlement in the United States to date. The company pled guilty to misbranding the drug Paxil for treating depression in patients under 18, even though the drug had never been approved for that age group. GlaxoSmithKline also pled guilty to failing to disclose safety information about the diabetes drug Avandia to the FDA.
Pharmaceutical Companies in Social Media
History of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) Advertising in the Pharmaceutical Industry The FDA regulates advertising for prescription drugs. In most cases, federal law does not allow the FDA to require that drug companies submit ads for approval before the ads are used. The FDA sees many ads the same time the public sees them. Many drug companies voluntarily seek advice from the FDA before they release TV ads. However, if the FDA believes that an ad violates the law, they will send a letter to the drug company asking that the ads be stopped right away. What must product claim ads tell you? At least one approved use for the drug The generic name of the drug All the risks of using the drug Under certain circumstances, ads can give only the most important risks.Source: The U.S Food and Drug Administration
History of DTC Advertising in the Pharmaceutical Industry – Traditional Media Prior to 1997, advertisements that mentioned a brand name pharmaceuticalwere required to include that specific drug’s “brief summary” - asummation of side effects, contradictions and effectiveness.Typically anything but brief, the “Brief Summary” is the technical name for the detailed information that appears in ads for prescription drugs. Brief Summary as set forth by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - The law requires that print ads making claims about a drug (product claim ads) include a "brief summary" with all the risks listed in the drugs "prescribing information" and at least one FDA-approved use of the drug. The brief summary generally includes: Who should not take the drug When the drug should not be taken Possible serious side effects of the drug and, if known, what can be done to lower the chance of having them Frequently occurring, but not necessarily serious, side effects The "brief summary" includes a lot of information, so it is usually presented on its own page of a print ad. When the "brief summary" is part of an ad directed at the consumer, the FDA encourages drug companies to use language consumers can easily understand.Source: The U.S Food and Drug Administration
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ byPfizer PRISTIQ, a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), is indicated for theTREATMENT OF: A major depressive episode (DSM-IV) implies a prominent and relatively persistent (nearly every day for at least 2 weeks) depressed or dysphoric mood that usually interferes with daily functioning, and includes at least 5 of the following 9 symptoms: depressed mood, loss of interest in usual activities, significant change in weight and/or appetite, insomnia or hypersomnia, psychomotor agitation or retardation, increased fatigue, feelings of guilt or worthlessness, slowed thinking or impaired concentration, or a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation. SIDE EFFECTS: PRISTIQ can cause serious side effects, including: Increased suicidal thoughtsor actions in some children, teenagers, and young adults within the first few months of treatment. Depression and other serious mental illnessesare the most important causes of suicidal thoughts and actions. Some people may have a particularly high risk of having suicidal thoughts or actions. These include people who have (or have a family history of) bipolar illness (also called manic-depressive illness) or suicidal thoughts or actions. Serotonin syndromeor neuroleptic malignant syndrome (NMS)-like reactions. Signs and symptoms of these syndromes may include one or more of the following: restlessness increase in blood pressure hallucinations (seeing and hearing things that are not real) diarrhea 36 loss of coordination Coma fast heart beat Nausea increased body temperature Vomiting muscle stiffness confusion
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ (continued) PRISTIQmay also cause other serious side effects, including: New or worsened high blood pressure (hypertension). Your healthcare provider should monitor your blood pressure before and while you are taking PRISTIQ. If you have high blood pressure, it should be controlled before you start taking PRISTIQ. Abnormal bleeding or bruising. PRISTIQ and other SNRIs/SSRIs may cause you to have an increased chance of bleeding. Taking aspirin, NSAIDs (non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs), or blood thinners may add to this risk. Tell your healthcare provider right away about any unusual bleeding or bruising. Glaucoma (increased eye pressure) Increased cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood Symptoms when stopping PRISTIQ (discontinuation symptoms). Side effects may occur when stopping PRISTIQ, especially when therapy is stopped suddenly. Your healthcare provider may want to decrease your dose slowly to help avoid side effects. Some of these side effects may include: dizziness anxiety nausea abnormal dreams headache Tiredness Irritability Sweating sleeping problems (insomnia) Diarrhea Seizures (convulsions) Low sodium levels in your blood. Symptoms of this may include: headache difficulty concentrating memory changes confusion, weakness and unsteadiness on your feet.
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ (continued) Additional side-effects of PRISTIQ: Insevere or more sudden cases, symptoms can include: hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real) fainting Seizures Coma If not treated, severe low sodium levels could be fatal. Allergic reactions. Some reactions can be severe such as swelling beneath the skin (e.g., throat, face, hands).
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ (continued) Common side effects with PRISTIQ include: nausea tiredness Headache Diarrhea dry mouth Vomiting sweating anxiety dizziness Tremor insomnia dilated pupils constipation decreased sex drive loss of appetite delayed orgasm and ejaculation sleepiness feeling that your surroundings are spinning or moving These are not all the possible side effects of PRISTIQ. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA- 1088. For more information on these and other side effects associated with PRISTIQ, talk to your healthcare provider, visit our web site at www.pristiq.com or call our toll-free number at 1-888-PRISTIQ (774-7847).
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ (continued) Pfizer, Co. would also have to provide answers to the following questions to complete their “Brief Summary”: …Who should not take the drug? …When the drug should not be taken? Could you imagine how long a TV Ad would be for PRISTIQ prior to 1997?
A “Brief Summary” of PRISTIQ (continued) As you can see, the extensive list of possible serious side effects and frequently occurring (but not necessarily serious) side effects of PRISTIQ made it very difficult for pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer, Co. to market their drugs effectively with the regulations set out by the FDA. While the “Brief Summary” provides consumers with detailed information about the drugs, it does not provide a balanced view of risks and benefits, and cannot be presented in a short advertisement. Lets see what this brief summary looks like in a print ad…
History of DTC Advertising in the Pharmaceutical Industry – New Regulations New FDA regulations, introduced in 1997allowed TV ads to name a pharmaceutical brand and the condition it treatedwithout the summary. Now TV Ads were only required to include a “major statement” of the most important risks (without the summary), and a referral to a source of in-depth information. This regulation was formerly adopted in 1999.Source: The U.S Food and Drug Administration
Explosion of Direct to Consumer Advertising Dollars in Billions Spent on Advertising from 1996 to 2010 Dollars in Billions Spent $6 5.41 5.18 $5 4.65 4.66 4.77 4.43 4.34 $4 3.45 $3 2.82 2.78 2.59 1.92 $2 1.31 0.98 $1 0.7 $0 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010Source: Kantar Media. Totals are for 17 measured media: network TV, spot TV, cable TV networks, Spanish-language TV networks, syndicated TV, consumer magazine, Sunday magazine, Spanish-language magazine, local magazine, newspaper, national newspaper, Spanish-language newspaper, national spot radio, network radio, local radio, outdoor and internet display (excluding search and broadband video).
Top 10 Most-Advertised Prescription Drugs By 2010 U.S. measured-media ad spending in 17 media. Media Advertiser Rank - 2010Spending Prescription 2010 (Dollars in 2009 (Dollars total media ad spending Rank Drug Marketer/Company millions) in millions % Change Primary Conditions (millions - $) 1 Lipitor Pfizer $272.0 $247.1 10.1 High cholesterol 1 - $967.5 2 Cialis Eli Lilly & Co. 220.6 179.2 23.1 Erectile dysfunction 2 - $470.8 Eli Lilly & Co. Mental health, 3 Cymbalta 206.0 182.7 12.7 depression 2 - $470.8 4 Advair GlaxoSmithKline 200.5 183.3 9.4 Asthma, respiratory 4 – $338.6 Bristol-Myers Squibb Mental health, 5 Abilify Co. 155.7 205.7 -24.3 depression 5 - $330.0 Asthma, COPD, 6 Symbicort AstraZeneca 152.2 136.2 11.8 respiratory 3 – $422.7 Mental Health, 7 Pristiq Pfizer 127.4 124.4 2.4 depression 1 – $967.5 Bristol-Myers Squibb 8 Plavix Co. 127.3 149.9 -15.2 Blood Thinner 4 - $338.6 9 Chantix Pfizer 122.2 155.8 -21.5 Smoking 1 - $967.5 10 Lyrica Pfizer 112.2 162.2 -30.8 Diabetes, fibromyalgia 1 - $967.5 Source: Kantar Media. Totals are for 17 measured media: network TV, spot TV, cable TV networks, Spanish-language TV networks, syndicated TV, consumer magazine, Sunday magazine, Spanish-language magazine, local magazine, newspaper, national newspaper, Spanish-language newspaper, national spot radio, network radio, local radio, outdoor and internet display (excluding search and broadband video).
10 Largest Pharmaceutical AdvertisersBy 2010 U.S. measured-media ad spending in 17 media. Media Spending 2010 (Dollars in 2009 (Dollars in Rank Marketer/Company millions) millions % Change Prescription Drug 1 Pfizer $967.5 $1,148.6 -15.8 Lipitor 2 Eli Lilly & Co. 470.8 370.0 27.2 Cialis 3 AstraZeneca 422.7 388.6 8.8 Symbicort 4 GlaxoSmithKline 338.6 311.2 8.8 Advair 5 Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. 330.0 423.6 -22.1 Abilify 6 Merck & Co. 320.6 460.1 -30.3 Singulair 7 Johnson & Johnson 173.7 88,9 95.3 Simponi 8 Allergan 166.6 137.5 21.2 Restasis 9 Abbott Laboratories 143.4 157.5 -9.0 Trillpix 10 Roche Holding 95.9 93.2 3.0 BonivaSource: Kantar Media. Totals are for 17 measured media: network TV, spot TV, cable TV networks, Spanish-language TV networks, syndicated TV, consumer magazine, Sunday magazine, Spanish-language magazine, local magazine, newspaper, national newspaper, Spanish-language newspaper, national spot radio, network radio, local radio, outdoor and internet display (excluding search and broadband video).
Pharmaceutical Advertising by Medium in 2010 U.S. measured-media ad spending of $4.3 billion for medicines and pharmaceutical companies. Internet Syndicated TV (display) 8% Cable TV networks Newspapers 13% Spot TV 5% 7% 2% Radio 1% Outdoor 0% TV Networks 32% Magazines 32%Source: Kantar Media. Totals are for 17 measured media: network TV, spot TV, cable TV networks, Spanish-language TV networks, syndicated TV, consumer magazine, Sunday magazine, Spanish-language magazine, local magazine, newspaper, national newspaper, Spanish-language newspaper, national spot radio, network radio, local radio, outdoor and internet display (excluding search and broadband video).
Is Big Pharma spending too much ontraditional Advertising? From the previous graphic, we can see that over 50% of the spending on pharmaceutical ads was for television and only 5% was for Internet display ads. The use of highly-emotional, symptom-driven advertisements can manipulate consumers by creating false impressions and mislead consumers instead of educating them. If Pharmaceutical companies are to compete in this world of convergence, they need to embrace technology and engage in the consumer driven, participatory communities of Social Media.
Pharmaceutical companies spend 19 timesmore on Advertising than R&D According to a recent report in BMJ, a medical journal based in London, pharmaceutical companies are not putting a lot of resources back into Research and Development. Instead, its more profitable for them to simply to create a bunch of products that are only slightly different from drugs already on the market, the reports authors said. “for every dollar pharmaceutical companies spend on "basic research," $19 goes toward promotion and marketing.”Information provided by The Huffington Post - Pharmaceutical Companies Spent 19 Times More On Self-Promotion Than BasicResearch: Report, by Alexander Eichler.For more information, visit http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/09/pharmaceutical-companies-marketing_n_1760380.html
With all the money they have been spending onAdvertising, why haven’t more Pharmaceuticalcompanies invested more efforts into SocialMedia? Risk. Uncertainty. Lack of clarity around ROI in social media. Lack of comprehensive guidance from the FDA.
Risk: Improper Marketing Claims Many pharmaceutical companies have been targeted by federal and state authorities for allegations including improperly promoting prescription drugs for “off-label”, or unapproved uses. In Social Media, there is a risk of manufacturers being held responsible for content created by a consumer.Uncertainty: Regarding Expectationsand Responsibilities How do pharmaceutical companies deal with highly contrained social media tools? (like 140 character limit in Twitter) There is also uncertainty regarding social media policy outlined by the FDA and and social media giants like Facebook.
August 2011: Facebook changed its privacyrules: Drug makers can no longer disable posts. Facebook now requires all Facebook pages to enable comments, a policy that was meant to make the site more interactive, but BigPharma are still weary of the two-way interaction in social media. Some pharmaceutical marketers shut down their pages. Others posted warnings and reserve the right to disable comments. Some are taking advantage of social media, like Boehringer Ingelheim, Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and AstraZeneca.
The FDA releases new guidance for social mediainteraction, Dec 30, 2011: “Responding to Unsolicited Requestsfor Off-Label Information About Prescription Drugs and Medical Devices.”
Example of a Correct Product Claim Ad According to the FDA, this is an acceptable product claim ad that names a drug, says what condition it treats, and talks about both its benefits and its risks. An ad must present the benefits and risks of a prescription drug in a balanced fashion. Balance depends on both the information in the ad itself and how the information is presented. In this ad, the benefits and risks are presented to give a balanced impression of the drug.Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Example of an Incorrect Product Claim Ad There are 4 major problems with this ad: The ad misleadingly suggests that Arbitraer is approved to treat children by showing an image of a young girl. Remember that these ads must suggest only uses that have been approved by FDA. The ad does not present a "fair balance" of information about the drugs risks compared with its benefits because the ad minimizes the important risks of Arbitraer. The risks appear in much smaller type than the benefits and are placed in a corner of the ad far from the benefits and are likely to be overlooked. The ad makes false and misleading claims about Arbitraer. It is not approved to treat asthma symptoms. Also, no studies support the claims that Arbitraer works "in no time," and that most allergy sufferers think Arbitraer is "the best." All ad information needs to be supported by well-designed studies. The ad does not contain the required "brief summary" of information that includes all the risks listed in the FDA-approved prescribing information.Source: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
BigPharma’sBigFines: Six recent multi-million dollar fines that drug companies have agreed to pay for illegally promoting prescription drugs Pfizer AstraZeneca Abbott Eli Lilly SEPT 2009 Merck APRIL 2010 MAY 2012 JAN 2009 Fined NOV 2011 Fined Fined Fined Fined $2.3 billion for misbranding for illegally for illegal for off-label the painkiller for illegal promoting the promotion of the promotion of anti- Bextra with anti-psychotic drug promotion of the anticonvulsant psychotic Zyprexa “intent to defraud Seroquel. painkiller Vioxx. drug Depakote or mislead”Source: Department of Justice Information compiled by Lena Groeger, ProPublica, July 3, 2012
Now looking back at Ad spending: Dollars in Billions Spent on Advertising from 1996 to 2010 Dollars in Billions Spent $6 5.41 5.18 4.65 4.66 4.77 $5 4.43 4.34 $4 3.45 2.82 2.78 $3 2.59 1.92 $2 1.31 0.98 $1 0.7 $0 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 The launch of a consumer- friendly, information driven website founded in 1996, grew exponentially during this tough, digital revolution while many pharmaceutical companies have failed to harness. WebMD now gets more than 86.4 million views per month, and is the leading health portal in the United States.
How are consumers using the internet to find health information? Medical Websites and Informational Websites are the highest viewed health information sites, receiving 75% of all visitors seeking health info.Source: Pharma Marketing Blog
Are pharmaceutical companies falling short in connecting with the engaging audience? Tom Schwenger, global managing director for Accenture’s Life Sciences Sales & Marketing practice said, “Pharmaceutical companies that embrace innovations such as social networking and communications via mobile devices and integrate and align their communication strategy across multiple channels will be positioned to have a much greater influence on their patients’ choices and consequently, realize significant increases in revenue, profitability and sustained competitive advantage.” “While pharmaceutical companies are methodical in manufacturing their products, there is a clear disconnect in how they communicate with their patients,” Schwenger said. “Companies need to reevaluate their marketing campaigns to ensure they are integrated across all patient touch-points and channels to meet customer demand for health solutions, increase trust and brand loyalty and enhance customer perceptions.”Study provided by Accenture, Nov. 2010 • The study was based on an online survey conducted by Accenture of 852 adult consumers in the U.S. between August 30, 2010 and September 3, 2010. The survey sample is representative by gender, age, and geography of the U.S. population. Consumers polled indicated they or someone in their household was currently taking prescribed medications. • For more information visit Accenture’s Newsroom: http://newsroom.accenture.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5096
How can Pharmaceutical Companies take advantage of Social Media? There will continue to be significant, disruptive innovations in the pharmaceutical sales and marketing model within the next five years driven by the creation of a more customer-focused business model, further cost-cutting initiatives and the quest by companies to gain a more competitive edge. Pharmaceutical companies must not only provide the right information, but upgrade their websites to create a more dynamic, interactive experience, demonstrate an understanding of their patients’ needs, provide holistic solutions and clearly reinforce their brand identity in a two-way dialogue.Study provided by Accenture, Nov. 2010 • The study was based on an online survey conducted by Accenture of 852 adult consumers in the U.S. between August 30, 2010 and September 3, 2010. The survey sample is representative by gender, age, and geography of the U.S. population. Consumers polled indicated they or someone in their household was currently taking prescribed medications. • For more information visit Accenture’s Newsroom: http://newsroom.accenture.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=5096
Pfizer in Social Media Today 9 Facebook Pages 14 Youtube 1 SlideShare Channels 10 Twitter Pfizer 1 LinkedIn feedsSource: Pfizer in Social Media - http://www.pfizer.com/news/social_media/social_media.jsp
Boehringer Ingelheim – Drive4COPD Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals started a public health initiative in 2010. This campaign’s message was to get screened. • Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Flickr accounts were launched, as well as a clever virtual Twitter race that put celebrity ambassadors Danica Patrick and Patty Loveless on a race to see who could drive the most visitors to the campaign’s online screener. • More than 2.5 million people have completed the online screening. •Drive4COPD ScreenerSource: Innovative campaings pushed pharma social media forward, by Deanna Pogorelc, June 4, 2012. Medcitynews.com
Sanofi Diabetes U.S. Sanofi Diabetes experimented with new ways to engage patients in the sticky area of social media. They released a Discuss Diabetes Blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and free online education session for patients. Sanofi has also improved its transparency by staying open in its social media presence and sharing insights on how community engagement has impacted the company. In April, Sanofi launched Diabetapedia, which is a searchable resource for common diabetes terms.Sanofi community engagement information.Source: Innovative campaings pushed pharma social media forward, by Deanna Pogorelc, June 4, 2012. Medcitynews.com
Novo Nordisk – Race with Insulin Milestone in the evolution of pharmaceutical social media. Rather than pushing press releases and company news, Novo Nordisk created a Twitter account in 2009 to promote IndyCar driver Charlie Kimball to reach its target audience. Research conducted by Novo Nordisk found IndyCar fans to be 23% more likely to have diabetes. Kimball used the @racewithinsulin Twitter account to tweet about racing, life with type 1 diabetes and using Novo Nordisk’s products to manage the disease. This was a groundbreaking leap into pharmaceutical social media with lack of guidance and experience.Source: Innovative campaings pushed pharma social media forward, by Deanna Pogorelc, June 4, 2012. Medcitynews.com
AstraZeneca – Prescription assistance program AstraZeneca kept their Facebook open while others removed theirs after Facebook’s open-comment policy change. They took a big step on Twitter by hosting a Twitter chat about patient prescription programs using the #rxsavehashtag. The tweet chat was created to get people talking about the Prescription Assistance Program, and engage to help find ways to reach more patients who are eligible for the program.Source: Innovative campaings pushed pharma social media forward, by Deanna Pogorelc, June 4, 2012. Medcitynews.com
Other Ground-breaking examples of Pharmaceutical Companies that harness Social Media Johnson & Johnson launched a YouTube channel in May 2008, to encourage 2-way engagement. The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has over 135,000 Facebook Likes. Christine O’Connell created a “Shame on you, KV Pharmaceutical and CEO Greg Divis” Facebook page because she was so angry at the increase of drug prices. KV shares dropped significantly. Oncology Pharma’sLinkdIn groups have saved lives through their connections – they sourced doctors to save inoperable tumors.Source: Social Media in the Pharmaceutical Industry, by Hannah Blake. July 2012.PharmaPhorum – Link to Article
The Future of Pharmaceuticals and Social Media : The Path Forward How can Pharmaceutical Companies benefit from using Social Media? Marketing their products more effectively Negligible costs for maintaining social media Increased brand awareness, greater market reach, quicker and more comprehensive feedback. Social media gives all firms the chance to build and identify new opportunities, gain insight about new products, develop more targeted marketing practices, and better understand market needs.Source: The Path Forward by Kassity Liu. Jolt Digest, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. Link to article.
The Future of Pharmaceuticals and Social Media : Advancing Public Health and Awareness Social media can be used: To advance public health and provide benefits to patients and the medical community. As an important source for health care information, with nearly 2/3 of all American adults looking on line for health information. To collaborate and learn from other pharmaceutical companies that have taken a more proactive approach into this evolving area of technology.Source: The Path Forward by Kassity Liu. Jolt Digest, Harvard Journal of Law & Technology. Link to article.