ExL's 6th Annual KOL and Advisory Boards Summit
ExL's 6th Annual KOL and Advisory Boards Summit | June 8-9, 2015 | Philadelphia, PA

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

23andMe Appoints “e-Patient Davide” to the Newly Created Position of Chief Patient Officer

I just received the following press release via email.

23andMe Appoints "e-Patient Davide" to the Newly Created Position of Chief Patient Officer

Appointment is a First for the Silicon Valley Pharmaceutical Company


MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.,April 1 2015 – 23andMe today announced the appointment of Davide deBellagio, also known as “e-Patient Davide,” to the newly created position of Chief Patient Officer.

Wojcicki poses with "e-Patient Davide" at 23andMe HQ
“The appointment of a Chief Patient Officer at 23andMe, the first for a Silicon Valley pharmaceutical company, shows our commitment to go further than mainstream pharma1 in meeting the needs of patients and our investors,” said 23andMe CEO and Co-Founder Anne Wojcicki. “Interactions with patients are a source of strength -- and wealth -- for the company and e-Patient Davide’s appointment will help ensure the patient perspective advances our profits and our approach to meeting the unmet needs of our investors, which include Roche and Johnson & Johnson.”

e-Patient Davide -- a pre-Alzheimer’s survivor -- is an international keynote speaker on healthcare who consistently earns extraordinary fees from consulting with various healthcare organizations.

I am incredibly honored to be 23andMe's first Chief Patient Officer, or as I like to call it, Chief Patient Kibitzer,” said e-Patient Davide. The Internet has altered the balance of power in healthcare. Patients are managing their own health and, in partnership with the pharmaceutical industry, making some money to boot.

According to e-Patient Davide, his responsibility will be to further elevate the perspective of the patient within 23andMe by “kibitzing,” which is Yiddish for offering unwanted advice or commentary. There’s no better way for a patient to impact the future healthcare offerings of a pharmaceutical company than by “budding in” to ensure the unique priorities and needs of patients and caregivers are “top of mind” for senior executives. According to unnamed sources, 23andMe executives must subject themselves to daily “kibitzing sessions” delivered by e-Patient Davide as he roams the halls of the company and barges unannounced into executive suites.

“Hopefully, my unwanted input will not go unnoticed,” said e-Patient Davide as he posed for a photo op with Wojcicki outside 23andMe’s Mountain View headquarters.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Pfizer Continues to Dominate DTC Ad Spending

If Pfizer chose not to do direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising, we'd have less bad ads to criticize (as, for example, this ad for Viagra) and the total spending on DTC advertising would be 30% less than it is today. In 2014, Nielsen estimates that the U.S. drug industry spent $4.53 Bn on DTC advertising. Pfizer spent $1.4 Bn.

That's right... Pfizer spends nearly one-third (30%) of all the DTC ad dollars!

The last (red) bar of the following chart shows what the 2014 ad spend -- excluding Internet search ads -- would look like without Pfizer. We're talking 20th century numbers!


Pfizer simply is too big to fail as far as the DTC advertising world is concerned!

According to Bloomberg (here), Pfizer spent "$751.9 million on television ads, more than double second-biggest spender AbbVie Inc." This domination of the drug ad airways goes back to at least 2011 as shown in the charts prepared by Bloomberg.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dear Patient, Come to the "Dark Side" & Engage with Pharma

Engaging patients was a major theme of the eyeforpharma Barcelona 2015 conference (hashtag e4pbarca), which just closed out after 3 days of presentations with a keynote presentation by Dr. Anne Beal, Chief Patient Officer, at Sanofi.

"Patients can help in many ways and we (pharma) have to reach out to them all," said Dr. Beal.

@TuLupus -- a Spanish Lupus patient blogger ("Tu Lupus Es Mi Lupus")-- was impressed and she offered this advice (as quoted by Paul Tunnah):

"patients, don't be afraid of going to the 'dark side' - engage with pharma and industry (is not so dark)."

"It's one of the most important things I've learnt in #e4pBarca," tweeted @TuLupus a few minutes later. "Dark side? No way! We need each other and you do great things."

Dark side? Let's imagine Pharma as Darth Vader and patients like @TuLupus as Luke Skywalker:

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Scary Pharma/Drug Ads in Medical Journals

Drug print ads aimed at patients are usually upbeat showing the benefits of the pill. Print ads intended for physicians on the other hand are often dark and downright scary. I came across this medical journal print ad about "poorly controlled LDL-C" yesterday:

Click on image for an enlarged view
What's up with this?

Attending #e4pbarca Remotely: Second Day

There's been a lot of tweeting during the eyeforpharma Barcelona conference yesterday and today. I summarized a few of the issues being discussed that were of interest to me during yesterday's session (see here). Here's some impressions data from Symplur for the #e4pbarca hashtag:

I'm happy to see that I'm #3 on the list! That's pretty good for someone following remotely in a time zone that is 5 hours later than the time in Barcelona! I had to wake up at 3 AM yesterday to catch the opening presentations! Compare that to a day in the life of a typical digital marketer here.

Today, I woke a little later and missed most of the morning sessions, but there was still a good deal of interesting insights from attendees.

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