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. "Dark side? No way! We need each other and you do great things."

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.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Attending #e4pbarca Remotely

I'm getting up early to attend the 13th Annual eyeforpharma Barcelona 2015 conference from the comfort of my home office.

Disclosure: eyeforpharma is a client of mine - Pharma Marketing News is a Media partner for this event. But this post is a bit of "earned" media coverage - i.e., no one is paying me to do this.

Mostly, I'm using Twitter and following the #e4pbarca tweet stream, which is pretty active. I recommend that all conference producers use specific Twitter hash tags like this to allow people who cannot physically be at the conference to at least follow what's being discussed in real time. Make sure you keep your hash tags as short as possible! Also, make sure everyone at the conference has access to Wifi and knows the hash tag.

I've embedded the #e4pbarca tweet stream at the end of this post.

I will post here some highlights from the conference of interest to me. Also, I'm hosting my first ever Google+ "Hangout" to see if I can interview some conference attendees during the lunch break. You can access that Hangout here.

So, here are some highlights so far. I will add more during the day:

Monday, March 23, 2015

DTC Ad Spend is Back Stronger Than Ever, Baby!

OK, maybe that's an exaggeration, but according to Wonkblog, a blog published by the Washington Post, and based on data from Kantar Health, "drug companies are bombarding your TV with more ads than ever."

"Maybe you've noticed that prescription drug ads are everywhere these days — more so than usual," quips the blog. "It was just a few years ago that TV advertisements of prescription drugs had dropped off by 20 percent, as drugmakers were also cutting back on other types of direct-to-consumer advertising" (read, for example, "Pharma DTC Ad Spending Took a Nosedive in 2012!").

According to Kantar Media data, the pharmaceutical industry spent $4.5 billion marketing prescription drugs directly to consumers in 2014, up from $3.5 billion in 2012. That's up from the $2.5 billion drugmakers spent in 2000, or $3.39 billion in 2015 dollars when adjusted for inflation, according to Wonkblog. Most of that spending -- about 65% -- is on TV ads.

Here's my chart showing DTC spending on "measured media," which includes print ads and Internet display ads, from 1998 through 2014.

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