World Congress mPharma Summit | July 21-22, 2015 | Boston, MA

Thursday, May 28, 2015

House Bill Would Give FDA 18 Months to Finalize "One-Click Rule" Guidance: ROFLMAOYSST

On May 20, 2015, Rep. Billy Long (R-Mo.) introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives a bill (H.R. 2479) that would "direct the FDA to clearly regulate meaningful, truthful and non-misleading communication of product information on social media."

Specifically, the draft of the bill (find it here) states that the FDA should revise its regulations and guidances to "recognize that [sponsors of medical products] may use the Internet to:
  • "disseminate, in character-limited applications, truthful, introductory information about medical products, including the name of such products and their approved uses; and 

  • "provide additional information about the safety and effectiveness of the medical products using information that is hyperlinked to such introductory information; and for regulatory purposes, treat hyperlinked information ... as if the information appeared in introductory information [i.e., the original character-limited text, meaning tweet]."
This, of course, is the "one-click rule," which has been hotly debated for years in pharma marketing circles. In fact, I was among the first observers to point out that the "one-click rule" as described above should be allowed. Let me explain...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tom Stossel Attempts to Debunk the Conflict-of-Interest "Myth"

Yesterday, I interviewed Thomas P. Stossel, M.D., visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, about his new book, PharmaPhobia, and his call to action against the "Conflict of Interest Movement," which he claims undermines American medical innovation. You can hear some of his main arguments in the following 5-minute audio snippet from that interview:

You can listen to the full interview here.

Stossel uses many combative terms to describe the focus of his critique. In his book and in the interview, Stossel repeatedly refers to the "Conflict-of-Interest Movement," "Conflict-of-Interest Narrative," and conflict-of-interest "instigators, enablers and enforcers.”

Here's a sample of his acerbic style: “The case underlying the conflict-of-interest movement is a mixture of moralistic bullying, opinion unsupported by empiric evidence, speculation, simplistic and distorted interpretations of complicated and nuanced information, superficially and incompletely framed anecdotes, inappropriately extrapolated or irrelevant psychological research results, and emotionally laden human-interest stories.”

Tell us what you REALLY think Dr. Stossel! To me this sounds like every pharmaceutical marketing campaign, especially the part about "emotionally laden human-interest stories" (read, for example, "Online e-Patient & Celebrity Patient Video Testimonials").

But will Stossel's new book, which ends with a section on "What is to be done," turn the tide as he hopes it will?

Friday, May 15, 2015

What I Learned During Day 1 at iPharma 2015

I am attending CBI's iPharma 2015 conference in New York City. Yesterday was the first day. I chaired the Technology Track and moderated a panel discussion that attempted to answer the question: Can Mobile, Apps and Wearables Make an Impact on Health Outcomes?

 Of course the answer was "Yes! And…"

As I learned from a previous speaker, that phrase was how "innovators" like Walt Disney suggested his staff greet new ideas instead of saying "No, because…" That is, people should add more suggestions for how the idea could work and not just shoot it down immediately.

It's just one little thing I "learned," which I can put into practice at my next homeowners board meeting when they try and shoot down my idea of using technology & social media to make running a homeowners association more transparent and inclusive. I imagine marketers -- especially digital marketers -- could apply the same thinking when their ideas are being shot down by MLR or upper management.

BTW, "innovators/innovation" is one of the terms on my Pharma Buzzword Bingo Card, which is shown in the accompanying image (updated at end of 2nd day). You can see that quite a few buzzwords (13) were mentioned during yesterday's sessions (for a buzzword score of 54%). Note that the complete bottom row is marked off and I have achieved BINGO!

BTW, Peter Justason, Director of eMarketing at Purdue, began a remark in a panel discussion with the phrase "If you are a pharma guy…" He didn't mean "The" PharmaGuy so I just put a dashed line through that in the card. Note: PharmaGuy is trademarked!

But enough of silly learnings. What did I learn that might be more useful for pharama digital marketers?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WANTED: Pharma Mobile Pioneers

For the past few years I have been following and reporting on mobile health initiatives, campaigns, and apps developed by pharmaceutical companies. I've collected these articles, blog posts, and podcasts in one BIG compendium: the Pharma Mobile & mHealth Reprint Catalog (FREE!).

A few pharma mobile initiatives are good, many are not so good, and a few are just awful and potentially dangerous such as a physician diagnosis mobile app recalled by Pfizer (read "The First Ever 'Dear Doctor' Letter Regarding a Mobile Medical App Recall").

Regardless of the results, I believe it is important to recognize the pioneers within the pharmaceutical industry who are leading the way in developing mobile solutions for physicians and/or patients. That's why I am expanding the scope of my annual PharmaGuy Social Media Pioneer Award to include Mobile as well.

Here's how you can help me in my quest for Pharma Mobile Pioneers.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

#Pharma Must Be Social Media Brave & Fast Says Becky Canvin at Ogilvy HealthWorld

"How can the pharma and healthcare industry thrill on social media?"

That's a question Rebecca Canvin (@BeckyCanvin), Social Media Manager at Ogilvy Healthworld, attempted to answer in a guest column (here).

"Over the past few years the myth that pharma companies can’t use social media has been unravelled and conversations now focus on ‘how can pharma do social?’," writes Becky. "This movement brings about unique challenges, but one thing is for certain – as more companies recognise the importance of social media it’s time for pharma to be brave and take their conversations to the next level."

Becky recommends that pharma can do this by "getting the basics right" such as "having online conversations and engaging appropriately instead of just pushing out content on social networks" and "move fast when they receive comments online," which, to me, seems very sensible advice to follow.

Becky cites at least two pharmaceutical companies that seem to be getting these basics right according to results of her company's 2014 "Connecting the Dots" survey. Some pharma pundits, however, implied that Becky is a "young, inexperienced digital" person who "[spent] a lot of money without showing needed results."

Continue reading to find out which pharma companies are getting it right and who dissed Becky!

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