Posted in Pharma

Predicting success for new drugs using Social Media analysis

Social media can predict the success of a new drug launch much faster than traditional methods. Many pharmaceutical companies try to measure the success of their launch based on weekly script trends. The difference between social media data and data derived from prescriptions is significant: social media data can predict the future, while script data record the past.

Social media can also, to some degree, explain events and not just record them, since patient posts are much more nuanced than purchase data, often sharing the why and not just the what.

Using older methods, it can take years to understand the result and impact of a new drug launch. Today social media can provide early vital signals in real time.

To illustrate this, let’s look at Tecfidera (formerly called BG-12 during clinical trials), a new multiple sclerosis drug that Biogen launched on April 13 [through an examination of the patient voice from billions of patient-written social media posts on over 2,000 health blogs and forums].

Interestingly, since the launch of Tecfidera in mid-April, the most talked about MS drug in social media has been Tecfidera, bypassing all other MS medications and growing on a daily basis. We also see significant differences between Tecfidera discussions and that of other MS medications in that 36% of the Tecfidera discussions are on Facebook while for other MS medications only 28% of the discussions are taking place on Facebook (our analysis does not include Twitter).

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Posted in Pharma

The Future of Digital: What’s Next for Pharma Marketing


PM360 enlisted the help of digital experts from across the industry to learn what to expect from digital in 2013.

• What is the next big trend that everyone will be talking about this year?

• Is there a new social media site, mobile app, digital interface, or anything else that you think the industry should be excited about?

• What is the greatest unrealized potential of the digital channels currently out there that pharma needs to jump on right away?

• What have you learned from your previous digital experiences that will help you to improve your digital initiatives this year?

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma

Unreported side effects of drugs found using Internet search data

Using data drawn from queries entered into Google, Microsoft and Yahoo search engines, scientists at Microsoft, Stanford and Columbia University have for the first time been able to detect evidence of unreported prescription drug side effects before they were found by the Food and Drug Administration’s warning system.

Using automated software tools to examine queries by six million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an antidepressant, paroxetine, and a cholesterol lowering drug, pravastatin. They were able to find evidence that the combination of the two drugs caused high blood sugar.

The study, which was reported in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association on Wednesday, is based on data-mining techniques similar to those employed by services like Google Flu Trends, which has been used to give early warning of the prevalence of the sickness to the public.

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma, Pinterest

How pharma is using Pinterest

The picture-driven social media tool Pinterest made Internet history by rocketing to 10 million subscribers in just under two years, and already surpasses YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn for referral traffic.

GE’s Cancer Pintherapy Board  is a good example of community engagement (while promoting GE’s brand as a “cancer fighter”.) The board features the experiences of participants in GE’s Breast Cancer Mosaic along with information from GE’s Is My Cancer Different website.   Alongside this the Pinterest board called Pinspire shares pins from cancer patients and survivors around the world. Users can pin for themselves or in honour of someone they know and features a new ‘cancer journey’ each week.

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Posted in #HCSM, Pharma

Why Health, Medical and Pharma Can No Longer Afford to Be Antisocial

See on Scoop.itHealth Care Social Media Monitor

For a long time, Health, Medical and Pharma have shied away from Social Media. Social Media has evolved to be ubiquitous in the world of successful business. And yet Pharma has tiptoed away from it, reasoning that it is too big of a liability to justify Social Media participation. It’s true that there are legal complications that can arise. The FDA has yet to release a formal set of guidelines regarding the use of social media and HIPAA compliance, in addition to other medical regulatory issues. Despite this, some pioneering medical companies have led the way forward with successful social media engagement. It’s definitely possible. It’s more than possible. It’s imperative.

Pharma and medical marketers need to adopt Social Media in order to survive. Companies that refuse to adopt social media assume a glaring red sticker identifying a looming expiration date. Brands must meet people where they are: online. “Social Media is a more effective way of reaching healthcare consumers because you are connecting with them while they are actively seeking you out,” advises Richard Morrow, the ParkerWhite branding agency’s digital director and user experience specialist. Morrow has worked with various B2B and B2C corporations to develop comprehensive online strategies. Brands must evolve to the new ways of communicating with consumers. Shouting from the recesses of traditional media won’t bring consumers back.

Obviously Medical and pharma companies will have to do their homework before taking the Social Media plunge. It wouldn’t be wise to jump in before learning the nuances of using social media for pharma from a legal perspective. But this isn’t rocket science. Medical marketers are already familiar with legal regulation for marketing – social media is just one more channel. Companies already have legal departments in place that are experts in mitigating risk. They just need to work with the right people who understand how social media works, in order to bridge the gap needed to apply known practices and knowledge to the social media channel.

The greatest risk in the gamble of social media for healthcare companies isn’t legal regulations. The overwhelming risk to healthcare social media is a complete absence of medical and pharma companies. Healthcare companies who don’t engage with patients and caregivers on social media will risk losing customers, tarnishing a brand image, eroding brand awareness, missing insights for product development, and failing to ignite potential brand advocates. At the end of the day, it’s business. You’ve got to communicate how you’re going to serve a customer’s needs to the right customers, at the right time, so that they choose to purchase your product or service. Communicating your product offering, connecting with the right customers, and making the conversion to a sale is the lifeblood of your business. With careful planning, you can utilize social media to achieve your business goals and avoid the pitfalls of an antisocial business.

Here’s why your company can’t afford to be antisocial:

1. The Conversations Are Happening Whether You Like It Or Not

2. This is 21stCentury PR

3. There is no risk management without social media

4. You Say Your High-Tech But It’s All Talk No Action

5. No One Ever Likes the Silent Treatment

Read in detail by clicking on title

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Posted in Pinterest

How To Create a Pinteresting Healthcare Social Media Strategy

A recent study revealed that Pinterest, the latest social networking site to take the social media world by storm, is now driving more traffic to websites and blogs than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social networking site with a visually-pleasing “virtual pinboard” interface. Users collect photos and link to products they love, creating their own pinboards and following the pinboards of other people whom they find interesting. The site is currently invite-only, and it has experienced rapid growth in recent months (CrunchBase)

Launched in March 2010, Pinterest’s dramatic rise to become one of the top 10 social networking sites has been driven by an exponential growth in users, (a recent Techcrunch report cites 10 million U.S. monthly uniques – faster than any standalone site ever), seamless integration into existing social networking sites  (Facebook and Twitter) and an elegant and attractive user interface.

When images are uploaded to Pinterest, links are embedded that users can click to drive traffic directly to a website’s page. Furthermore, by sharing these images via Twitter or Facebook or embedding them on their own website or blog, images can be shared with a wider audience. What started out as an online scrapbooking site for a demographic – most users are female between the ages of 25 and 44 – to collect and share recipe, fashion and home decor ideas, has now evolved into a prime marketing tool for businesses.

So far, so pinteresting, but the question is how can you leverage the potential of this rapidly growing site for health care social media – particularly given that success on the site is predicated on pinning visually interesting content and blatant marketing is discouraged?  The answer lies in creating a strategy to promote your healthcare brand creatively so that it fits with the network’s user base and vision. Here are 9 ways to leverage the potential of Pinterest for healthcare social media.  

1. Think Visually

Pinterest fits most naturally when a brand has a visually interesting story to tell. Users may stumble upon your images and share them with friends, giving your image (or video) the opportunity to go viral. So, your first strategy is to collect the best images which represent your healthcare brand. If your budget allows, you may like to consider hiring a professional photographer or graphic designer to help you.

#Pinterest Tip: For healthcare, images related to exercise, nutrition and other health care promotion resources work well, as you can see in this example from the Facing Cancer Together pinboard, which highlights healthy living tips for wellness and cancer prevention.


2. Create Infographics
With so many online messages competing for our attention, interesting graphics can help cut through the social media clutter. Infographics – graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge – present complex information quickly and have grown in popularity on the web. (Check out this recent article on Social Media Today to learn how infographic design can get more readers to click on your content). See how ecaring uses this infographic on the anatomy of walking to good effect.


 3. Optimise your website 

Populate your website with visual content that people will want to share. Make it easy for visitors to share your images on Pinterest by adding a Pin-It button to your site. You can also incorporate aPinterest follow button on your website to encourage users to connect with you on Pinterest.

4. Optimize your Pinterest profile 
You can optimise your Pinterest Profile in the “settings” option of your account.  Insert your company name as username, fill out your profile information, add your logo and include links to your website. Check that the option to ‘Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines’ is checked to ‘Off’ so your profile can get indexed in search. Lastly, check the boxes that link to your Twitter and Facebook accounts are highlighted so that your pins will be automatically linked to these accounts.

5. Optimise your boards for SEO 
Default Pinterest boards are already categorised for you, but you can easily edit those names to best describe your pinboard. Categorising will help others find you and increase your chances of having your images repinned. Unfortunately there is no healthcare or health and wellness category (but this will hopefully change as more health related accounts are formed). What you can do is give your boards titles with SEO in mind. This is just the same as choosing key words for optimising your website or blog, so think about what words people will use to search for your brand. Pinterest is an effective SEO strategy because pins work as a link back to your site, and Google recognising the link, rewards your website with more SEO juice.

#Pinterest Tip: Add #hashtags to tag your pins and make your content more search-friendly (also useful for an integrated campaign across multiple social networking sites).

6. Showcase your brand’s personality
Study after study reveals that people prefer to buy from and engage with people rather than businesses. Pinterest gives you the opportunity to humanize your brand – so why not introduce your team and give your followers a behind the scenes look at the lives of those who work or volunteer for you. Pinboard ideas can range from images of daily life around the office, volunteering, award ceremonies, awareness raising activities to boards featuring “food we love” or “books we are reading”.

7. Build up followers
Start by following influencers and early adopters in your industry – there’s a good chance they will follow you back. Repin relevant content from other users and interact with them by commenting on their boards. Above all, you need to provide your followers with regularly updated content of interest and value to keep them engaged. The key to building a strong following on Pinterest, as with other social media sites, is to become a leading expert on a subject related to your industry. Become the go-to authority on Pinterest and you followers will flock to you.

8. Involve your supporters

The best marketing on any social media platform happens when your followers share their passion and enthusiasm for what you do. On Pinterest, you can invite other users to contribute their own images to your account by creating a user-generated pinboard. Don’t worry – this isn’t a free-for-all for everyone. You create a specific board for this purpose, then go to edit and choose “Me + Contributors” under who can pin, thereby allowing you to choose who can contribute.  This is a great opportunity to foster community, engage with your followers, and inspire, encourage and acknowledge volunteers.

9. Have Fun!

The images most likely to be repined are aesthetically pleasing, with humorous images coming a close second. So remember not to take the site too seriously and pin with positivity.

 Pinterest is growing and changes are being incorporated as it evolves. Marketers are still finding their way around the site and while it has already proven its marketing worth to businesses, the potential to leverage the site for health care marketing is clearly evident.  If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into Pinterest waters, take some time to explore the creative ways it is currently used by NGOs,  hospitals, healthcare professionals and pharma. Determine if it fits with your marketing plan, then incorporating the tips outlined in this article, devise a Pinterest marketing strategy that will best leverage its potential for your purposes.

Happy Pinning!

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This article originally published on Health Works Collective