LinkedIn's professional social network appeals to business people, networkers and recruiters, but also to industries that tend to be more cautious on social media. Welcome, pharma. "Healthcare, overall, and pharma is definitely on the developmental side of the LinkedIn spectrum, if you will, from an advertising perspective," said Stephanie Katzman, LinkedIn's healthcare lead in its Marketing Solutions group. "But over the past three years, we've seen a huge growth in having these companies consider LinkedIn as a channel."
Pharma companies are coming around on social media, however slowly. But how many are actually listening to what their patients say on social media platforms--and doing something with the feedback they get? According to Siva Nadarajah, IMS Health's general manager of big data and compliance, too few.
Pharma can no longer put off the inevitable when it comes to outcome-based models in healthcare. In 2016, drugmakers will begin to engage more not only when it comes to pricing models, but also when it comes to marketing.
The FDA finally set out its own departmental policy that encourages its scientists and other employees to use "social media technologies to enhance communication, collaboration, and information exchange in support of FDA's mission to protect and promote public health."
AstraZeneca wants its scientists to get social. The Big Pharma company is encouraging its research teams to share data and collaborate on Salesforce Chatter, an enterprise social network it thinks can support its push to eliminate silos in its R&D operation.
The regulator, which has faced criticism in the past over its failure to establish a policy, set out its position in a 12-page document.
Visual and video content is surging online, already making up more than half of all consumer web traffic. While pharma marketers in general have lagged behind in adopting traditional consumer strategies, one digital agency is lobbying its drugmakers to consider visual content.
Sometimes it seems that the FDA has a scattershot approach to policing pharma marketing, with warning letters few and far between--and some of them lobbed from left field. But there's one tried-and-true way to invite unwanted attention from the agency's marketing police: Leave side effects out of drug promos, according to an analysis presented at a recent conference.
How much damage can one person do? In the case of the pharma industry this week, the answer was quite a lot. That one person was Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, who hiked the price of its newly purchased toxoplasmosis drug Daraprim by more than 5000%. Universal social media criticism and outrage over "price gouging" followed, along with a financial hit to biotech stocks.
This could go down in pharma history as the week that drug pricing met pop culture. But this week won't be remembered as the one when drugmakers lost their long-standing pricing power in the U.S. That, at least, was the word from analysts and at least one top pharma CEO as politicians vowed a crackdown.