Docs lean into social media platform Sermo, posting nearly one million Yelp-style drug ratings

Just over two years in, physician social media platform Sermo is closing in on one million drug ratings. The doctor-submitted drug rating system now counts more than 900,000 unique ratings. And docs are using it—to the tune of now more than 140,000 specific drug lookups by physicians.

Sermo's research found that half of doctors said they changed their perceptions or opinions about a drug after reading the ratings. Eighty-three percent said they believe the ratings will help improve outcomes and 74% said they'll use the ratings again when doing research for treatments.

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Sermo’s new and easier-to-use platform launched three months ago has helped to boost users and reviews, as well as overall engagement across the private social media channel, including pharma-sponsored content, said Erin Fitzergerald, Sermo's senior VP of marketing. Doctors are interacting with 10 or more pieces of content now, where previously it was only three to four pieces during one session. Physicians also are logging into Sermo more often, averaging 5-6 times per week versus the previous one to three times, she said.

“The former platform was very forum-esque. It was almost more like a Reddit than a Facebook or an Instagram that’s more feed-based. The new platform is feed-based and a mobile-first approach to design and development,” she said.

While doctors have contributed drug ratings across almost every therapeutic category from diabetes to migraine to psoriasis, some specific conditions such as breast cancer and multiple myeloma treatments have significantly more. There are 9,000 reviews on 49 drugs in breast cancer and 2,000 reviews on 43 drugs in multiple myeloma.

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Oncology is one of the highest-interest categories on Sermo for doctors looking at drug ratings, Fitzgerald said.

“I think the reason for that is (cancer) treatment options continue to become more and more complex and physicians are really leveraging the wisdom of their peers to understand what treatment options there are, what’s working, what’s not and what’s preferred,” she said.