Pharma turns to tech for marketing aid

Is the iDrugstore next? Not exactly, but pharma companies are teaming up with tech to better market their drugs. Some of their first forays are in the diabetes arena: Bayer's Didget glucometer hooks up to Nintendo gaming devices, Bloomberg reports, as a way to encourage kids to monitor their blood sugar. And Johnson & Johnson is working with Apple on an iPhone app that would allow patients to upload and share their blood-sugar data.

There are plenty of other possibilities: Apps that remind patients to take their meds or get refills, for instance. And Ernst & Young's pharma experts say that savvy drugmakers will take advantage of the opportunities. Because with pharma sales growth slowing, companies have to take new approaches to their business models.

"It's an opportunity to have a very vivid imagination," Carolyn Buck-Luce, Ernst & Young's global pharmaceutical sector leader, told Bloomberg. "It's not enough to have your focus on the discovery, research and development of medicine. You also need to be involved in the innovation of the commercial model of your business, which is how do you get these medicines to the patient."

- get the release from E&Y
- see the story from Bloomberg
- take a look at the news from Reuters
- read PharmExec's take